NBA bet of the day: Lakers vs. Spurs

Scanning the NBA board Monday night, the Lakers-Spurs game seems to offer some intriguing value for points.

When I plan an NBA bet, I tend to gravitate towards pace of play. The faster teams play, the more opportunities for points.

The one game tonight that features two teams ranked inside the top ten of pace is the matchup between the Los Angeles Lakers and San Antonio Spurs.

While that’s a good start, it’s the next metrics that have really put this game, and a few particular players, on my radar.

Points in the Paint

The Spurs are scoring the second-most points per game in the paint this season, while the Lakers are scoring the ninth-most points inside.

This scoring tendency beautifully aligns with each defensive vulnerability. San Antonio is allowing the third-most points in the paint, with Los Angeles right behind them at fourth in the NBA.

The above tells me a few things. One, both teams play fast, with the over/under reflecting that belief (236, highest of the night).

Two, both teams do a majority of their scoring inside while neither team has shown an ability to slow down paint scoring.

With a conclusion growing, my next step was to find player rates for drives per game and paint touches per game.

The two clear targets are guards Dejounte Murray and Russell Westbrook. Murray ranks fourth in the league in drives per game with 18.1, while Westbrook ranks seventh (17.2).

Both of these guards slash to the hoop, which fits right into how the numbers suggest this game plays out.

Prop bets off this data approach

Based on what I’ve looked at from the above, there certainly seems to be logic to betting these player’s overs tonight.

Westbrook’s points prop is currently set at 17.5 (-108), a number he’s reached in three of his last seven games.

Murray’s points are higher, listed at 23.5 (-108). Murray has covered that number in three of four.

These teams have met three times already this season, which helps us glean some actionable takeaways to apply for tonight’s action.

Murray has failed to reach 23.5 in the three contest this year, but has gone for 20+ in two of them. Meanwhile, Westbrook has gone nuts against San Antonio this season. He had one 14 point game, but he also has games of 33 and 30 points.

Twice going for 30+ against this Spurs team certainly has me intrigued on the over at 17.5 points.

More Reasons to Like Westbrook Tonight

We’ve gone far in this article without mentioning LeBron James. James is coming off a mammoth 56-point effort against the Golden State Warriors.

I can’t help but feel that after this high-usage game in primetime we may see James take it easy against the lowly Spurs on a Monday evening. James is also questionable as of this writing, which further fuels that theory.

If James does indeed miss this game or play at a lower-motor, Westbrook stands to benefit.

Putting it all together, I’m rolling with Russell Westbrook tonight.

My betting approach:

  • .5unit: 20+ points (+140 FD)
  • .25u: 25+ points (+420)
  • .25u: 30+ points (+1300)

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