NBA fans were treated to a heavyweight bout Tuesday night as the Los Angeles Lakers held off the Golden State Warriors, 117-112, in Game 1 of their Western Conference semifinal best-of-seven series.
The two teams will have little time to rest and recuperate before Game 2 which will take place less than 48 hours later on Thursday night. The Warriors cannot risk going down two games to none before heading south to Los Angeles for Game 3 on Saturday night.
Read on for some in-depth analysis of this riveting series plus betting trends, player prop picks, and more to gain a sharper betting edge.
Lakers vs. Warriors odds
|Lakers Moneyline Odds||+205|
|Celtics Moneyline Odds||-250|
|Spread Odds||Warriors -6|
|Series Odds||Lakers -158, Warriors +134|
|Over/Under||227.5 points (over -110, under -110)|
|Time/Date||Thursday, May 4, 9:00 p.m. ET|
There has only been one game played in this series so far, the aforementioned Lakers victory. In that game, Anthony Davis slammed down a massive stat line of 30 points, 23 rebounds, five assists, and four blocks. LeBron James added 22-11-4 while D’Angelo Russell and Dennis Schroder added 19 points apiece.
The Warriors had three players score over 20 points with Steph Curry (27), Klay Thompson (25), and Jordan Poole (21) also all hitting six three-pointers each. They combined to shoot 18-of-40 from downtown, making nearly half their attempts. Truly a scintillating performance but one that fell short of what Golden State needed to pull out the victory. Perhaps if Poole had taken a step forward on his errant game-tying attempt, the outcome could have been different.
The Lakers won the regular season series between the two teams three games to one. Here’s a more in-depth look at both of these teams.
About the Lakers (5-2 SU, 5-2 ATS, 2-5 o/u)
Los Angeles continues to field the best defensive team in the playoffs this year as it improves to 5-2 overall this postseason and 5-2 against the spread. The Lakers have done this without LeBron at 100% while recovering from a foot injury that multiple doctors told him should end his season. Still, James has been effective, especially defensively, ranking fourth overall in defensive win shares this postseason behind teammates Austin Reaves and Davis, ranked first and third respectively.
In Game 1, Davis absolutely crushed it, joining Elgin Baylor, Wilt Chamberlain, and Shaquille O’Neal as the only players in Lakers history to have a 30-20 game in the playoffs (Source: Magic Johnson). But the big gripe with Davis this year, aside from worrying he just got hurt five times a game, is his inconsistency. The usually dominating big man has not shown his baddest self every game and he may need to if the Lakers stand a chance at winning this series.
The most promising stat for L.A., however, might be that it was victorious while shooting a paltry 6-for-25 from three-point land compared to the Warriors’ impressive 21-for-53. While the Warriors were content letting it fly from deep, the Lakers attacked the basket and ended up going 25-for-29 from the foul line to make up for some of that.
About the Warriors (4-4 SU, 3-5 ATS, 4-4 o/u)
On the other hand, the Warriors made a mere five of six free throws, and while NBA conspiracy theorists may have a field day with the foul shot discrepancy between the two teams, this is a clear result of relying so heavily on outside shooting.
Still, the outside shooting was fairly effective as the Warriors hit on 39.6% of their three-point shot attempts. They quickly erased a 14-point Lakers advantage with under six minutes left in the game, tying it up on a Curry three with 1:37 left. But they were held scoreless the rest of the way, notably missing a chance to even the score on a long Poole three-point attempt with eight seconds remaining.
The Warriors are going to have to figure out a way to stop or at least slow down Davis and they simply may not have the personnel to do so. Golden State will also likely need to attack the basket more in order to come out victorious in Game 2. Thursday night may end up making or breaking the Warriors’ season.
There are no injury concerns for either team at this time.
- Prior to Game 1, the Lakers had played under the total in five of their previous six games.
- The Warriors had hit the under in four of their last six before Game 1.
- Lakers are 9-3 ATS versus winning teams in their last 12 games.
- Warriors are 7-3 ATS in their last 10 home games against teams with losing records on the road.
Player prop trends
- Kevon Looney has grabbed over 20 rebounds in four of his last six games. In the two other games he’s grabbed 14 and 13. He shouldn’t be expected to reach 20 boards every game, but it seems a good bet to take the over on his rebounds and also tab him for the game high in rebounds player prop. Best odds: over 13.5 rebounds (-125, Caesars).
- Anthony Davis’ point totals in the six games of the Grizzlies series look like this: 22, 13, 31, 12, 31, 16. He scored 30 against the Warriors on Tuesday night. He played 44 of 48 minutes and the entire second half. With Game 2 just two days later, all signs point to Davis’ scoring output being lower than average. Even though this is the playoffs and the Lakers need Davis to be great every night, the trends point to him not reaching his points O/U in Game 2. Best odds: Under 26.5 points (-115, Caesars).
Wagers to consider
- At the time of this writing, the line for Game 2 has the Warriors favoured to win at -6. The over/under for Game 2 is 227.5. The Warriors will not want to repeat going down 2-0 to the Sacramento Kings in their last series against a more experienced Lakers team with James and Davis. The moneyline bets for the Warriors should be pouring in, however, but expecting them to cover the spread may be asking too much. Best odds: Lakers +6.5 (-114, Bet99).
- Even though the over hit in Game 1, look for the scoring to cool down some for both teams. Betting the under should be a wise choice. Best odds: under 228.5 points (-120, Betway).