Lakers vs. Warriors NBA Odds & Picks: How to Bet Monday Night’s Western Conference Clash (March 15)
Jim Poorten/NBAE via Getty Images. Pictured: Stephen Curry #30 of the Golden State Warriors and Dennis Schroder #17 of the Los Angeles Lakers.
- The Lakers travel to San Francisco on Monday to take on the Warriors.
- Golden State hasn't had a lot of success against good teams this season.
- Raheem Palmer previews the matchup and makes his pick below.
Lakers vs. Warriors Odds
|Moneyline||-135 / +115|
|Time||10:30 p.m. ET|
“Teams still want to beat us and beat us bad. They still have a lot of memories from the last five years.”
That was the reaction Stephen Curry had to the Warriors’ 117-91 loss at the hands of the Los Angeles Lakers two weeks ago.
Despite the Lakers being the superior team, in many ways the performance was an aberration as the game got away from the Warriors in the first quarter and was never competitive. With the season series between these two teams is tied 1-1, they meet again for the third and final time in the regular season.
The Warriors haven’t fared well against elite teams this season, however, they snapped their own four-game skid with a 12-point over the Utah Jazz Sunday. Now they face a rested Lakers team on a back-to-back. So where’s the betting value in this matchup? Let’s take a look at some season trends and find out.
Los Angeles Lakers
LeBron James may be in contention for his fifth Most Valuable Player Award, but the Lakers have struggled without Anthony Davis. Since Davis went down, the Lakers are just 4-6 and rank 23rd in Offensive Rating scoring just 108.1 points per 100 possessions.
The Lakers have managed to maintain their top ranked Defensive Rating (108.3) without Davis and they rank in the top 10 in defending every area of the floor, except inside 6 feet where they are allowing teams to shoot 61.6%, tied for 12th among NBA teams.
Of course, during that 10 game stretch, four of their losses without point guard Dennis Schroder who is one of the team’s few playmakers. Their loss to the Sacramento Kings before the All-Star break also came without James in the lineup.
Although both James and Schroder are back, the Lakers are dealing with their fair share of injuries on the roster. Alex Caruso is out with a concussion and Marc Gasol is out due to COVID-19 protocols. With injuries piling up, we’re likely to see more minutes for Talen Horton-Tucker as well as Wesley Matthews.
This is a team that simply wants to get to the playoffs healthy so it can defend its title. Championship aspirations aside, the Lakers have 34 games to play in 62 days and they clearly aren’t the juggernaut we witnessed earlier this season.
The biggest unknown for the Lakers is who will step up on a nightly basis outside of James while Davis remains sidelined. James scored 18 points and dished out 10 assists in Friday’s win against the Pacers and Kyle Kuzma played a major role in the comeback, scoring a team high 24 points, including 15 in the fourth. Montrezl Harrell continues to be a force off the bench as he scored 17 points and grabbed six rebounds.
We can expect the Lakers to continue taking their lumps during the regular season, but it’s possible they could be better for it come playoff time.
Golden State Warriors
The Warriors have struggled against elite teams this season as they’re just 10-17 against teams at and above .500. They bucked that trend against the Jazz Sunday in a game they led wire-to-wire. Curry celebrated his 33rd birthday in style: 32 points on 10-of-20 shooting (50%) with nine assists and five rebounds.
Unlike the Strength in Numbers Warriors teams, this incarnation is highly dependent on Curry for its success and struggles to find reliable scoring options outside of him.
With Curry on the floor the Warriors score 113.1 points per 100 possessions, which would rank 10th in the NBA over the course of the season. When he’s off the floor, though, the Warriors’ Offensive Rating dips to 98.6 points per 100.
Finding consistent help offensively has been tough for the Warriors this season, but in Sunday’s win against the Jazz, they got 28 points on 12-of-16 shooting from Andrew Wiggins and 16 points on 8-of-11 shooting from rookie center James Wiseman.
It’s safe to say the Warriors aren’t going to get similar offensive performances from their role players every night, especially against teams with top tier defenses like the Jazz or the Lakers.
Although the Warriors may struggle offensively, they rank seventh in Defensive Rating, allowing just 109.2 points per 100 possessions this season. The Warriors are top 10 in defending every area of the floor except for 3-point range, which bodes well against a Lakers team that lacks shooting and gets the majority of points from inside the paint.
If the Warriors can avoid turning the ball over, creating transition opportunities for the Lakers, they should be able to remain competitive unlike their previous matchup.
Oddsmakers opened this total at 222.5, but this feels a tad bit inflated considering this game features the No. 1 and No. 10 Defensive Rating. These two teams are polar opposites in regards to the pace with the Lakers playing the eighth slowest pace and the Warriors playing the second fastest pace.
With the Warriors playing on a back-to-back, I’m projecting a decrease in their offensive output. When the Warriors play on zero days rest this season, they’re scoring just 105 points per 100 possessions, which is four points per 100 possessions worse than their average Offensive Rating for the season, according to NBA Advanced Stats. I have trouble believing they can repeat their offensive performance against the Jazz against a rested Lakers team.
I found the last game between these two teams telling as they played at a pace of 107.4 possessions with the Lakers scoring 22 points on 20 Warriors turnovers. It was an aberration of a game which helped the Lakers score 117 points with an Offensive Rating of just 1.08.
With a short handed Lakers team against a Warriors defense that ranks in the top 10, I’m simply not seeing a high offensive output from this roster.
My projections make this game 219.5, so I’ll take the under 222.5 and would play this down to 221.
Pick: Under 222.5
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