NBA Expert Picks: Our Staff’s Favorite Bets for Lakers-Warriors, 3 Other Saturday Matchups

NBA Expert Picks: Our Staff’s Favorite Bets for Lakers-Warriors, 3 Other Saturday Matchups article feature image
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Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Golden State Warriors guard Stephen Curry (30), Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James (23).

  • Our experts offer their favorite NBA bets and picks for Saturday's loaded 12-game slate.
  • You'll find a number of intriguing betting angles, including historical trends, matchup analysis and whether LeBron can get some revenge against the Warriors at Oracle.

Saturday’s NBA slate is absolutely stacked with a 12-game slate that begins at 5 p.m. ET and features a marquee matchup in primetime between the Los Angeles Lakers and the Golden State Warriors.

Our experts are making picks on the following games:

  • Los Angeles Lakers vs. Golden State Warriors 8:30 p.m. ET
  • Houston Rockets vs. Utah Jazz 9:00 p.m. ET
  • Denver Nuggets vs. Minnesota Timberwolves 9:00 p.m. ET
  • Philadelphia 76ers vs. Sacramento Kings 10:00 p.m. ET

*All odds as of 3:00 p.m. ET

Rob Perez: 76ers-Kings Over 235

I could sit here and throw stats at you all day about why this should actually be 250, but instead I’ll ask because i’m genuinely curious — how do you even make a case for the under?

Two of the fastest, highest-scoring teams in the league playing in Sacramento where the Kings’ home/away differentials are at the top of the league. They wont stop running in this game for 2.5 straight hours.

Again, as long as there aren’t any late lineup scratches, this number should be 250.


John Ewing: Warriors -10.5 vs. Lakers

LeBron James is back, but the oddsmakers don’t care. The Warriors are still double-digit favorites against the Lakers.

When favored by 10 or more points this season, Golden State has gone 17-0 straight up and 13-4 against the spread, covering by 6.4 points per game. Don’t overthink this one.


Evan Abrams: Warriors -10.5 vs. Lakers | Warriors 3Q Moneyline (-150)

I may be a sucker here, but this spot smells like blood for the champs. Warriors coming off a home loss to the Sixers, which snapped a nine-game winning streak.

Golden State led at the half and blew the lead in the second half behind a 20-20 game from Joel Embiid. The Lakers on the other hand, are coming off James’ return and an overtime win against the Clippers — smells like a bad spot for LA.

Under Steve Kerr, the Warriors have played 35 games coming off a straight-up loss, when they open as a double-digit favorite, as they did tonight against the Lakers. The Warriors are 34-1 straight up in such games, with their only loss coming to the Thunder last February.

When the Warriors open as a double-digit favorite at home after a home loss under Kerr, they are win by an average of 20 points per game.


Matt Moore: Jazz -7.5 vs Rockets

The Rockets are 3-4 on the second night of back-to-backs this season, and 0-1 as underdogs. They’re also facing the Jazz, who are on the second night of a back-to-back, but playing at home, with the sting of Rudy Gobert’s All-Star snub lingering.

The Rockets are facing the high-altitude back-to-back as well — games in Denver and Utah — and while the Jazz struggle more than most teams with Harden because of personnel and scheme, the Rockets are still very banged up.

Keep an eye on it late in the event of a Mike Conley trade to Utah, which continues to progress according to league sources, but Houston is in a bad spot right now, Chris Paul is unlikely to play, and the Jazz have been much better over the past month.


Ken Barkley: Timberwolves +1.5 vs. Nuggets | Under 220

This is a rare side-total double for me. Yes, the Nuggets set the court on fire with their offensive performance last night against the Rockets, but that is in no way predictive of what will happen here. If Jamal Murray and Gary Harris both sit again, that still means Denver is up against it depth-wise and offensively, no matter what happened in one game.

On a back-to-back off that game, they go on the road to mediocre Minnesota, which just has to be an emotional letdown waiting to happen.

Looking at the Nuggets/Timberwolves road-home splits, the one thing that stands out is how Denver’s offense falls off a cliff on the road, going from one of the NBA’s elite to the middle of the pack, and how Minnesota’s defense turns up at home.

Those factors combined, plus the potential lack of offensive firepower in the game in general (Murray, Harris, Derrick Rose and Jeff Teague may all end up sitting) make the under attractive at 220. I’ll be the one cheering for the low-scoring let-down game from Denver.

What an exciting life I lead.