It’s not exactly the star-studded matchup the NBA envisioned when they made this schedule, but the return of Stephen Curry helps as the Golden State Warriors take on the LA Lakers. The injury report is chalk full of big names, featuring the likes of Curry, Anthony Davis, and LeBron James. The Warriors health makes them the favorite in this one, currently sitting at -5.5. With LA decimated by injuries, the Warriors should have no issue cruising to victory in this one.
Golden State Warriors vs LA Lakers Betting Odds
Interestingly enough, the Warriors spread has not changed since the opener. They have been listed at -5.5 with bettors failing to nudge the number in either direction. Injury confirmation can play a large factor in it as both Stephen Curry and Anthony Davis are currently listed as Probable. While Probable normally means good to go, the NBA has a tendency for last second changes which can end up burning your ticket.
As for the total, points are expected to be scored at a quick pace as oddsmakers opened the number at 236.5. Bettors were quick to hammer the under, taking the number down to 234.5 as of writing. Recent history points in the other direction as the over has gone 5-2 in the last seven games overall, yet the potential lack of fire power may cause scoring lulls. Especially if Curry comes out rusty as his usage is drastically correlated with the Warriors scoring potential.
Golden State Warriors vs LA Lakers Prediction
The Pick: Golden State Warriors -5.5
With Curry looking good to go, I will back the Warriors at no higher than -5.5 as he brings back a much-needed scoring dimension for the Warriors offense. It’s not as if the Warriors were lost without him, actually playing at a more efficient rate in their recent games than their overall numbers. Per TeamRankings, the Warriors have clocked in a 1.142 Offensive Efficiency rating while their average for the season sits at 1.115.
The rust factor gives me some pause, yet I will side on the fact that Curry is the greatest shooter in NBA history and will have no issue finding his rhythm. Potentially being rusty from the perimeter may also not even be the bigger issue as the Lakers are actually one of the best perimeter defenses in the league. They currently hold opposing offenses to 34.5% shooting from deep, good for third best in the NBA per TeamRankings.
Still, Curry is one of the best overall point guards in the league and will have no issue with cutting through the middle should the perimeter looks not fall. The biggest attribute he brings back for their offense is his facilitation, hitting his open shooters while getting the brunt of defensive attention. Jordan Poole did a modest job to replicate the production, but Poole serves better as a scorer than an all-around level talent.
- Over is 5-2 in the last seven meetings
- Warriors are 5-0 ATS in their last five games overall
Can the Warriors limit the Lakers interior scoring?
Warriors interior defense vs Anthony Davis
Stephen Curry isn’t the only big name listed as Probable in this matchup as the Lakers once again have Anthony Davis on the injury report. A mainstay on the Lakers list, yet looking good to suit up as well.
Limiting Anthony Davis in the interior will be crucial as he can pop off at any time as an elite scoring threat. Lucky for the Warriors, Draymond Green will most likely be picking up that assignment, serving as one of the best interior defenders in the league.
Should Davis have to kick out, the Lakers possess a lack of secondary scoring which will be detrimental for their chances of keeping scoring pace with the Warriors.
Back the Warriors at no higher than -6 in Curry’s return as he gives them a much-needed boost on offense to cruise past the Lakers in a must win situation.
Golden State Warriors Starting Lineup
LA Lakers Starting Lineups
Golden State Warriors Injuries: Stephen Curry (P), Andre Iguodala (P), Andrew Wiggins (O), Patrick Baldwin Jr (Q), Gary Payton II (O)
LA Lakers Injuries: Anthony Davis (P), LeBron James (O), D’Angelo Russell (O)