Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James.
Betting odds: Los Angeles Lakers at Golden State Warriors
- Spread: Warriors -9
- Over/Under: 234.5
- Time: 8 p.m. ET
- TV channel: ESPN
>> All odds as of Monday at 11:30 p.m. ET. Download The Action Network App to get real-time NBA odds and track your bets
This game is the very definition of “marquee.”
Put this one up in the big spotlights. Christmas Day’s NBA showcase features one game that stands above all others. Utah-Portland, Sixers-Celtics and Rockets-Thunder all have greater playoff implications. Knicks-Bucks may feature the MVP. But all eyes on Tuesday will be pointed at Warriors-Lakers.
With the Warriors favored by nine points vs. the Lakers Tuesday, let’s take a look at the matchup to see what it tells us on one of the NBA’s biggest betting days of the year.
I AM CONCERNED ABOUT THE MATH PROBLEM
The Lakers were riddled with questions about their shooting in the preseason.
That trend has held true to form, as the Lakers are 30th in spot-up offense per possession (via Synergy Sports) and 19th in 3-pointers generated per 100 possessions. The Warriors, meanwhile, are the third-best team at defending spot-ups and generate the sixth-most 3-pointers per 100 possessions.
Additionally, the Lakers are 19th in spot-up defense, and Golden State is third in spot-up offense.
In other words, there’s a lot of indication that Golden State will generate a ton of open looks, which they knock down very reliably. In addition to all the above data, here’s one more…
The Lakers are dead last in points off catch-and-shoot jumpers logged by Synergy Sports as “unguarded.” The most efficient, most coveted shot in basketball… and they struggle with it.
These little margins really hurt you vs. the Warriors. That’s one reason why the Cavaliers geared their team as offensive and shooter-centric as they could. You have to be able to keep pace.
The Warriors are 11-5 against-the-spread when they make at least one more 3-pointer than their opponent and 11-2 ATS when they make greater than three 3-pointers more than the opponent. If you don’t bring the ammo, you have no shot.
The Lakers’ leading 3-point shooter among rotation players is Lance Stephenson. Yeah. That’s where we’re at. No. 2 is Josh Hart, who is great, but third is LeBron James. After that the only player shooting better than 35% from deep is Rajon Rondo.
Meanwhile, the Lakers’ overall 3-point defense is pretty stout, but they’re vulnerable in one key area. And it’s a big one.