Lakers vs. Warriors Odds & Picks: This Dog is Barking

The woes of the road Warriors continued in Game 4, as the Lakers pulled out a 104-101 win to grab a commanding 3-1 series lead heading back to the Bay.

The Warriors tinkered with a lineup change in Game 4, inserting defensive specialist Gary Payton into the lineup, who pleasantly surprised the masses by contributing 15 points in 23 minutes. The issue, however, is not that the Warriors need defensive help, they need offense. While Payton’s points were a pleasant surprise, the rest of the team struggled against the Lakers’ defense.

With Darvin Ham seemingly figuring out what looks to throw at this Warriors’ team to disrupt their rhythm, I’m left with no reason why the Lakers are as big of underdogs as they are.


Lakers Warriors
Spread +7.5 (-112) -7.5 (-108)
Moneyline +245 -300
Total 225.0

Odds and lines are accurate at the time of publication via FanDuel Sportsbook.


Lakers +7.5 (-112, FanDuel)

Despite the Lakers’ poor shooting in Game 4 (45.2% from the field, 25.0% from three), they managed to grab yet another win on the back of their defense, a trend that we’ve seen repeatedly across the second half of the season.

The Lakers’ defensive rating of 104.1 last game was nearly 5 points lower than their defensive rating for the series and they continue to hold the best overall defensive rating (105.3) among all playoff teams this season. They’ve done this by severely limiting the offensive production around Steph Curry, as they’ve held Klay Thompson to 41.2% shooting, Andrew Wiggins to 44.7% shooting, Draymond Green to 41.2%, and Jordan Poole to 35.3% in this series.

The ancillary pieces for the Warriors have not been able to crack the Lakers’ defense, and the insertion of Lonnie Walker into the rotation for the Lakers over the last two games has only made it more difficult with his on-ball defense.

They’ve also continued to turn the ball over far too often, totaling 16 turnovers in Game 4 after coughing up 19 in Game 3, and 16 in Game 2 (a win). While the turnovers have always been an issue for this Warriors team, they don’t have the ability to push the pace as much as they did over the last few seasons, and without the offense capitalizing, it only hinders the team more.

The Warriors have not shown any reason why they should be 7.5-point favorites against a Lakers team that’s playing this well despite a massive shooting slump from LeBron James. They’re playing worse on both ends of the floor, playing sloppier, and have none of the momentum going into Game 5 outside of being the home team.

That alone is not worth 7.5 points, especially against a Lakers team that is 7-3-0 (+6.0) against the spread this post-season.

Risk: 1.12 units on FanDuel to win 1 unit.

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