Even with Kobe Bryant out of the lineup, the Lakers did what they had to do in crunch time to earn a spot in the postseason.
They finished the regular season 45-37 SU - which includes a woeful 16-25 SU record on the road - and were costly to wager on all year long with a 34-46-2 record ATS. Even with an 8-1 SU record to close out the regular season, Los Angeles went 5-3-1 ATS.
The Lakers are 5-1-1 ATS in their last seven games against the Southwest Division.
Life after Bryant heading into Sunday's Game 1 against the Spurs is going to require a heavy dose of Dwight Howard to give the Lakers any shot at advancing past the Sportsbook round.
Howard posted 26 points and 17 rebounds in last Sunday's 91-86 victory over San Antonio with his team a 3.5-point underdog at home.
The Spurs are limping into the postseason with both Tony Parker and Manu Ginobili missing time down the stretch due to various injuries. The result has been a dismal 3-7 SU record and a costly 2-8 ATS record in their last 10 games.
San Antonio did go 35-6 SU at home this season but just 19-20-2 ATS after failing to cover in seven of its last eight home games. The Spurs are 5-16 ATS in their last 21 games overall.
San Antonio quickly needs to regain the form that ranked this team fourth in the NBA in scoring with an average of 103 points a game to complement a defense that held teams to just 96.6 points on the other end of the court.
A healthy Parker averaged a team-high 20.2 points a game and Tim Duncan was a close second with 17.8 points while pulling down 9.9 rebounds. Overall, the Spurs shot 48.1 percent from the field and 37.6 percent from three-point range.
Head-to-head in this showdown, Los Angeles is 7-3 ATS in its last 10 trips to San Antonio and the total has stayed UNDER in 20 of the last 27 meetings there. This season, the Spurs had a 2-1 edge SU, but Los Angeles went 2-1 ATS in the three meetings.
The total stayed UNDER in all three games.
The Lakers are listed at +4000 at Sportsbook to make it to the NBA Finals and +8500 to actually win the championship series. San Antonio is a +320 second-favorite to win the West and is listed at +1200 to win it all.