Golden State Warriors at Los Angeles Lakers Odds & Free Pick ATS

May 19, 10:00 PM EDT

Betting Odds

Point Spread: 
GS +5/LAL -5

NBA bettors get a great match-up to play with when the defending champion Lakers host the Warriors for one of those NBA playoffs “play-in” games Wednesday night in Los Angeles. Both teams come in hot; Los Angeles won its last six games of the regular season, Golden State its last five. Who do we like here for our free NBA pick?

NBA Betting Odds

NBA playoffs betting odds opened LA at -7 over Golden State, with an over/under of right around 222. Early betting action then dipped the Lakers to -5 and the total to 220.

Any bettors out there who think the Warriors might win this game outright could get upwards of +160 on the NBA betting money line.

Warriors-Lakers NBA Betting Preview

This game is not do-or-die; the winner claims the No. 7 seed in the Western Conference and meets Phoenix in the first round of the playoffs, while the loser will play the winner of Wednesday's Memphis-San Antonio game for the No. 8 seed.

Whatever, right?

Golden State finished 39-33 this season, good for eighth place in the Western Conference. The Warriors actually sat a game under .500 three weeks ago, then won eight of their last nine games, including back-to-back victories over the two best teams in the West, Utah, and Phoenix. Most recently, Golden State beat the Grizzlies Sunday 113-101.

So the Warriors are back in the playoffs after missing out last season.

Los Angeles, meanwhile, fought through some significant injuries to go 42-30 this season, which placed it seventh in the West. The Lakers stumbled through a 9-17 stretch from late March into May, then won their last five, beginning with a decision over the Suns. Most recently, LA won at New Orleans Sunday 110-98, covering at -9.5.

LeBron James missed 27 games with injuries this season, and Anthony Davis missed 36. But they're both back now, and while James is nursing a sore ankle, he's going to play Wednesday night.

The Lakers are 30-15 SU but only 21-24 ATS with James this season; 23-13 SU, 17-19 ATS with Davis; and 21-10 SU, 14-17 ATS with both.

LA took the season series from Golden State this year two games to one. The Warriors rallied from 19 points down to win the first meeting back in January outright 115-113 as dogs of 8.5 points in LA. But the Lakers won the next two meetings by scores of 117-91 and 128-97, covering easily at -3 and -1.5.

Somewhat strangely, Davis and James both played in the game. Los Angeles lost to Golden State while Davis missed both Lakers' victories.

NBA Betting Trends

  • The Warriors are 17-23 ATS as underdogs this season.
  • The Lakers are 10-9 ATS when favored by five or fewer points this season.

Totals Report

  • Unders are 42-30 in Warriors games this season.
  • Unders are 43-28 in Lakers games this season.
  • Unders played 2-1 in Warriors-Lakers games this season, which averaged 220 total points against an average over/under of 224.

Golden State Warriors at Los Angeles Lakers Prediction

Golden State's Steph Curry led the league in scoring this season, but Los Angeles led the league in defense. And in a match-up like this, we almost always bet on the defense. Plus, while the Warriors stole one game from the Lakers early this season, LA romped over Golden State in the other two meetings. We expect something similar here. So we like the Lakers here, minus the points.
Free Pick: 
Take the Lakers -5