Golden State (39-33) at LA Lakers (42-30)
When: Wednesday, May 19th, 2021
Where: Staples Center,
Los Angeles, CA
Time: 10:00 ET | TV: ESPN
Opening Odds: Los Angeles -6.5/222.5
The most anticipated NBA Play-In game this week will take place on Wednesday night as the Los Angles Lakers host the Golden State Warriors. The winner of this game will clinch the No. 7 seed in the Western Conference and play the No. 2-seeded Phoenix Suns in the first round. The loser will still have a chance to grab the No. 8 seed but will need to beat the winner of the San Antonio Spurs vs. Memphis Grizzlies contest taking place earlier that night. That winner will face the top-seeded Utah Jazz. Both teams come in with some momentum. L.A. has won five in a row, but only covered the spread in two of those, while the Warriors have won and covered each of their last six games including a 113-101 win over the Grizzlies on Sunday. Two of those wins by the Warriors came as underdogs to Utah and Phoenix and they’ll be dogs once again against the Lakers on Wednesday. Los Angeles opened as 6.5-point favorites with a total of 222.5. The line has been bet down to -5 and 219.5 as of Tuesday night.
The Lakers took two of three from the Warriors in the regular season and those victories weren’t even close. Golden State won 115-113 at Staples Center in January, but L.A. completely dominated the next two matchups. The Lakers won by 26 and 31 points in the next two – one at home and the last one in San Francisco. The Lakers shot a season-best 62.8 percent from the field and got a 22-point, 11-assist, 10-rebound triple-double from LeBron James in the most recent meeting on March 15. James sprained his right ankle five days later against Atlanta and sat out 26 of the final 30 games of the regular season.
Superstar Steph Curry wrapped up his second career scoring title Sunday with 46 points in the Warriors’ win over Memphis. It was the 21st game of 30 or more points in his last 24 outings – a stretch in which he has averaged 36.9 points per contest. Curry averaged just 21.5 in the two blowout losses to the Lakers this season but ended up with 32.0 points per game during the regular season on 48.2 percent shooting from the field and 42.1 percent from 3-point land. Over his last five games, Andrew Wiggins put up an average of 21.8 points on a 52.2 field goal percentage. The Warriors are 6-0 against the spread in their last six games overall and 5-1 ATS in their last six as a dog.
James posted 25 points on 11-of-22 shooting from the floor in the win over the Pelicans on Sunday and the team is starting to get healthy. With James playing alongside Anthony Davis plus the just-returned Dennis Schroder, the Lakers will have all their top weapons for this matchup against the Warriors. The Lakers finished the regular season second in the NBA with 106.8 points allowed per game and held the Warriors to only 44.8 percent shooting from the field in three regular season matchups. L.A. is just 1-6-1 ATS in their last eight games as a favorite.
The Lakers are starting to play well and are mostly healthy again, but I can’t resist a hot Warriors team with Curry getting this many points. I say L.A. wins the game, but Golden State keeps it close.
Check out who Bobby Babowski has on his Free NBA Picks page for today.
Pick: Warriors +5