One of the most anticipated series in years is going to a pivotal Game 4 Monday night in Los Angeles. The Lakers currently lead the Golden State Warriors two games to one in their best-of-seven second-round NBA playoff series.
The Lakers have the chance to take a commanding 3-1 series advantage or Golden State can tie it up and reclaim home-court advantage. Based on the outcomes of the first three games, there’s really no telling what’s going to happen.
One can always make an educated guess, however, so here’s a deeper dive into this series with some analysis of trends.
Warriors vs. Lakers odds
|Lakers Moneyline Odds||-146|
|Warriors Moneyline Odds||+124|
|Spread Odds||Lakers -3|
|Series Odds||Lakers -198, Warriors +166|
|Over/Under||227 points (over -110, under -110)|
|Time/Date||Monday, May 8, 10:00 p.m. ET|
The games in this series have been hard to accurately predict. In Game 1, Los Angeles led comfortably most of the way, but a late Golden State comeback from 14 points down to tie it helped take it to the very last seconds. Still, the Lakers managed to eke out an upset in what was a thrilling game.
Game 2, however, saw the Warriors storm back into the series and dominate, blowing out L.A. 127-100. The Warriors made a surprise starting lineup adjustment, sending rebounding machine Kevon Looney to the bench to start JaMychal Green. Intended to improve team spacing, Golden State dominated the game from the second quarter on and looked like the unstoppable Warriors of old.
Game 3 had the near opposite outcome. Now it was the Lakers’ turn to make an adjustment and they did so by putting Jarred Vanderbilt on Draymond Green and Austin Reaves on Steph Curry. Lonnie Walker IV also got surprise minutes off the bench, responding with a strong game in a 30-point Lakers blowout victory.
Now, with momentum squarely in the Lakers’ favour, they’ll look to secure a victory on Monday night to capitalize and take control of the series.
|Date||Home Team||Spread Odds||Result||Total|
|May 6||Los Angeles||Lakers -3||127-97 Lakers||229.5 (under)|
|May 4||Golden State||Warriors -7||127-100 Warriors||226.5 (over)|
|May 2||Golden State||Warriors -4.5||117-112 Lakers||227 (over)|
About the Warriors (5-5 SU, 4-6 ATS, 5-5 o/u)
The Warriors were also able to give their starters the fourth quarter to rest in Game 3 as their top players didn’t log heavy minutes. With these games scheduled at two-day clips, and with how much running around the Warriors stars like to do on offence, this should help a little.
But as it usually boils down to with the Warriors, their success comes down to their shooting. In Game 1, Golden State shot a very respectable 21-for-53 from downtown, good for 39.6%, well above the NBA average of 36.1% this year. The Warriors lost when the last of those shots went errant, missing a chance to tie the game. A good shooting performance resulted in a close loss.
In Game 2, Golden State somehow shot over 10% better from outside, hitting 21-of-42 for an even 50%. It was little wonder that this ended up a blowout loss for its opponent. Game 3 saw the Warriors descend back down to earth as they shot a very subpar 13-of-44 for 29.5%, a 30-point loss being the result. Game 4, likely, will hinge on which of these Warriors teams comes out to play.
About the Lakers (6-3 SU, 6-3 ATS, 3-6 o/u)
Three years removed from their last NBA title, there’s growing confidence that the Lakers have a legitimate shot at another one. Their defence through the playoffs thus far has been resplendent in their shine and they have a usually unstoppable force in Anthony Davis alongside one of the greatest players of all time in LeBron James.
But it’s all about the “others,” as former Lakers great Shaquille O’Neal would say. When the Lakers’ role players contribute, Los Angeles becomes a truly scary team and that has been the biggest difference since trading away Russell Westbrook to get back three very solid role players. D’Angelo Russell and Vanderbilt both start and while Malik Beasley has struggled with inconsistent shooting, his time may still come in the playoffs. All three of those players were acquired midseason.
In Game 3, the Lakers were red-hot from downtown, making 15-of-31 three-pointers for a scintillating 48.4%. Both Davis and James were able to sit out and rest in the fourth quarter. The hope is that this leaves Davis refreshed enough to finally cross back-to-back great games off his bucket list for these playoffs.
- Lakers backup centre Mo Bamba is a game-time decision for Game 4 after missing Game 3 with an ankle injury.
- Warriors backup forward Andre Iguodala is out due to a left wrist fracture.
- The over has hit in two of the three games in this series. Prior to Game 1, Lakers games had hit the under in five of the last six contests.
- The Warriors had hit the under in four of their last six before Game 1.
- Lakers are 10-2 ATS versus winning teams in their last 12 games.
- Warriors are 12-29 ATS in road regular season games and 2-3 ATS in road playoff games this year.
Player prop trends
- One of these games, Davis is going to surprise everyone and have a second consecutive big game. The superstar hasn’t had back-to-back games with over 25 pointssince April 2. Look for that to change Monday night as we think AD will have another big game with 25+ points, 10+ rebounds, and 3+ blocks.
- The Warriors’ stars, notably the Splash Brothers – Steph Curry and Klay Thompson – also got some extra rest in Game 3. They realize their season is probably coming down to the line in this Game 4 on the road and it will be up to them to avoid letting the team fall into a 3-1 hole. Look for both of them to make four or more threes. Also, look for Andrew Wiggins to quietly score 15+ points in his usually solid supporting role.
Wagers to consider
- Los Angeles is currently favoured to win Game 4 at -3. In Game 2, the Lakers had Golden State up against a wall at home and the Warriors fought back convincingly with a key adjustment to their starting lineup. Last game, the Lakers answered with their own adjustment and after taking Golden State’s best shot, seem poised to take over this series much like they did against Memphis, going up 3-1 after a hard-fought Game 4. The best bet is to take the Lakers and the points. Best odds: Lakers -2.5 (-107, Pinnacle)
- The Warriors have struggled all year on the road and the Lakers’ defence has been one of the best in the league so watch for this game to hit the under with the current o/u line being set at 227. Best odds: Under 228 (-110, Sports Interaction).