Lakers vs. Warriors Odds, Preview, Prediction: Target Over/Under in Lackluster Matchup (April 7)
Ezra Shaw/Getty Images. Pictured: Jordan Poole #3 of the Golden State Warriors is congratulated by Klay Thompson #11 and Draymond Green #23.
- The Los Angeles Lakers and Golden State Warriors go head-to-head in a game that will lack its usual buzz.
- The Lakers have been eliminated from the postseason and their stars are all questionable to play.
- NBA betting expert Raheem Palmer explains why he sees value in betting the over/under tonight.
Lakers vs. Warriors Odds
|Time||10 p.m. ET|
When the NBA scheduled a matchup between the Los Angeles Lakers and Golden State Warriors during the last week of the season, I’m not sure anyone envisioned it would be taking place under the current circumstances.
While the Warriors (50-29) are third in the Western Conference, the Lakers, who were second behind the Nets as the preseason title favorites, were eliminated from the postseason on Tuesday.
Nevertheless, the Warriors will host the Lakers in a game where LeBron James, Anthony Davis and Russell Westbrook are questionable and Stephen Curry has been out since March 16.
So where is the betting value on this matchup? Let’s analyze both sides and find out!
Puzzling Lakers Season Nears Its End
In many ways the Lakers season was over before the Suns game as they’ve been in a complete tailspin since the All-Star break. While Frank Vogel has been one of the best coaches in the NBA over the last 10 years, he’s seemed to have lost the voice of this team with the Lakers appearing to have quit on the season weeks ago.
Since the All-Star break, the Lakers have been one of the worst teams in the league, going 4-17 with a Net Rating of -7.9. The only two teams worse than the Lakers are the Portland Trail Blazers and Oklahoma City Thunder, teams who’ve gone into full development mode as they look to play younger guys and get ready for the future.
During the span the Lakers rank 24th in Offensive Rating (111.7) and 28th in Defensive Rating (119.6). The Lakers are just 19th in half court points per 100 possessions (94.9) on offense, 23rd in half court points per 100 possessions (97.4) on defense while struggling to score and defend in transition.
They’re 20th in 3-point percentage (35.3%) and unlike their championship team, this season’s team can’t make up for their lack of shooting by generating extra possessions via offensive rebounds as they’re just 20th in Offensive Rebound Rate (35.3%). To put it bluntly, they stink.
One of the few bright spots for the Lakers has been LeBron James who is second in scoring at 30.4 points per game and has the chance to be the oldest player to lead the league in scoring. However, he is questionable for tonight’s matchup along with Davis and Westbrook.
LeBron James, Anthony Davis and now Russell Westbrook are all listed as questionable for the Lakers’ 80th game of the season. Only three left. https://t.co/EBtwWHajti
— Marc Stein (@TheSteinLine) April 6, 2022
Westbrook has played 78 of the team’s 79 games so there isn’t much of a sample size without him in the lineup. However the Lakers are 0-5 without James and Davis in the lineup and are 6-17 without James and 14-25 without Davis.
Of course, the Lakers were a mediocre 11-11 in games with James and Davis so they weren’t exactly world beaters with their stars but without them, they’re essentially drawing dead.
Warriors Turning Corner at the Perfect Time
The Warriors have finally stabilized after losing seven out of eight games from March 16 through the 30th after Curry injured his foot against the Boston Celtics.
It feels like a lot of their turn around in the last two games has a lot to do with the competition they’ve faced: A Utah Jazz team on the verge of a Fat Boys-like breakup that is blowing double-digit leads every night and the Sacramento Kings who are … the Kings.
Fortunately for the Warriors, the Lakers are worse than both of those teams, so they should be able to win this game and maintain the third spot in the West.
The biggest thing impacting the Warriors is the absence of Curry, who is averaging 25.5 points along with 6.3 assists and 5.2 rebounds. Curry’s box score stats don’t do his impact justice, however as the Warriors are a whopping 11.6 points per 100 possessions better with him on the floor.
A large part of that is on offense where having the gravity of the game’s best 3-point shooter leads to open shots for everyone else. The Warriors are 5-10 record without Curry in the lineup and they’re scoring just 110.1 points per 100 possessions.
Of course, that likely won’t matter against the Lakers who have all but quit on the season. The Warriors are still third in Defensive Rating (107.8) and when they’re playing bottom 10 offenses like the Lakers, they’re first in Defensive Rating allowing just 103.6 points per 100 possessions.
Despite their offensive struggles without Curry, this is almost a top 10 offense when facing teams with a bottom 10 defense as they’re scoring 116.7 points per 100 possessions.
Jordan Poole has stepped up in Curry’s absence, averaging 27.8 points per game on 44.3% shooting and 39.8% from behind the arc along with 5.6 assists and 5.1 rebounds. Poole along with Andrew Wiggins and Klay Thompson should be able to do more than enough to get the Warriors the win here.
The Warriors should win this game but this number feels spot on given the absence of James, Davis and Westbrook. There’s no information we have that the market doesn’t have to give us an edge on the side here.
We know the Lakers are bad, we know they’re missing their stars and we know the Warriors need to win to maintain the No. 3 seed. Oddsmakers are rightfully making you pay a premium to back them in this spot. I’m not willing to do it.
From my view the total is the best place to go here and I’ll look to play the under 223 and Lakers team total under as the Warriors defense should keep this a lower scoring game. The Warriors have gone under in four straight games and seven out of their last 10.
You know what they say: If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.
Pick: Under 221.5 (Down to 220) | Lakers team total under 104.5 (Down to 104)