Warriors vs. Lakers Game 3: Value on Road Underdog?

Action Network contributor Austin Wang previews Warriors vs. Lakers Game 3, including updated odds, picks and predictions for Saturday's game.

Warriors vs. Lakers Odds

Warriors Odds +3
Lakers Odds -3
Over/Under 227.5
Time 10 p.m. ET
Odds via FanDuel. Get up-to-the-minute NBA odds here.

The star power will be strong on and off the court as the Los Angeles Lakers host the Golden State Warriors in Game 3 of the Western Conference Semifinals on Saturday night. This series is tied at one after the Warriors dominated Game 2 with a 27-point victory.

Nonetheless, the Lakers can consider the first two games a successful endeavor as they stole a game on the road and took home-court advantage.

The totals in the first two games were close and narrowly went over the closing numbers — Game 1 ended with 229 points and Game 2 ended with 227.

Here’s a look at Warriors vs. Lakers Game 3 odds, as well as an NBA betting pick and prediction.

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Golden State Warriors

The Warriors predictably bounced back in a big way in Game 2. It was a textbook “zig zag” spot, especially for the Warriors, an excellent home team with championship pedigree. Can they repeat their success on the road?  The Warriors have been a completely different team away from the Chase Center and are 13-32 straight up and 14-31 against the spread this season on the road. Their Net Rating on the road ranked 23rd in the regular season, per NBA Advanced Stats. However, they’ve been more successful on the road in the playoffs as they won their last two road games against Sacramento, including Game 7.

The Warriors have been bombing away from behind the arc. They went 42-of-95 from 3-point land in the first two games. Stephen Curry primarily played decoy in Game 2, while Klay Thompson did most of the damage with eight 3-pointers. Kevon Looney moved to the bench with an illness, which allowed the Warriors to space the floor with JaMychal Green in the starting line-up.

Playoff road teams coming off a victory of 20-points or more in a series matchup are 52-29-1 ATS (64.2%) since the 2011-2012 season, per the SDQL at Killer Sports. The blowout win gives the winning team momentum and confidence that carries over, even on the road. This indicates a play on the Warriors in Game 3.

Los Angeles Lakers

The big question with the Lakers is which version of Anthony Davis will show up?  He looked unstoppable in Game 1, but was ineffective in Game 2. This inconsistent play has been a trend. If he can come close to the dominating performance he posted Game 1, then the Lakers have a great chance of winning Game 3.

I’ve seen several narratives reference the Lakers being in a bounce-back “zig zag” spot, similar to the Warriors in Game 2. Usually, the idea behind this theory is that in Games 2-5, the team coming off a loss will bounce back as they are one game closer to elimination and motivated to stay alive. However, I’ve found this theory applies stronger to large favorites (4.5 or greater).

Teams in this spot are 279-208-11 ATS (57.3%) since the 2002-03 season, per the SDQL.
Favorites of 4.5 or greater are 179-117-4 (2.71, 60.5%).
Favorites of 4 or less are 100-91-7 (0.85, 52.4%).

With the Lakers only being three-point favorites, this game doesn’t quite meet the threshold. I don’t think this is a smash spot many make it out to be.

Warriors-Lakers Pick

I’ve seen narratives reference the Lakers being in a bounce-back spot and the Warriors’ road woes as reasons to back Los Angeles. However, my data suggests small favorites don’t perform as well in these bounce-back spots. Also, I think the blowout in Game 2 shifted all the momentum and confidence to the Warriors. Sure, Golden State won’t shoot the way it did in Game 2, but I think the Warriors can keep it close and cover the three-point spread. I make this line Lakers -1, so I see some value on the road underdog.