Lakers vs. Warriors Game 5: Trust L.A.'s Defense on the Road

Action Network's Joe Dellera previews how to bet Lakers vs. Warriors, including updated odds, picks and predictions for Wednesday's NBA Playoff game.

Lakers vs. Warriors Odds

Lakers Odds +7
Warriors Odds -7
Over/Under 226
Time 10 p.m. ET
Odds via FanDuel. Get up-to-the-minute NBA odds here.

LeBron James, Stephen Curry and a 3-1 series lead. It feels as if we’ve been here before, but this is quite the remix.

On Monday night, the Los Angeles Lakers took a commanding series lead with an incredible bench performance from Lonnie Walker IV who scored all 15 of his points in the fourth quarter. Now the Lakers head back to San Francisco to face the Golden State Warriors in what will certainly be a desperation game for the reigning champions.

Can the Lakers close this series out on the road at the Chase Center or will Curry and Co. mount a heroic comeback? Let’s dive into the odds and angles for Game 5 in the Lakers vs Warriors betting preview.

>> Download The Action Network App to get real-time NBA odds, track your bets and follow all of our experts’ picks.

Los Angeles Lakers

The Lakers have consistently tinkered with their lineups throughout this series and the latest individual to get the call was Walker and he came through for the Lakers in the fourth Quarter. The Lakers have given Walker minutes that previously belonged to Rui Hachimura and Jarred Vanderbilt and it’s paid dividends on both sides of the floor. These changes were tactical. Hachimura does not have enough speed defensively and Vanderbilt’s lack of offensive prowess (see: shooting) limited the spacing on the offensive side of the floor. This drew the defense in and clogged the paint for James and Anthony Davis.

This last game was fascinating because both teams struggled immensely to score — the Lakers simply outlasted the Warriors. They’ve thrown a million different looks at Curry on the defensive side of the ball ranging from Davis in a high drop, to switching AD onto Curry. These all proved effective enough because even with Curry’s 31-point triple-double, his Points Per Shot Attempt of 100.0 on 12-of-30 from the field and 3-of-14 from 3 wasn’t close to his normal rate of efficiency. The Lakers are testing him at every turn and taxing him with their defense.

On the offensive side of the ball, the Lakers have sought out Curry in pick-and-rolls and have tried to force him to switch into the action. They’re generally seeking this matchup when James has the basketball and he goes immediately into that patented halfback dive. Curry racked up five fouls and if he is in foul trouble at all, this entire Warriors’ offense will come to a halt. Expect the Lakers to continue this strategy in Game 5.

Golden State Warriors

The Warriors have struggled offensively throughout this series and have an Offensive Rating of 109.3, the second-worst of all the teams in the Conference semifinals. Their biggest issue has been the inability to find consistent offense outside of Curry and even Curry hasn’t had one of his legendary scoring performances in this series due to the Lakers’ defensive scheme. Curry’s points prop of 30.5 is one that he’s exceeded in just two of the nine games he’s played against the Lakers over the past two seasons.

This Pace is still the fastest in this round of the Playoffs (100.13); however, it is a far cry from the Pace of 105.88 these teams played at during the regular season. There is much more nuance from both the offense and the defense, and the offensive process is turning into a grind. Curry is the only Warriors player averaging more than 20 points per game (25.3), followed by Klay Thompson (19.8) and Andrew Wiggins (14.8). No other Warriors are averaging double-digit points.

Draymond Green has made his contributions across the stat sheet with averages of 6.8 points, 6.8, rebounds and 6.8 assists, but that is simply not enough right now. They’ve searched for additional offense due to Jordan Poole’s struggles, but there has been no consistency from the Warriors’ depth.

The Warriors have tried different strategies to open up this offense but they are already playing Curry, Thompson, Wiggins and Green for almost as many minutes as they can handle. Moving Gary Payton II into the starting lineup worked from a defensive aspect, but despite Payton’s 15 points, the move did not open the offense as much as the Warriors needed.

So even though they were able to get Davis to defend the high pick-and-roll they weren’t able to create enough offense for the Lakers to be concerned. The Lakers were willing to live with giving up the perimeter looks and closeout hard on them.

Lakers-Warriors Pick

The Lakers have the opportunity to be the first team since the Los Angeles Clippers 2014 to send the Warriors home during the playoffs before the NBA Finals and this spread has ballooned due to the narrative. It opened at Warriors -5 and has jumped to -7. There is absolutely nothing I have seen in this series that tells me the Warriors should be 7-point favorites aside from the narrative that they are playing for the dynasty.

The offense is struggling, and the Lakers’ defensive adjustments have been successful throughout this series. Curry is great, but he’s been worn down game in and game out.

I think the Lakers can win this game so I’ll sprinkle the moneyline, but my favorite angles here are expecting the Warriors to continue struggling on offense and never be able to pull away from the Lakers in a closeout spot. The Warriors have exceeded their team total just once in this series, and I don’t think it will happen again in a slower Game 5.

Pick: Warriors Team Total Under 117.5 (DraftKings)