LA Lakers vs Golden State Warriors Picks and Predictions
Let’s be honest…Last night’s Eastern Conference play-in/seeding games were not great. But the star power will be out on Wednesday night as LeBron James and the Lakers host Steph Curry and the Golden State Warriors. As of Wednesday afternoon, the Lakers are holding steady as -5.5 home favorites with the total at 218.5 points. The Gold Sheet offers their NBA betting preview for the Western Conference showdown between Los Angeles and Golden State.
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We’re used to seeing postseason meetings between LeBron and Steph in the Finals…not the play-in round (which didn’t exist before this season, but that’s another story). In this win-and-in 7 vs. 8 clash, regular-season meetings suggest advantage Lake Show, which won two of three clashes, blowing out the Warriors in the last two tilts (Feb. 28 & March 16) when minus Anthony Davis. And remember that LA’s 115-113 loss on Jan. 18 at Staples Center came after it blew a 14-point lead in the 4th quarter.
Keep in mind, however, that Golden State was mostly floundering the first half of the season, and certainly so when absorbing the two heavy beatings barely two weeks apart in late spring, during a stretch in which Steve Kerr’s team lost 5 of 6 and suffered other blowout losses vs. the Suns and Clippers. Now, the Warriors have won six straight and eight of nine, with Steph (32 ppg) surging down the stretch to win another scoring title while setting an NBA three-point record for a month when hitting 96 triples in April.
Still, the main question at Staples Center is if the Lakers are really back in gear after their own 5-game win streak to close the regular season, and if LeBron and Anthony Davis are close to full strength after each missing much of the second half of the season. With recent 36 and 42-point efforts, AD seems back in fighting shape, while King James looked effective enough in the last two games vs. the Pacers and Pelicans after missing the preceding two weeks. Still, LeBron hasn’t played more than 32 minutes in a game since mid-March, and did tweak the same ankle that kept him out of 26 of the last 30 games in Sunday’s win at New Orleans.
Game 73: A new journey begins.
But tired is only in the mind. pic.twitter.com/Z1THPI2i5X
— Los Angeles Lakers (@Lakers) May 19, 2021
We’re not convinced, at least yet, that the Lakers are firing on all cylinders. It still might be enough to get them into the first round vs. the Suns as the 7 seed, but Golden State’s recent form with Curry (including recent wins over Utah, Phoenix and Memphis, with Steph scoring 46 vs. the latter in the 8-seed decider on Sunday) suggests this one stays close.
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Founded in 1957, The Gold Sheet is the country’s longest-running sports betting newsletter. Each week, the Gold Sheet team delivers daily analysis on NBA and college basketball matchups, plus comprehensive coverage of NFL and college football games in the fall. For over 60 years, Gold Sheet readers have received Key Releases, as well as access to proprietary power rankings on all teams. The Gold Sheet maintains in-depth point spread and results logs, giving sports bettors and enthusiasts the insight needed to maximize their wagers.
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