Los Angeles Lakers vs San Antonio Spurs NBA Betting Odds: After dismantling the Miami Heat by a whopping 30 points, the (51-11) San Antonio Spurs [-3] are sure to have a more difficult time on Sunday afternoon, as they welcome the defending champions and NBA Picks underdog, (44-19) Los Angeles Lakers [+3] to the AT&T Center.
This likely preview of this year’s 2011 Western Conference Finals is set to get underway today at 3:30 PM ET (12:30 PM PT) and it’ll be broadcasted live on ABC Sports following the appetizer between the Chicago Bulls vs the Miami Heat. According to NBA Odds makers, the Lakers and Spurs are projected to combine and score an OVER/UNDER total of 190 points in this one.
For the NBA Betting Odds underdog Lakers, they come into this game winner of six games in a row right after the All-Star break. Feeling a sense of urgency, this should be a great test for Kobe Bryant, Phil Jackson & Co. to get a sense for where they are at this point in the season, and their chances to three-peat as champs. The key for a Lakers victory today will certainly be how well they can contain the Spurs perimeter shooters on the offensive end and the Purple and Gold’s ability to exploit their size advantage offensively.
Last Friday, we saw LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and the Heat do a pitiful job of containing the Spurs’ outside guys, as long-range shooters were open time and time again. With Miami’s defense collapsing in the paint, the Spurs' guards did a great job of dishing the ball back out to the open shooters, who took full advantage of the Heat’s lack of discipline defensively, making a barrage of three-pointers. After the first quarter, Greg Popovich’s strategy saw his team jump out to a 36-12 lead, which they never relinquished.
After containing the Spurs’ dead-eye shooters, Los Angeles must execute the Triangle Offense: working the ball inside-out, establishing Pau Gasol and Andrew Bynum in the post from the opening tipoff should forcing the Spurs to adjust by crashing the paint. This is sure to create havoc for the Spurs defensively, which would open things up for Kobe and the rest of the team to operate should the need arise.
However, don’t expect this game to be a high-scoring affair by any means. The key stat to keep in mind in this one will be: rebounding. The team that’s wins the battle of the boards, is sure to come out on top when it’s all said and done today. Thus, I like the Lakers to win this one in the fourth quarter, extend their win streak to a "Lucky 7" and make a statement on the road!