Los Angeles Lakers vs. Golden State Warriors Betting Predictions

Lakers vs Warriors Play-In
Los Angeles vs. Golden State, NBA Playoffs Betting Predictions, May 19

Two of the hottest teams in the NBA clash Wednesday in Los Angeles as the Los Angeles Lakers host the Golden State Warriors in the Western Conference play-in game for the NBA playoffs. The Lakers are now healthy and have won five straight entering the postseason while the Warriors have won six in a row and eight of their last nine overall. Los Angeles is the stronger team, but it will be a blast to watch these two teams battle it out.

Lakers vs. Warriors Betting Odds

I am not sure you could have scripted a better matchup for an NBA playoffs play-in game. On one side you have the best player in the league, LeBron James, and the defending champions, the Los Angeles Lakers, who are the seventh seed after a season marred by injuries to James and Anthony Davis. On the other is the eighth-seeded Golden State Warriors led by the scoring champion, Steph Curry, who can drop 50 points in a blink of an eye and will his team to victory. The matchup of James against Curry is tantalizing enough, but then you add in the stakes of the winner earning the seventh seed and a matchup with the Suns while the loser has to play another game to earn the eighth seed, and I cannot contain my excitement.

Let’s start our discussion with the Warriors by talking about Curry because he has been absolutely extraordinary this season. He averaged 32 points per game this season, which is ridiculous to begin with, but he had 11 40-plus-point performances in 63 games played. And he’s been pretty much unstoppable in 23 games since the calendar turned to April by averaging 37.1 points per game with 15 games of at least 35 points and just two with less than 27 points. Andrew Wiggins has been the unnoticed sidekick as he’s averaged 22.6 points per game over the final eight games of the season. In addition, Draymond Green has helped Golden State space the floor better by playing the center spot in the absence of James Wiseman, who is out for the season with an injury. That floor spacing has allowed the Warriors’ offense to truly flourish as Golden State is averaging 118 points per game since Wiseman’s injury compared to 112 points per game prior to the injury.

The only reason the Lakers are in this position in the first place is the rotten luck they have had with health this season. James played just twice in a 28-game stretch before returning for the final two games of the season while Davis 30 games before returning in late April. Ultimately, it doesn’t matter where the Lakers are seeded because they are going to be a dangerous team with that dynamic duo as healthy as they are going to be given their age and injuries. Even once Davis returned to the lineup, success didn’t come easily for the Lakers who lost nine of the first 11 games Davis appeared in after the injury. However, Los Angeles has won five straight heading into this play-in round contest and the experience gained this season by the players around Davis and James while that duo was injured will only help the Lakers in the postseason.

It’s a shame I have to pick a winner in this game because I am honestly torn about this contest. On paper, the Lakers are a better team and have been playing like the defending champions over the last two weeks. But the Warriors have Curry and have beaten both of the top-two seeds in the Western Conference during this six-game winning streak. I don’t know if Golden State could outlast Los Angeles in a seven-game series, but a one-game playoff? I’ll bet against the legal sports betting sites in New Jersey and pick Golden State.

The basketball betting sites in New Jersey have the Lakers as 5.5-point favorites, which is already a bit excessive considering where the spreads have been for other matchups in the play-in round. I’ll shorten the spread two points and bet the Warriors getting 3.5 points at +128 odds, but I’ll add the real payout by betting on Curry at the NBA betting sites in New Jersey. I expect Curry to leave it all on the floor and have a monster game in a one-game playoff, so I’ll bet on the scoring champion to have at least 35 points in a Warriors win for +350 odds then go one step further by betting on Curry to score at least 40 points in victory at +630 odds.

Los Angeles Golden State
888Sport
-210 +170
BetMGM
-250 +190
FanDuel
-230 +190

My Prediction

Golden State +5.5 Points

I don’t know if the Warriors are going to win the game, but I certainly believe it will be a one-possession game either way. These are two exceptional teams playing some incredible basketball at the moment, which means it will be a fun game to watch. With this just being a single game, I could see Steph Curry carrying his team to an upset victory over the Lakers, but I’ll use the spread just in case.

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Josh Walfish is an award-winning journalist who has been covering college and professional sports in the United States. He holds a journalism degree from Northwestern University and his work has appeared in the Miami Herald, Chicago Sun-Times and Providence Journal. He most recently chronicled the UMass hockey teams rise to prominence over the last two years for the local newspaper

All Reviews by Josh Walfish

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