Spurs vs. Lakers odds, line: NBA picks, predictions from model on 18-5 run

It's a big early-season Western Conference matchup between the San Antonio Spurs and Los Angeles Lakers. Tipoff is Wednesday at 10:30 p.m. ET from the Staples Center. LeBron James and the Lakers have won three straight games and are only two games back of the top seed in the West, while the Spurs are two games out of the final playoff spot. Sportsbooks list Los Angeles as an 8.5-point home favorite in the latest Lakers vs. Spurs odds. The over-under, or total number of points Vegas thinks will be scored, is 224.5. Before you make any Lakers vs. Spurs picks, check out what SportsLine's advanced computer model has to say.

The SportsLine Projection Model simulates every game 10,000 times and was red-hot in Week 7, going a blistering 18-5 on all top-rated NBA picks, including a strong 9-3 record on top-rated point-spread picks. Anybody following it finished way, way up. 

Now, the model has dialed in on Lakers vs. Spurs. We can tell you it likes the over, but its strongest pick is against the spread, saying on side hits in almost 60 percent of simulations. You can get that pick only over at SportsLine. 

The model has taken into account that the Lakers have ramped up their defensive intensity during this winning streak. Fueled by JaVale McGee's average of 2.74 blocked shots, the Lakers have yielded just 98 points per game over the last week. McGee is second in the league in blocks and has recorded 17 in his past five games, including seven against the Magic. LeBron James is averaging 1.26 game for L.A., which gets over eight per contest.

Power forward Kyle Kuzma continues to improve his shooting. He's knocking down over 47 percent of his shots and crashes the boards with unchecked ferocity. Strong forward Brandon Ingram and James have been in sync when both are on the floor with setting screens and freeing the open shooter.

But just because the Spurs are a big road underdog doesn't mean they can't cover the spread against Luke Walton's Lakers.

Despite the loss of notable talent this season under Gregg Popovich, San Antonio continues to play smart, team-centric ball. The Spurs don't rely on isolation plays much; instead, focusing on spreading the court. Shooting guard DeMar DeRozan has taken control of the squad, leading in points, minutes, assists and steals. Against the Trail Blazers on Sunday he poured in 36 points and was a perfect 10 for 10 from the free-throw line to help lock down the win.

LaMarcus Aldridge continues to put his body on the line, swooping to the hoop for high-percentage shots and snagging offensive rebounds. Over his past five games, the power forward is hitting nearly 60 percent of his field-goal attempts. The Lakers have covered in four of their past six meetings against the Spurs and have won all four of those covers.

Who wins Spurs vs. Lakers? And which side of the spread can you bank on nearly 60 percent of the time? Visit SportsLine now to get the strong against-the-spread pick, all from the advanced model that simulates every game 10,000 times, and find out. 

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