Warriors vs Lakers Odds, Pick, Prediction | NBA on ABC Betting Preview

Warriors vs Lakers Odds, Pick, Prediction | NBA on ABC Betting Preview article feature image

Photo by Barry Gossage/NBAE via Getty Images. Pictured: Stephen Curry (left) and LeBron James jostle for a rebound as we break down Warriors vs Lakers odds, pick and prediction in our NBA on ABC Saturday betting preview for March 16.

  • Warriors vs Lakers starts at 8:30 p.m. ET on ABC on Saturday. Here's our betting preview.
  • With Steph Curry back, the Lakers are now just 2-point favorites on the spread against the Warriors.
  • Check out our Warriors vs Lakers pick and prediction below.

Warriors vs Lakers Odds | NBA on ABC Betting Preview

Saturday, Mar 16
8:30pm ET
Warriors Odds
-108o / -113u
Lakers Odds
-108o / -113u
Odds via BetRivers. Get up-to-the-minute NBA odds here.

Here's everything you need to know about Warriors vs Lakers on Saturday, Mar. 16 — our expert betting picks and predictions for tonight's game.

With Stephen Curry officially returning tonight, the Warriors vs Lakers spread has moved from Warriors +2.5 to Warriors +2. That line originally opened at Lakers -3.5.

Warriors vs Lakers Pick, Prediction

Warriors vs Lakers point spread: Lakers -2
Warriors vs Lakers total: Over/under 223.5
Warriors vs Lakers moneyline: Lakers -134 | Warriors +112
Warriors vs Lakers pick, prediction: Warriors to cover the spread

The Los Angeles Lakers and Golden State Warriors find themselves in unfamiliar territory—at the bottom of the Western Conference playoff picture. Both teams are separated by just one game, as Los Angeles occupies the ninth seed while Golden State is seeded 10th.

Thus, it's possible these teams are on a collision course to face one another in the playoff play-in tournament.

Saturday's meeting will be their third this season, with the series split at one game apiece. Los Angeles opened as a three-point favorite before being bet up to -3.5. That number is now down to -2.5 at most books, with the Lakers even -2 at some.

However, laying points with the Lakers hasn't exactly been a winning proposition this season. In this preview, I'll share why bettors might have to wait till the playoffs before finding value on this Lakers team. Let's get to my Warriors vs Lakers pick and Warriors vs Lakers prediction.

Pick: Warriors +3.5 | Bet to +2

Golden State Warriors

Golden State should get a boost with Stephen Curry returning to the lineup. The Warriors' point guard missed the last three games with an ankle injury, and the team went 1-2 in his absence.

Curry is absolutely vital to Golden State, as the Warriors are just 1-5 straight up without him in the lineup.

The Warriors are coming off a 109-99 loss to the Mavericks, and head coach Steve Kerr felt his team lacked a cutting edge on offense.

"Our defense was not the problem," Kerr told reporters after the game. "It was much more our offense…Just a lot of stagnant possessions. Not enough flow, not enough movement."

Curry could certainly help alleviate some of those concerns.

Kerr's comment about the team's defense is accurate because it's improved from what we saw earlier in the season.

The transformation seemed to coincide with the untimely passing of their assistant coach, Dejan Milojevic, on Jan. 17. After having two games postponed, the Warriors returned to action on Jan. 24, and since then their 111.4 defensive rating ranks seventh in the league per NBA.com.

If the Warriors can continue to maintain that defensive intensity, Curry could be the elixir that reignites their offense.

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Los Angeles Lakers

Los Angeles has just 15 games remaining in the regular season, and I'm still unsure whether we know a lot about this team. At times, I feel the Lakers are just meandering through the season — somewhat unimpressed by what they have to offer.

On paper, Los Angeles seemed to assemble an appealing roster of young talent to play alongside its veterans, LeBron James and Anthony Davis.

Even with James being the elder statesman at 39-years-old, the Lakers rank 15th in terms of youth, according to Spotrac.

But if you look up and down the Lakers roster, some of their recent additions have missed significant time on the court due to injuries:

  • Point guard Gabe Vincent (knee) has played in only five games since signing with the Lakers coming off a career-best season with the Heat.
  • Power forward Jarred Vanderbilt (foot) has logged only 29 games with Los Angeles.
  • Small forward Cam Reddish (ankle) has appeared in 40 games since joining the Lakers from the Trail Blazers.

There have also been injuries  to forwards Rui Hachimura and Christian Wood as both had spells on the sidelines. Hachimura played in 53 of the Lakers' 67 games thus far while Wood has played in 50.

Thus, I'm not sure Lakers' head coach Darvin Ham knows what his best team is.

The prevailing thought is that at some point this season, the Lakers will finally a healthy roster that's intact. As a result, I'm not sure the Lakers are too bothered by where they are in the standings.

While it's a risky gamble to almost put aside the regular season for the postseason, There's almost a quiet confidence about this Lakers team that could spell trouble for opponents once the playoffs get underway.

Lakers vs Warriors

Betting Pick & Prediction

Although the Lakers are seeded higher than the Warriors, Los Angeles is the only team above .500 in the NBA that has a negative point differential (-0.5).

Moreover, the Warriors are a net two points better than the Lakers in this category.

According to ESPN's Relative Percent Index, the Lakers' Pythagorean Win Expectancy projects they should be closer to a 33-37 record instead of their 37-31 mark.

As for the Warriors, their expected win loss record is closer to 36-29, two games better than their current mark of 34-31.

While there's no disputing the Lakers' talent, the numbers show they've been a bit fortunate this season.

And when you look at their record against the spread (ATS) as a favorite, our Action Labs database shows the Lakers are just 15-23 (39.5%) in this spot. As a short favorite of 3.5 or fewer points the Lakers are even worse at 4-11 (26.7%) ATS.

Based on those numbers, I'm not sure how you can have any confidence backing the Lakers as favorites and I can only look to take the points with the Warriors as road underdogs.

Pick: Warriors +3.5 | Bet to +2

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Nick Sterling
May 21, 2024 UTC