NBA Odds, Picks, Predictions: Anderson’s Kings vs. Warriors, Grizzlies vs. Lakers Game 6 Bets (April 28)
Wally Skalij/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images. Pictured: LeBron James of the Lakers and Grizzlies Xavier Tillman Sr. of the Grizzlies battle or loose ball in overtime in Game 4 of the NBA playoffs.
- What's better than a doubleheader off Game 6 matchups in the NBA Playoffs? How about three bets for each game?
- Brandon Anderson gives his expert picks for Friday's must-win matchups: Kings vs Warriors and Grizzlies vs Lakers.
- Read on for his in-depth analysis, picks and predictions for tonight's slate.
The more things change, the more they stay the same. Friday night, LeBron James and Steph Curry each have a chance to close out big series wins and advance their teams in the playoffs. What else is new?
So will Friday’s Game 6s lock up LeBron-Steph V, The Final Reckoning?
Let’s dig into the slate with a side on each game plus a handful of props I’m playing.
Kings vs. Warriors
So much for that De’Aaron Fox injury. The finger didn’t seem to bother Fox early, with 17 points in the first half and a trio of 3s in the first quarter. However, Fox wore down as the game went on and went just 3-of-12 in the second half with four turnovers. We’ve seen how awesome Fox has been this series. The Kings are drawing dead if he can’t give an A+ game.
Fox hit his turnovers over and 3s under I recommended in the Game 5 preview, but neither line offers a ton of value here. With Fox struggling late, Malik Monk finally got going. He scored all 21 of his points in the second half but also jammed his knee late. Monk is averaging 23.7 PPG at home this series but only 10.0 on the road. His points under could be in play.
Let’s talk about the home-road splits because I think they tell the story here.
The Warriors ranked third in Defensive Rating at home in the regular season versus third-worst on the road. That’s a massive split, and the Kings are already at only 50% EFG for the series, down from 57% in season, second-best in the NBA. Sacramento has gotten a kinder home whistle with 29 free throws per game there versus 20.5 on the road, while the Warriors’ turnover issues have been worse on the road at 16.3 per game with just 11 in each home game.
If the Kings can’t get those advantages at the line or find easy buckets on turnovers, this might be a wrap. The Warriors offense may have also solved this beatable Sacramento defense.
Golden State shot 39-of-58 on 2s in Game 5. That’s 67% with 33 assists, slicing and dicing this defense. Remember the fourth quarter in Game 1 when the Warriors shot 19 3s and just five 2s? They took 50 treys that game but are down to just 36 a game the last two. Golden State’s 2-point attempts this series have risen every game, from 40 to 42, 50, 56, and 58.
Game 3 was the leap, when Draymond Green’s suspension forced Steve Kerr to switch to a one-big lineup. That added shooters on the court, spacing the Kings defense out, and it’s turned Kevon Looney into a monster on the offensive glass and in the short roll. The Warriors offense is getting so many easier buckets, up from 111 Offensive Rating the first two games to 118 the last three.
Looney is the best prop on the board. Take the over 16.5 rebounds + assists. Heck, he might hit that on rebounding alone. He’s had 20, 14, and 22 boards the last three games, adding 9, 6, and 7 dimes. That puts him at 26.0 RA, way above this line. He’s been an absolute beast. I’m also compelled to sprinkle 5+ assists at +165 and 7+ at +675 at bet365.
Pick: Kevon Looney Over 16.5 Rebounds + Assists
Since Draymond Green returned from suspension, we’ve seen him very aggressive. He scored 12 points in Game 4 and 21 in Game 5, and he’s gotten to the line with 14 free throws those two games. I like Green to go over 9.5 points at +104 and continue his aggressive play. He’s also +550 to score 15, which is too long given the way he’s playing.
Pick: Draymond Green Over 9.5 Points (+104)
I’m also backing Steph Curry under 3.5 turnovers. He’s just far safer with the ball at home. Curry is under 3.5 turnovers in 11 straight home playoff games and 21 of his last 23 (91%).
So which side are we playing? It’s gotta be Warriors or nothing with the championship mettle this team flashed in Game 5, now coming home where they’ve been so dominant. I’ll pass on an inflated line and go back to Old Faithful: Take me home, Warriors home third quarter.
This game tips at 5 p.m. local time, which could make for a quiet start that helps the road team with a crowd not totally tuned in yet. Warriors 3Q gives us multiple outs. If the Kings lead early, that third quarter is when Golden State will make its comeback push. Or if the Kings are barely hanging around, that’s when we get the Warriors third quarter avalanche. How many times have we seen a home team make that second-half run to close out a series?
We’re also boosted by Kerr’s updated Curry rotations. He’s playing almost the entire first and third quarter now, minus a minute or two in the middle. The Warriors are +19 the last three third quarters.
Take me home, Warriors third quarter. Give me Warriors -1 in the 3Q.
Pick: Warriors 3Q Spread -1
Grizzlies vs. Lakers
Game 5 between the Lakers and Grizzlies felt a lot like Game 2. The Grizzlies showed up early, the Lakers looked lethargic and disinterested, and Memphis rolled to a relatively comfortable home win with a huge push late in the third quarter to pull away for good.
The first quarter of the game has told the story in this series. Either the Lakers are focused and playing with energy, or they come out sleepwalking and the Grizzlies roll.
The winner of the first quarter is 5-0 this series. In two Memphis home wins, the Grizzlies won the first quarter by 11 and 14, then they went on to win the game by 10 and 17. They built an early lead, and the teams were basically even the rest of the way. That was the case in the three Lakers wins too: LA won the first quarter by 5, 26, and 6 (37 total) and went on to win those games by 33 total. After the first quarter, the series has largely been even. The opening stanza has told the story.
Both Grizzlies wins have come at home, where Memphis was 35-6 — best in the league — usually because they started with a bang. The Grizzlies had a +18.1 Net Rating in the first quarter at home, best in the league — but that plummeted to +2.2 on the road. Expect the Lakers to show up energized by the home crowd and be focused on closing this one out.
I’ll get creative and make this worth our while. Give me a parlay: Lakers to win the first quarter and cover the full game -4.5 spread, together at +168 (FanDuel).
Pick: Lakers 1Q ML & Lakers Full Game Spread -4.5 at +168
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Part of the reason I’m isolating the first quarter is that the Grizzlies have been great in the second quarter. They’re +24 for the series (4-1 SU) and +5.3 Net Rating in the second quarter for the season versus LA’s -3.1 Net since the trades. If the Lakers win the first quarter but give back some of the lead, that may open a path to live bet LA in the fourth quarter, where the Lakers ranked third in Net Rating at +12.2 after the trades while the Grizzlies struggled at 25th all year.
Ja Morant and Desmond Bane scored 64 combined points in Game 5, and the team found something playing a three-guard lineup with Luke Kennard for that second-half run. Kennard finished +26 in 18 minutes. Bane is 18-of-29 on 2s the last two games, up from 12-of-27 the first three, and that extra volume attacking the basket has his scoring up from 19.0 to 34.5 PPG. He’s +100 to go over 25.5 or +360 to score 30.
My favorite prop focuses on the rebounding. Both teams have smashed the offensive glass the last three games. Each side had 14 offensive boards in Game 5, and LeBron and Anthony Davis are combining for six offensive rebounds a game. James has at least nine boards every game, averaging 12.4 for the series. He’s playing closer to the rim given what his body can do at his age, winning physically at the basket.
Give me LeBron’s over 9.5 rebounds prop. He’s one board away from hitting a perfect 5-0 on the series.
Pick: LeBron James Over 9.5 Rebounds
If LeBron does hit double-digit rebounds, you have to at least sprinkle the triple-double odds at +1300 at FanDuel since that’s effectively just 13-to-1 on 10 assists. His high this series is seven dimes, but he had 21 Potential Assists that game. I’d price a closeout triple-double for the King closer to +650.
At the end of the night, I’m expecting the same thing everyone else is — LeBron vs Steph, one more time, with a spot in the Western Conference Finals on the line. Bring it on.
Pick: LeBron James Triple-Double +1300
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