Lakers vs. Warriors Odds, Pick, Game 1 Prediction | NBA Playoffs Betting Preview (May 2)

Lakers vs. Warriors Odds, Pick, Game 1 Prediction | NBA Playoffs Betting Preview (May 2) article feature image

Ezra Shaw/Getty Images. Pictured: LeBron James #6 of the Los Angeles Lakers and Draymond Green #23 of the Golden State Warriors.

Lakers vs. Warriors Odds

Lakers Odds+5
Warriors Odds-5
Time10 p.m. ET
Odds via FanDuel. Get up-to-the-minute NBA odds here.

What did we do to deserve this special treatment as NBA fans? LeBron James vs. Stephen Curry is a matchup usually reserved for the NBA Finals, but instead we’re seeing the future Hall of Famers face off in Round 2.

The Lakers enjoyed two days off after a blowout win against the Memphis Grizzlies. Apparently Memphis missed the memo that there was an elimination game being played because the Lakers cruised to a 125-85 win on Friday to advance to the Conference semifinals. The Warriors are coming off an electrifying Game 7 win against the Sacramento Kings thanks to a super-human performance by Curry who poured on 50 points, the highest-scoring Game-7 effort in NBA history.

The Warriors get just one day off before suiting up for Game 1 at Chase Center. Can the Warriors rally after a grueling series vs. Sacramento? Or will the Lakers steal a game on the road? Let’s breakdown the odds and I’ll give out some picks for Lakers vs. Warriors Game 1.

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Los Angeles Lakers

This series presents an interesting matchup for both teams. In a way, they’re polar opposites offensively. The Lakers play with size and physicality, attacking the rim, getting to the line and grabbing offensive boards.

Since the trade deadline, the Lakers rank 12th in Offensive Rebound Percentage (27.9%) and third in Free Throw Rate (24.6) per Cleaning the Glass.

The Warriors are fairly equipped to prevent the Lakers from getting what they want — certainly more so than the Grizzlies were. Golden State has its defensive flaws, but fouling isn’t one of them. The Warriors rank 10th in Free Throw Rate allowed (19.5), but just 20th in Defensive Rebound Percentage (27.3%). One of the keys this series will be the Lakers' ability to create extra possessions on the glass. In the four head-to-head matchups this season, the Lakers haven't lost the rebound battle.

If the Warriors try similar lineups to what it used against Kings, bringing Draymond Green off the bench and running two parallel one-big lineups with Kevon Looney and Green staggered, they likely won’t have the size to stop the Lakers from out-rebounding them in bunches. I’ll look to some rebounding props on the Lakers side as they’ve won the rebound battle in all four meetings this season.

Golden State Warriors

The Warriors were listless in Game 6 against the Kings. It seemed all but decided that Golden State would close things out at home, where it’s dominated all season. But in truly dramatic fashion, the Warriors were embarrassed by the Kings at Chase Center and had to win Game 7 in Sacramento.

The Warriors (or specifically Curry) willed themselves to that Game 7 victory despite their road troubles all season. It seems their home/road splits could have simply been a focus problem as they’ve managed to lose a home game and win two road games in the playoffs so far.

Game 1 is at home, but it won’t be as simple as betting on the Warriors at home and fading them on the road as it was during the regular season. According to Killer Sports, teams coming off a Game 7 win are just 11-12 straight up and 7-15-1 against the spread in Game 1 at home. The over is also 16-7 in that scenario. The over isn't a bad look either.

The Golden State defense has been much better at home all season, but after a grueling series, I think defense — which is largely effort — will probably be the first thing sacrificed at the Game-1 altar, at least on the Warriors end, but I’ll wait to see how the pace plays out before betting on a total in this series.

Lakers-Warriors Pick

I can only look to the Lakers with the added rest advantage. LeBron James knows this will be a tough series and he knows the toll the previous one took on the Warriors. He'll look to exploit that advantage in Game 1 and sneak a road win. I’ll take the points with the Lakers down to +3.5 and play the moneyline as well.

I’ll also play the Lakers in the first half. As dogs this season, they’re 29-24 ATS (55%), nothing overly impressive, but still noteworthy. More significant is a fade of the Warriors. After a win of 10 or more points, the Warriors are just 26-38-3 ATS (59%) and just 9-14-1 ATS this season (61%).

Finally, as mentioned, I’m also looking at some rebound props for the Lakers and I’ll look to Jarred Vanderbilt specifically. He’s averaged 6.8 boards against Golden State in his career, but in the six games against them this season (three with the Jazz and three with the Lakers) he’s averaging 8.8 and has cleared eight rebounds in five of the six games. I like his rebounds prop over and I’ll play some alt-rebounds as well. Follow me in the Action App to see how I play the alt-lines (AOWatts).

Pick: Jarred Vanderbilt o4.5 REB (-128)

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