The Golden State Warriors and Los Angeles Lakers lock horns in the play-in tournament to decide the No. 7 seed in the Western Conference, so here’s the best betting pick for their Wednesday night’s showdown at Staples Center in Los Angeles.
The Lakers opened as 4.5-point home favorites on DraftKings Sportsbook. They are listed at -200 to win straight up, while the Warriors are +175 moneyline dogs with a total of 219.5 points. The Lakers outlasted the Warriors in a three-game regular-season series, 2-1, going 2-1 ATS in the process.
The Warriors won six in a row
The Golden State Warriors (39-33; 37-35 ATS) finished eighth in the West thanks to a terrific six-game winning streak to wrap up the regular season. They also covered the spread on all six occasions during that stretch, so the Warriors are 8-1 straight up and ATS over their last nine games overall.
Stephen Curry has been outstanding all season long, averaging 32.0 points and 5.8 assists a night while making 42.1% of his 3-pointers. He led the league in points, becoming the oldest scoring champions since Michael Jordan in 1998.
Curry will need some help from his teammates in the play-in tournament, and Andrew Wiggins has been tallying 23.1 points and 5.3 rebounds per game over his last ten outings. The Warriors are without Klay Thompson, James Wiseman, and Kelly Oubre Jr., so they have to lean on Curry and Wiggins a lot.
Golden State finished the regular season with the fifth-best defensive rating in the league (110.1) and the 19th-best offensive rating (111.1).
The Lakers hope LeBron James will be ready to play Wednesday
The Los Angeles Lakers (42-30; 32-39-1 ATS) went 5-0 straight up and 2-3 ATS over their last five games of the regular season but failed to avoid the play-in tournament, finishing at the seventh spot of the Western Conference standings.
The reigning champs have had serious injury problems in the last few months. LeBron James (ankle) played in the regular-season finale and scored 25 points in the Lakers’ comfortable 110-98 victory over New Orleans. However, LeBron aggravated his injury, but the Lakers hope he’ll be good to go Wednesday against the Warriors.
Anthony Davis (21.8 PPG, 7.9 RPG) is finally healthy which is great news for the Lakers’ defense that ranked first in the NBA with 107.1 points allowed per 100 possessions. On the other side of the ball, the reigning champs were tallying just 109.9 points per 100 possessions (24th in the league).
- 5-9 ATS in the last 14 games against the Lakers
- 4-2 ATS in the last six games against the Western Conference
The Warriors and Lakers haven’t met each other since March 15 when the reigning champs dismantled the Dubs 128-97 as 1.5-point road favorites. This time, we should see a much tighter contest, as the Warriors have improved a lot since March, but I’m still expecting the Lakers to satisfy the odds and clinch the playoff spot.
LeBron James will certainly play through his injury, while Anthony Davis will torture the Warriors in the paint. On the other side, Steph Curry is capable of dropping 40-plus points, though he averaged 23.0 through three outings against the Lakers this season.
The Lakers’ frontcourt should make the difference in this clash. I don’t think Draymond Green and Kevon Looney will be able to cope with LeBron, Davis, and the rest of the pack.
Pick: Take Los Angeles Lakers -4.5 at -110
The totals are a tricky wager, as the Lakers’ top-notch defense will look to deal with the Warriors’ red-hot offense that scored 113 or more points in each of its last six games.
Interestingly, all three regular-season encounters between the Warriors and Lakers had a different outcome including a push in their final clash. The under is 7-3-1 in their last 11 meetings, so I will stick with this betting trend, hoping the Lakers’ defense will step up against the shorthanded Warriors.
Pick: Go under 219.5 points at -110