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San Antonio vs. L.A. NBA Free Pick (Feb. 8)

Monday, FEBRUARY 8, 2010 – San Antonio Spurs vs. Los Angeles Lakers

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NBA odds: Lakers host San Antonio with Kobe in doubt

The Lakers could head into action tonight without star player Kobe Bryant, who missed his last game with an ankle injury. With Tony Parker back in action for San Antonio, the Spurs are looking for their second straight win over L.A. on NBA odds.

Team records:
San Antonio: 29-20 SU, 24-24-1 ATS
Los Angeles: 39-13 SU, 23-28-1 ATS

Matchup: Spurs at Lakers
Time: 10:30 p.m. ET
Venue: Staples Center
Spread: Lakers -3.5
Over/Under: 193.5

Los Angeles (39-13, 23-28-1 ATS) topped the Trailblazers 99-82 on Saturday but it was just their second win over the past four games. The Lakers have actually been miserable against the spread lately, as the Portland matchup was the first time they covered in four games. That makes L.A. just 5-4-1 against the point spread in their past 10 games. They’ve been just as bad at home, losing their last three games ATS at the Staples Center.

Leading-scorer Kobe Bryant sat out the last game with an ankle injury and he’s questionable for Monday night. The rest might do him some good anyway; the All-Star guard suffered through a tough January, averaging just 23.7 points per game in 17 outings. The Lakers rank fifth in the NBA in scoring, but they obviously won’t be as potent without Bryant. Lamar Odom stepped up in his absence on Saturday, notching 10 points, 22 boards and six assists. Still, for now Los Angeles will have to rely on its defense more than usual, which ranks 10th in the league at 96.9 points allowed per game.

San Antonio (29-20, 24-24-1 ATS) is also 2-2 in its last two games straight up. The Spurs are a measly 5-5 straight up and 4-6 against the spread in their last 10 games, and Saturday’s win over the Clippers was the first time they covered for NBA betting fans in four games. San Antonio has covered only twice in its last six games on the road, which could be big trouble—this is the fourth game of an eight-game road trip.
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Spurs point guard Tony Parker has played two games since missing time with an ankle injury. He was great against the Clips this weekend, dropping 14 points and 14 assists. Parker will be even more important moving forward this season, as Tim Duncan is showing signs of slowing. Duncan has scored 16 or fewer points in three of his last four outings. San Antonio is putting up about the same numbers as Los Angeles in the defensive end, but it averages a few points less per game offensively.

The Lakers are 7-3 straight up and against the spread in their last 10 meetings with San Antonio, but the Spurs blew out Los Angeles by 20 points in mid-January. The loss snapped a five-game winning streak ATS for the Lakers over San Antonio. The total has gone under in two of the last three meetings.

THE PICK

Los Angeles has had San Antonio’s number lately, but the Spurs got the job done last month and likely won’t have to face Kobe tonight. With Parker heating up, pick the Spurs to take care of business.

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About Ian Van Den Hurk

Ian Van Den Hurk has covered amateur and pro sports for years, including a successful run handicapping anything from football to mixed martial arts. Looking for more sports betting tips and expert sports handicapping articles from Ian V? We've got your back...


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