Warriors vs. Lakers: 4 Ways to Bet Game 6

Action Network contributor Andrew O'Connor-Watts previews how to bet Warriors vs. Lakers, including updated odds, picks and predictions for Friday's NBA Playoff game.

Warriors vs. Lakers Odds

Warriors Odds +2.5
Lakers Odds -2.5
Over/Under 221
Time 10 p.m. ET
Odds via FanDuel. Get up-to-the-minute NBA odds here.

The Golden State Warriors travel back to Los Angeles to face the Lakers in Game 6 of the Western Conference Semifinals.

Some injury questions loom large as we approach Friday night’s game, with Andrew Wiggins popping up on the injury report as questionable with a fractured rib. It’s unclear if he’ll play and his status will be key to a Warriors road win.

Another question mark is the status of Anthony Davis, who left Game 5 after taking an inadvertent elbow to the head from Warriors big man Kevon Looney. Davis is currently listed as probable, but there were some pretty clear concussion concerns after he left the court in a wheelchair with a towel over his face.

Injuries aside, I’ll breakdown the game odds and give out some picks below for Game 6 in my Warriors vs. Lakers preview.

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Golden State Warriors

Golden State looked fantastic last game and Stephen Curry had a rough night from deep. That’s a good sign for the Warriors and their hopes of forcing a Game 7. Still, their production came — as it has all season — from their starting unit and not their bench.

Despite outscoring the Lakers by 15 in the game, Golden State’s bench got outscored by L.A.’s 28-26. I find it hard to imagine that improves on the road, where role players are notoriously less productive.

One of those role players has changed responsibilities lately and has been a key factor to the Warriors success and that’s Gary Payton II. Kerr has adjusted his starting five all series, starting Looney in Game 1 in that vacant fifth spot and JaMychal Green in Games 2 and 3. But the last two games have been all Payton. Playing with the starters allows him the space on offense to cut to the hoop for easy dunks or the occasional wide open 3-pointer.

Game 6 Klay Thompson is all anyone can talk about on the Golden State side and while I wouldn’t steer you away from a Thompson points prop, I’d rather look to Payton II. I like his points over if he starts again, especially if Wiggins is out.

Los Angeles Lakers

Despite a 3-2 series lead, the Lakers find themselves up against the ropes almost as much as the Warriors. With Golden State’s dominance at home and the Lakers aging and injury-prone stars, L.A. needs to win Game 6 on home court so they’re not faced with an elimination game in San Francisco.

LeBron James played 39 minutes last game, but scored just 25 points — not the dominant scoring output we’d expect from a younger James. He’s settling for more 3s and not driving to the hoop as often, averaging just 4.2 free throw attempts per game. Even his assists are down from his postseason average of 7.1 to just five so far — the second-lowest postseason average of his career — while his rebounds at 10.1 are third-highest.

I don’t doubt that James could pull off an incredible scoring performance if needed, but the real key to the Lakers success lies with Davis. He’s integral to what Los Angeles does both offensively and defensively and especially against a Warriors team that lacks size outside of Looney and Draymond Green. More specifically, Davis needs to dominate the glass — an area where the Warriors are weak. In the Lakers three wins, Davis has 23, 13 and 15 rebounds respectively. In their two losses, he has seven and nine.

Lakers head coach Darvin Ham immediately put concerns to rest after the game by telling the media that Davis is doing “really well” and TNT’s Chris Haynes had a similar report about Davis’ healthy status. He’s listed as probable, so it’s unclear if it was all just fanfare or if there is a genuine head injury to worry about.

Warriors-Lakers Pick

This has been largely a series for unders. Both teams have over rated offenses in the half court while their defense has been much better. According to Cleaning the Glass, the Lakers have the eighth-worst offense, but the best defense, while the Warriors have the ninth-worst offense but the fourth-best playoff defense. The under is just 2-3 for the series, but two of those overs were dependent on what number you got compared to the opening line.

I especially like the under in Game 6. According to Bet Labs, since the 2004-2005 season, the under is 89-65 in Game 6. However, in a much smaller sample size, the under is just 2-5 when the Warriors play a Game 6 and 7-6 for the Lakers. Still it’s worth noting the historical trend and I like the under down to 220. If the Warriors force another game, the under is 36-22 (62.1%) in Game 7s and 4-1 with the Warriors involved.

Next, I like the Lakers to cover the spread in the first half at any number. As I mentioned before, this is a desperation spot for L.A. who need to win tonight if it wants to continue its title hopes. There are several first half trends that align with the Lakers this game in addition to the motivation spot.

Finally, let’s get to a few props. I like the over on Payton’s points prop (9.5 at DraftKings) if he’s in the starting lineup and I’d play that to 11.5.

I’ll also have a small play on a same-game parlay over at FanDuel. Let’s take Anthony Davis over 13.5 rebounds and parlay that with the Lakers -2.5. If he dominates the glass like he has in their past wins, the Lakers should come away with a Game 6 victory and if you’ve been following us here at Action Network, you’ll know that the winning team covers 87% of the time since the 2020 season.

Let’s put a small bet down for a rematch of the 2020 Western Conference finals and for Davis to have a monster game on the glass.

Pick: Gary Payton II over 9.5 points (+100) 0.5-units

Pick: Under 221 (-110) 0.5-units

Pick: Lakers -2.5 + Anthony Davis o13.5 Rebounds (+208) to win 1 unit