The San Antonio Spurs (33-28; 32-29 ATS) will play their eighth consecutive game on the road tonight, losing six of the previous seven including a 130-118 defeat at the New York Knicks last night. It was a massive upset for the Spurs who are now tied with the Clippers at the 7th spot of the Western Conference standings, while they’ve covered the spread only once over the last ten outings.
On the other side, the Brooklyn Nets (31-30; 34-27 ATS) are coming off a 117-115 win at the Charlotte Hornets Saturday night, firmly holding the No. 6 seed in the East three games ahead of the Orlando Magic at the 9th spot. The Nets have won just three of their last nine games, covering the spread five times in the process, while they’ve dropped two straight games on the home court.
The Spurs can count on all their players including LaMarcus Aldridge (illness) and Derrick White (heel). Aldridge played just 21 minutes last night, while White didn’t suit up. On the other side, the Nets are still playing without Spencer Dinwiddie (thumb) who should miss another week of action, but all other players are ready to go.
The Nets opened as slight 2-point favorites here with the total at 231.0 points and the Spurs at +110 money line odds. Brooklyn is 7-3 straight up and 5-5 ATS in its last ten games at home, and the under is 6-4 during that stretch. San Antonio is 3-7 straight up and 4-6 ATS in its previous ten showings on the road, and the over is 10-0 in that span.
What’s at Stake?
This is a big game for the Spurs who are now just one game ahead of the Sacramento Kings at the 9th spot in the West. Also, the Spurs’ confidence took a big hit last night at Madison Square Garden, so another loss will be a huge blow. The Nets are in a more comfortable position, but they will be looking to avoid the third home loss in a row.
The Spurs will play without rest on this one and are just 3-8 straight up and 5-6 ATS on the second day of their last 11 back-to-back sets. After the clash with the Nets, the Spurs will return to Texas for a three-game homestand, and the next rival is Detroit Wednesday night. On the other side, the Nets stay in Brooklyn to host the Washington Wizards on Wednesday.
The Spurs have barely outlasted the Nets 117-114 as 8-point favorites in their first head-to-head duel of the season. Derrick White led the Spurs with 26 points on 8-of-13 shooting from the field, while D’Angelo Russell had 25 points on the other side. The Spurs shot just 40.0% from the field, but they grabbed 13 offensive rebounds and forced 14 turnovers to somehow escape with a victory.
The Spurs allowed 54 points in the paint in that first game in San Antonio, and their rim protection is a massive issue. In general, the Spurs’ defense has been terrible lately, allowing 120.8 points per 100 possessions over the last ten games. San Antonio is surrendering 112.6 points per 100 possessions this season (25th in the league) on 47.0% shooting from the field (24th) and 36.4% from beyond the arc (also 24th), so it’s obvious what’s the Spurs’ biggest problem. With LaMarcus Aldridge in the paint and some poor D at the perimeter, the Spurs just cannot defend at the high level.
However, the Nets are not the defensive force at all, surrendering 110.6 points per 100 possessions (17th in the league) on 46.4% shooting from the field (20th) and 34.5% from downtown (9th), but they are allowing just 22.9 assists to their rivals which is 4th-best record in the league. The Nets are scoring 110.0 points per 100 possessions (17th in the league) on 45.0% shooting from the field (23rd) and 35.6% from beyond the arc (10th). On the other side, the Spurs are tallying 113.3 points per 100 possessions (6th) while making 47.8% of their field goals (4th) and 40.4% of their 3-point attempts (1st).
This should be a proper high-scoring affair, considering some fragile defenses on both sides. The Spurs are really struggling with their defensive job which Gregg Popovich called pathetic after 130 points allowed to the Knicks last night, while 11 of the Spurs’ last 13 games were finished in the over. The Nets’ offense should take advantage of the Spurs’ flaws, and this could be another chance for D’Angelo Russell to surpass his point-mark. The first H2H duel had 231 points in the total, and I hope this one will have just a bit more.
When it comes to the side bet, it’s tough to say who will win tonight. I think the Nets are closer to the victory, but you never know with Gregg Popovich’s Spurs. Hereof, I would stick with the totals or take Russell in the over on his points, but if you want some greater wages, take any team by 1-5 points around +140 odds, as this should be a really tight battle.