The San Antonio Spurs and Los Angeles Lakers have joined the Golden State Warriors in dominating the NBA’s Western Conference over the last two decades. But neither team is in the shape they were in during their best days, as they get set to face one another in Los Angeles on Thursday night. Ahead of this San Antonio Spurs vs. Los Angeles Lakers matchup, the Spurs are simply struggling for form, while the Lakers are dealing with all kinds of injuries and COVID-19 related issues.
Fortunately for the Lakers, they still have LeBron James and Russell Westbrook, both of whom are able to cover up a lot of the shortcomings that this iteration of the Lakers might have. But they aren’t enough to make up for a lot of the losses the Lakers have suffered due to injuries and health and safety protocols. The question for this game, just like the rest of the recent games the Lakers have played, is whether or not James and Westbrook will be enough to beat the Spurs.
San Antonio Spurs – Still Alternating Wins and Losses
The San Antonio Spurs have alternated wins and losses for the better part of the last few weeks, which is an improvement from their form earlier in the season. San Antonio is far from an elite defensive club, but they have had their moments lately that have shown that they are on the path to improving under Gregg Popovich. Here, they will look for their second straight win over a Los Angeles team in Staples Center, after they beat up on the Clippers just a couple of nights ago.
The Spurs have already proven that they can compete with the Lakers this season, after they went to overtime with them early in the season in San Antonio. Without Anthony Davis here for the Lakers, the bigs for the Spurs should be able to patrol the paint and control the glass. But the Lakers will undeniably have an advantage with their top two players in James and Westbrook, and the Spurs will have to find a way to slow them down.
Expected Line-Up: Dejounte Murray, Derrick White, Doug McDermott, Keldon Johnson, Jakob Poeltl
with best odds
Los Angeles Lakers – Relying On Two Major Players
The Los Angeles Lakers have lost three straight games, and are dealing with another key injury that could cost them in a big way as the season goes along. This time, Anthony Davis is out after suffering a knee injury that will rule him out for at least a month, which will have a tangible impact on the way the Lakers function for now. Here, the Lakers are hoping that the loss of Davis and several wing players won’t hurt them too badly.
The key to this game, and most games with the current roster construction of the Lakers, is going to be whether or not Russell Westbrook can play efficiently enough to keep the Lakers afloat. Westbrook is a dynamic point guard, but he is capable of shooting his team out of games by trying too hard to make a difference from the perimeter, where he is not as effective. If Westbrook can play within himself here, the Lakers could come away with an important win, but it is anything but a given.
Expected Line-Up: Russell Westbrook, Wayne Ellington, Talen Horton-Tucker, LeBron James, Dwight Howard
Expert Pick #1 – Spurs to Win @ +120
The first bet we recommend for this contest is the Spurs to win at +120. They are 2.5-point underdogs heading into this contest, but they should be able to take down the Lakers here with close to a fully healthy roster. Los Angeles’ injury and illness issues will be too much for them to overcome, and they will fall short in this Western Conference clash.
Expert Pick #2 – Under 224 @ -110
Our second tip for this game is to put a bet down on the under 224 at -110 odds. Without Anthony Davis to balance out their offense, the Lakers are going to have to rely too heavily on their outside shooting against the Spurs. San Antonio should be able to play some decent defense, to the point that they will be able to keep the game under the total.
Expert Pick #3 – Lakers Under 112.5 Points @ -120
Finally, it is worth placing a bet on the Lakers under 112.5 points at -120 odds. If the game goes under the total, it is going to be because the Lakers struggle on offense throughout the contest. Expect another rough go from Russell Westbrook, who is going to try and put the Lakers on his back with little to no success.
This game should be a tight one regardless of the outcome, but the Spurs are better equipped to win right now with an advantage in depth over the depleted Lakers. Take the Spurs to win outright, as there is more than a fighting chance at it happening.