Spurs next up for Nets on NBA odds slate

By: David Schwab | Sunday, February 13, 2011

The San Antonio Spurs can see the light at the end of the tunnel with their eighth of a nine-game road trip moving to Newark's Prudential Center to take on the New Jersey Nets this Monday night. The tip for this one is scheduled for 4 p.m. (PT) and the game will be broadcast nationally on NBA TV.

San Antonio continues to set the pace in the NBA this season with 16 victories in its last 19 games. The Spurs have run their league-best record to 45-9 straight-up (33-19-2 against the spread) and have a seven-game lead over Dallas in the Southwest Division and a seven-game lead over the Los Angeles Lakers in the Western Conference race.

Saturday night they scored 72 points in the first half on their way to a 118-94 romp over Washington as a 6 ½-point road favorite after being held to a season-low 71 points in a 77-71 loss to Philadelphia as a three-point road favorite this past Friday.

Manu Ginobili and Tony Parker have provided the bulk of the scoring for San Antonio this year. Both are averaging over 17 points a game and Parker leads the team in assists with 6.7. Tim Duncan continues to be a force underneath the boards with 9.2 rebounds a game and is third on the team in scoring with 13.4 points. Richard Jefferson rounds out the starting lineup with 12.1 points and 4.1 rebounds a game, while George Hill is adding 11.1 points off the bench.

The Spurs are ranked sixth in the league in scoring with an average of 103.6 points a game. They are holding their opponents to just 96.3 points giving them the second highest scoring differential in the NBA. San Antonio is shooting 47.3 percent from the floor and just under 40 percent from three-point range. Defensively it is averaging 42.7 rebounds a game which is eighth-best in the league.

The only excitement in Newark this season was when New Jersey believed it had put a deal together to land Carmelo Anthony from Denver. The deal never materialized and the team’s on-court activity has remained mediocre at best. The Nets have won just two of their last six games and are 17-38 SU overall (26-29 ATS). Their aspirations of making the postseason have been just about exhausted as they currently sit in 12th-place in the East.

Center Brook Lopez leads New Jersey in points per game with 19.6 and rebounds with 5.7. He is joined by Devin Harris, who leads the team in assists with 7.7 a game and is the second leading scorer with 15.1 points and Anthony Morrow, who is averaging 12.6 points to form the basic talent pool of this team. Sasha Vujacic, who was acquired from the Lakers earlier in the season, has also chipped-in with 11.4 points a game.

The Nets are second-to-last in the NBA in scoring with an average of just 92.8 points a game. They are giving up an average of 98.6 points a game which amounts to one of the worst scoring differentials in the league. New Jersey is ranked 28th in shooting with a field goal percentage of 44.1 percent. It is hitting 35 percent of its attempts from three-point range and 76.3 percent of them from the foul-line.

San Antonio is 7-2 ATS in its last nine games on the road and 5-1 ATS in its last six games overall. The total has gone ‘over’ in four of its last five games.

New Jersey is 3-3 ATS in its last six home games and 2-4 ATS in its last six games overall. The total has stayed ‘under’ in four of its last five games.

Head-to-head, the Spurs have won nine of the last 10 games SU, but the Nets are 3-1 ATS in the last four. The total has stayed ‘under’ in six of the last seven meetings.

Last season New Jersey came away with a 90-84 victory as a seven-point home underdog and the total stayed ‘under’ the 189 point line. This time around the opening line should be pretty much the same but the results will not. The Spurs learned their lesson from their trip here last year, and will find a way to put this game away early to easily win and cover.

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