NBA Odds, Best Bets Today: Expert Picks for Lakers vs Warriors

NBA Odds, Best Bets Today: Expert Picks for Lakers vs Warriors article feature image
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Andrew D. Bernstein/NBAE via Getty Images. Pictured: LeBron James #6 of the Los Angeles Lakers and Stephen Curry #30 of the Golden State Warriors during the Western Conference semifinals of the 2023 NBA Playoffs.

  • Wednesday's NBA Playoff slate features two desperate teams down 3-1 at home looking to keep their championship hopes alive.
  • Action Network's NBA analysts have six best bets today featuring a variety of picks for tonight's playoff doubleheader.
  • Read on for their expert picks for Heat vs. Knicks, Lakers vs. Warriors.

Wednesday's NBA Playoff slate features two elimination Game 5s — Heat vs. Knicks (7:30 p.m. ET) and Lakers vs. Warriors (10 p.m. ET) — and it's win or stay home for the Knicks and Warriors who are looking to extend their respective seasons.

Action Network's betting analysts have six best bests today, including two picks aligned on the same spread bet. Read on for their analysis and picks for Wednesday's doubleheader.

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Heat vs. Knicks Spread
Heat vs. Knicks 1H Total
Lakers vs. Warriors Total
Lakers vs. Warriors Team Total
Lakers vs. Warriors Spread
Lakers vs. Warriors Spread

Miami Heat vs. New York Knicks

Pick
Heat +4
Book
FanDuel
Tipoff
7:30 p.m. ET
TV
TNT

Tyler Schmidt: I broke this game down in more detail for the Game 5 betting guide, which you can check out here. Eight of the Heat's last nine games as underdogs have gone over the total points line. 72% of bets are on the over, but that is so hard to trust given both the Knicks and Heat's offensive struggles.

Instead, we're going to back the Heat at +4 and a sprinkle on the moneyline at +145. For what it's worth, I also love the Heat to win the first half at +135. A lot of pressure will be on the Knicks to extend the series and the Heat have already closed out one series on the road.

We will side with the public and take the Heat to extend their heroic playoff run by clinching a spot into the Eastern Conference Title game. This game will be close throughout so even if it comes down to the wire, the Heat will have a great chance to cover since this is a four-point spread.

I would bet this down to +2.5 tonight. Keep an eye on Butler's status, but it is hard to see him not playing a close-out game. Take the Heat in every way that you can in this spot.


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Miami Heat vs. New York Knicks

Pick
Under 107.5 1H
Book
FanDuel
Tipoff
7:30 p.m. ET
TV
TNT

Chris Raybon: Starting with Game 1, the Knicks and Heat combined for 105, 105, 102, and 104 points in the first half, averaging 104.0. This fits an Eastern Conference first-half under trend that has seen totals of 114 or less in Game 3 or later go 89-43-2 (67%) toward the under since 2018, covering by 3.7 points per game, according to our Action Labs data. That mark improves to 67-29-1 (70%) when the teams have only one day between games.

Why is this the case? As a series goes deeper, scoring becomes more difficult. This is due to a couple of factors: (1) fatigue tends to set in with teams traveling back and forth, typically with only one day between games, and (2) familiarity tends to benefit the defenses more, as it’s tougher to catch them off guard after each round of adjustments and counter adjustments.

This is especially true in the Eastern Conference, which tends to play a slower, grittier brand of basketball. The best way to take advantage of this trend is to play the first-half under, as full game unders carry more risk in the postseason due to the teams being more evenly matched (thus increasing the odds of overtime) and the increased stakes, which can incentivize teams to leave their starters in longer, and in the case of a late deficit, play the foul game longer.

No matter how little talent he has at his disposal or who is on the other sideline, Eric Spoelstra refuses to be out-coached. Since Game 2,, his defensive schemes and adjustments have helped hold the Knicks to 47.7 points on 39.1% shooting in the first half.

Offense will be even tougher to come by for the Knicks due to ankle injuries that have afflicted Jalen Brunson, Julius Randle, and Immanuel Quickley, with Quickley likely to miss his second straight game on Wednesday. And that’s on top of the increased minutes load Brunson and Randle have taken on this series. Brunson is averaging 40.4 minutes per game this series after averaging 35.0 in the regular season, and Randle is averaging 38.3 this series, up from 35.5 during the regular season.

Tom Thibodeau is no slouch defensively, either, as his defensive unit has held Miami to 42.5% shooting in the first half this series, including 39.6% at Madison Square Garden. In four home playoff games, the Knicks have held opponents to an average of 45.3 points per first half, with all four of those contests failing to go over the first-half total.

Everything lines up for another slugfest at MSG.

Pick: Under 107 1H — Play to 105.5


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Los Angeles Lakers vs. Golden State Warriors

Pick
Under 226.5
Book
FanDuel
Tipoff
10 p.m. ET
TV
TNT

Matt Moore: There are a few bets I like in this matchup and I broke down the angles of this game and series in my Game 5 betting column (you can read that here). My favorite play, though, is the under.

The under is 2-2, but Game 2 went over by a half-point. This series has trended more and more into the muck. The Lakers will have to play more defensive players with the Warriors focusing on D'Angelo Russell and the Warriors cannot, in any capacity, score inside.

The total dropped two points from the Game 4 total, and then dropped another half-point as 99% of the money is on the under in Game 5.

I simultaneously trust the defenses and don't trust the offenses. I'm going back to the under again.


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Los Angeles Lakers vs. Golden State Warriors

Pick
Warriors Under 117.5
Book
DraftKings
Tipoff
10 p.m. ET
TV
TNT

Joe Dellera: I wrote about this matchup and why I’m betting the spread in the Lakers-Warriors betting guide (you can read that here). There’s another bet that has my eye, though.

The Warriors are suffering from an inability to find consistent offense outside of Stephen Curry and even the reigning NBA Finals MVP hasn't had one of his legendary scoring performances in this series due to the Lakers' defensive scheme.

The Lakers' defensive adjustments have been successful throughout this series. Curry is great, but he's been worn down game in and game out. My favorite angles here are expecting the Warriors to continue struggling on offense and never be able to pull away from the Lakers in a closeout spot. The Warriors have exceeded their team total just once in this series, and I don't think it will happen again in a slower Game 5. I'll play the under on the Warriors' team total at 117.5.


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Los Angeles Lakers vs. Golden State Warriors

Pick
Warriors -7
Book
FanDuel
Tipoff
10 p.m. ET
TV
TNT

Brandon Anderson: This Lakers series is starting to feel a whole lot like their last one.

What happened in L.A.'s first round series against the Grizzlies? A rested Lakers squad emptied the tank in a road opener, stealing home court advantage with a Game 1 win. Game 2 was never close, with the Lakers falling behind by double digits in the first quarter and basically taking the night off, job done after a 1-1 road split. Game 3 was a huge blowout home win for LA, and Game 4 was close all the way but the Lakers got the job done in overtime to go up 3-1.

The Lakers made the flight to Memphis for Game 5 but might as well have stayed home. They went down 14 by the end of the first and never made much of a push, with a low effort game from LeBron James and a 17-point loss in which LA looked content to just head back home and finish the job. They of course did just that, coasting by 40 to close out the Grizzlies.

Now compare to this Warriors series.

The rested Lakers stole Game 1 on the road, then took their foot off the gas and got blown out in Game 2, content to take the 1-1 split. They got a huge win in Game 3 back home, then emptied the tank to just barely get over the line in Game 4 and go up 3-1. So what's next?

I think we see a repeat of last series. LeBron James is 38, and he and Anthony Davis can't bring peak effort every night. This is a tough road spot in a home fortress with the dynasty on the line. Expect the Lakers to dip their toe in early, get some shots up to test the waters, and then go into coast and recovery mode if things don't go their way. I like the Warriors to win big and don't mind an alternate line play if you agree with the angle.

We'll see what happens from there. Maybe the Lakers get that blowout Game 6 win at home and this is the end. I personally think the Warriors are a value play at +419 (Circa) to win the series. The Warriors are home for Game 7 and big favorites here, so it's just one road upset they need. I already bet the 3-1 series comeback too, but you can bet on a big Game 5 home win whether you agree with the path forward from there or not.


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Los Angeles Lakers vs. Golden State Warriors

Pick
Warriors – 7
Book
FanDuel
Tipoff
10 p.m. ET
TV
TNT

Bryan Fonseca: As Brandon noted, this is the same situation as Lakers vs. Grizzlies last series. In Game 5, the Lakers rolled out. They came out flat, never were a threat to take the game over, and whimpered away with a 116-99 loss. Lakers trailed by 12 at the end of the first, and we knew where this was going.

Golden State, much better at home even though they have some worrisome losses in the Bay during the post-season, should clear this and have a big night to save their season.

I think the series over at Madison Square Garden has a better chance of ending tonight than this one — though, we might see multiple Game 6s this weekend.

Stephen Curry has a big night, Draymond Green steps up, and the Warriors take care of business.

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