Golden State Warriors vs Los Angeles Lakers


Image licensed from USA Today Sports

The Golden State Warriors will travel to the Staples Center on Sunday night to take on the Los Angeles Lakers in a Western Conference matchup. These teams faced off once already this season back on Jan 18 where Golden State went on a 34-21 run in the fourth quarter to win in LA 115-113. The Warriors are seventh in the West with a 19-15 record. They are on a three-game winning streak after picking up a 130-121 victory over the Charlotte Hornets on Friday night. The Lakers are third in the West with a 23-11 record. They are coming off a 102-93 win over the Portland Trail Blazers on Friday night.

The built-in rivalry of Golden State against LeBron James is there and these offenses are very similar so far this year. Let’s take a deeper dive into the matchup to decide where we should be placing our wagers in this game.

Steph Curry With the Shot

The Golden State Warriors have been depending on the output from their point guard Stephen Curry this season as he is averaging 29.9 points, 5.5 rebounds, 6.3 assists, and 1.2 steals in 34.3 minutes per game. He is right around his career averages shooting the ball as he is 48 percent from the floor, 41.5 percent from three-point range, and 94.1 percent from the charity stripe. In his last game against the Hornets, Curry played 36 minutes and finished with 29 points, four rebounds, nine assists, a steal, and four turnovers. If he can figure out how to replicate this performance against one of the top teams in the Western Conference, he should be hearing his name in the MVP discussion soon.

The Golden State Warriors are a below-average defensive team as they are giving up 112.7 points per game so far this season, which is 19th in the league. In their last game against the Charlotte Hornets, they allowed 121 points on 41-of-89 (46.1 percent) from the floor, 17-of-41 (41.5 percent) from beyond the arc, and 32 free-throw attempts. Golden State is going to need to figure out how to have a way better defensive performance if they want to be considered one of the better teams in a loaded Western Conference.

The Chosen One

Small forward LeBron James has been one of the best players in the league as per usual. He is averaging 25.7 points, 8.2 rebounds, 7.9 assists, 1.1 steals, and 0.6 blocks in 34.8 minutes on the court. He is shooting well as he is 50.2 percent from the floor, 35.2 percent from the three-point line, and 69.8 percent from the free-throw line. In his last game against the Trail Blazers, James played 36 minutes and finished with 28 points, 11 rebounds, seven assists, three blocks, and four steals. If he can figure out a way to repeat this performance while Anthony Davis is out, the Lakers would love it.

The Los Angeles Lakers have been a solid defense in the league at this point as they are giving up 106.1 points per game, which ranks 2nd in the NBA. In their last game against the Portland Trail Blazers, they allowed 93 points on 32-of-83 (38.6 percent) from the floor, 11-of-37 (29.7 percent) from beyond the arc, and shot 20 free-throws. If the Lake Show can figure out how to force teams to shoot under 40 percent consistently, it will help them out in the future.

The Bottom Line
What to bet on this game.

Full-Game Side Bet

Three-point percentage is important as the NBA continues to become analytical. The Warriors are 11th in the league with a 37.2 team three-point percentage so far this season while the Lakers are 27th in the league at 34.8 percent as a unit. Passing the ball to the open man can be the difference as more players get involved in the offense compared to iso-ball. Golden State is first in the NBA with a 67.7 assist percentage while Los Angeles is 20th in the league with a 59.2 assist percentage. These teams are trending differently as of late as The Warriors are 6-4 ATS in their last 10 games while the Lakers are 3-7 ATS in the same span. The numbers and trends are all pointing towards going with the Golden State Warriors to go on the road and cover the spread here.

Golden State +4

Want another opinion on this pick?


Full-Game Total Pick

These teams play completely different styles, especially with Anthony Davis being ruled out until the All-Star Break. Looking at pace is a key factor to see how many possessions per 48 minutes will entail for each team. Golden State is second in terms of pace with 103.1 while Los Angeles is 25th in the league with 98.1 possessions per game. Looking at the last five games can tell you a lot of how they are playing lately. The Warriors are averaging 227 total points while the Lakers are averaging 209.2 total points. The Lakers play a very methodical, half-court offense which will slow down the number of shot attempts, and in theory the amount of potential points. All in all, go with the UNDER here.

UNDER 224.5