Warriors vs. Lakers prediction: NBA odds, picks, best bets for Tuesday

The NBA talking heads have had Tuesday night’s Warriors vs. Lakers game circled on their calendars for weeks.

Surely the outcome of this game won’t get blown out of proportion, right? No better opportunity to debate the legacies of LeBron James and Steph Curry for the umpteenth time.

There is a compelling game to be played, however, with plenty of playoff implications for two teams often not accustomed to fighting over postseason scraps.

Here’s a bet to target.

Warriors vs. Lakers odds

Team Spread Moneyline Total
Warriors +2.5 (-110) +120 o235.5 (-110)
Lakers -2.5 (-110) -145 u235.5 (-110)
Odds via BetMGM

Warriors vs. Lakers prediction

(10 p.m. ET, TNT)

The Lakers and Warriors occupy the ninth and 10th spots, respectively, in the Western Conference standings, and while Golden State is pretty much locked in to the final play-in game, Los Angeles — just a half-game back of Sacramento for the eighth seed — still has a lot to gain.

Still, the ninth seed is not totally out of reach for Golden State, so both teams should bring their A-game for the latest installment of this rivalry.

Most sportsbooks list Los Angeles as a two-point favorite, and a small spread seems reasonable given these teams’ overall records and recent hot streaks.

In fact, their solid stretches of play make a spread bet harder to gauge for me.

Both teams have kicked things into high gear since late March (Warriors are 7-3 in their last 10, Lakers are 8-2) and either team winning would fit with recent trends.

That’s why I’m targeting the total. FanDuel has the over/under at 235 points and I’m taking the under.

Even though the Lakers are an NBA-best 44-36 on overs this season, they are just 20-22 on overs at Crypto.com Arena. As for Golden State, it goes over at a 15-23 rate on the road, which is sixth-worst in the league.

This tells me that the game will be lower-scoring than the total indicates. And it is likely to have a playoff-like feel and a higher defensive intensity with both teams ramping up for the postseason.

Anthony Davis and the Lakers host the Warriors on Tuesday.
Anthony Davis and the Lakers host the Warriors on Tuesday. USA TODAY Sports via Reuters Con

Plus, it looks like Anthony Davis will suit up after suffering an eye injury against Minnesota on Sunday.

Davis remains one of the best defenders in the NBA and ranks eighth in defensive rating and top three in both rebounds (12.6) and steals (2.4) per game. The Lakers defense also improves with him on the floor.

It also seems clear that NBA officials have called fewer fouls after the All-Star break, and who benefits more from that than Draymond Green?

He’s been able to play with just a little bit more physicality, and in turn, the Warriors have allowed 110 points or fewer in 14 of their 25 games after the break.

Betting on the NBA?

Warriors vs. Lakers pick

The biggest red flag to the under is that the three previous three matchups between these teams have each finished with more than 235 total points. But there should be some regression coming with what’s at stake in this game for both teams.

While James and Curry are always capable of dropping 40 points and turning this into a shootout, I’m rolling with the under tonight in the City of Angels.

Pick: Under 235 points (-110, FanDuel)


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