NBA Odds & Predictions: Matt Moore’s Expert Picks for Warriors vs. Lakers Game 6 (May 12)

NBA Odds & Predictions: Matt Moore’s Expert Picks for Warriors vs. Lakers Game 6 (May 12) article feature image
Credit:

Noah Graham/NBAE via Getty Images. Pictured: LeBron James #6 of the Los Angeles Lakers, Klay Thompson #11 and Stephen Curry #30 of the Golden State Warriors.

  • We've reached Game 6 of the Warriors vs Lakers series and the pressure is starting to mount.
  • The Lakers host Friday's game, which is essentially a must-win for LeBron James and Co.
  • Matt Moore details how he's betting Friday's Game 6, with a pick on the spread and total, below.

Warriors vs. Lakers Odds

10 p.m. ET
ESPN
Spread: -3.5 | Total: 219.5

The Lakers had a chance to finish the Warriors in Game 5.

The thing about teams like the Warriors: They're vulnerable, they're beatable. But if opponents don't finish the job, the Warriors will stand there looking at you like Captain America.

"I can do this all day."

Game 5 was low stakes. They were on the road with have two more chances to end the series.

Now, there's real pressure.

The 3-1 lead holds a lot of weight in any matchup with LeBron James and Stephen Curry. If the Lakers let the Warriors force a Game 7, the pressure will be fairly insane. James can handle it. He's been there. Can the rest of the Lakers?

Let's take a look at the most important takeaways from the first five games of this series and how to bet Game 6.

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The Lakers Need to Win This Game for Their Sake

Look at this Lakers roster. They won a title with James and Davis, but the rest of the supporting cast, including the coaching staff is all new. And in those playoffs, the Lakers pretty much rolled through in the confines of the bubble.

How do they respond when they get down, when the pressure ramps up?

On the other side, the Warriors sill haven't lost a Western Conference playoff series, and have never lost a series when Draymond Green, Klay Thompson and Curry played in every game.

They are stubborn and very difficult to eliminate.

Teams that are up 3-1 and then lose two straight to face a Game 7 are 4-7, and 3-5 on the road. The last five teams to blow a 3-1 lead and face a Game 7 have lost.

Andrew Wiggins is questionable with what is being reported as "fractured cartilage" in his ribs, which sounds horrible. The Warriors are the worst defending champion on the road in NBA history. They are 2-4 on the road in the playoffs.

Anthony Davis is likely going to play, having pretty miraculously avoided the concussion protocol after taking an elbow to the face and needing to be wheeled to the locker room.

Everything is set here. The Lakers have to win this. James has to win this. If they don't, then Game 7 Sunday could wind up being the most narratively damaging loss in his career, which is saying a lot for someone who has lost in the Finals as often as he has.

A Land Down Under

Since 2003, unders in Game 6 have gone 97-70-6 (59.1%). Since the Bubble, Game 6 unders are 9-15 (62.5%).

So that's a pretty strong trend that's increased recently. What would be the reason?

By Game 6, a number of things have happened. Teams have cycled through the adjustments. Most new wrinkles are not going to catch the opponent off guard; they've adapted to most things.

The players are also exhausted. Series start with long breaks (like the four-day break to start this series) and then ramp up into every-other-day. The Warriors have played every other day for the last three weeks, essentially.

Free throws are slightly down in Game 6s at 43.1 vs. 46.0 for all playoff games. Games are officiated a little looser as the stakes get higher.

These are two brutal offensive teams despite their firepower. The over hit in Game 5 by the hook, the second time in this series that the over has hit on the hook and there were winning under numbers early.

Klay-Mation

It's a Warriors Game 6, so it's Game 6 Klay time. Thompson averages 20 points per game in Game 6s and shoots 47% from 3 in those games.

Will this be the same? The Warriors need it. Thompson has been so dreadful in this series that the Lakers are now actively daring him to shoot in some situations. They're willing to live with his attempts while selling out wildly to try and prevent Steph Curry from even breathing near the ball.

If Thompson has a big Game 6, he can be the difference and keep the dynasty rolling.

How I'm Betting Warriors vs. Lakers Game 6

Lakers -2.5: Teams at home in Game 6 are 38-26 since 2003, and favorites are 33-16 straight up. Now the ATS numbers are worse, but teams that win this postseason are 40-6-1 ATS (87%).

The Lakers have had enough answers. Davis is going to play, though his status is worrisome. Golden State has been horrible on the road, really beyond description.

It's tough betting against the Warriors when they've never lost a series like this, but the end comes for every team. Maybe this is theirs, with James — who they beat to win their first title and kickstarting their dynasty– being the one to end it.


Under 221: The under is the better bet. It's been rock solid in Game 6s, and I do not feel that the two hook games represent how this series has felt in terms of it being a rock fight.

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