Warriors vs. Lakers Top Picks for Thursday: Back L.A. With Golden State Shorthanded

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NBA Pick: Lakers -4.5 (-110) at Bovada (visit our Bovada Review)

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Lakers -4.5 (-110)
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The Golden State Warriors likely will be missing two starters as they come out of the All-Star break Thursday and visit the Los Angeles Lakers in a national TV matchup.

Which side of the 4.5-point spread at the top-rated sportsbooks has the best value for your top NBA picks? We also have a total play. 

Remember, fans from the Golden State who want to wager on this game should check out our top-rated California betting sites.

Golden State Warriors vs. Los Angeles Lakers 

Thursday, February 23, 2023 – 10:00 PM EST at Crypto.com Arena 

It’s a possible Western Conference play-in tournament preview – who would have guessed that when the season tipped off? – as the Golden State Warriors visit the Los Angeles Lakers on Thursday. It’s the second game of a TNT doubleheader, the first being Memphis at Philadelphia, which I also previewed here at BMR. 

Thursday is the third of four regular-season meetings between the clubs and the first in Los Angeles. They split the first two in San Francisco, most recently playing there on Feb. 11 with the Lakers winning 109-103 in an upset.

In his first game back with the Lakers via trade, D’Angelo Russell had 15 points, six assists, and five rebounds. Dennis Schroder had 26 points, and Anthony Davis had 13 points and 16 rebounds. LeBron James was out as was Steph Curry. Jordan Poole led the Warriors with 29 points but no one else had more than 15. Klay Thompson was just 5-for-21 shooting. 

The teams have split the past four games in LA. 

No Curry Or Wiggins For the Dubs 

Sure, I think we expected a bit of an NBA Championship hangover for the Warriors for a little while this season, but just 29-29 out of the break and ninth in the West? That’s shocking. The Dubs are a brutal 7-22 on the road and that Steph Curry has been limited to just 38 games hasn’t helped. He remains out with a lower-leg injury and will be re-evaluated in a week.  

The Warriors are 9-11 this season without Curry in the lineup and 2-3 since the most recent injury suffered on Feb. 4 vs. Dallas. Jordan Poole has been starting in Curry’s spot and is averaging 27.6 points in games sans Curry.  

Golden State also is expected to be without former No. 1 overall pick Andrew Wiggins. He missed the team’s last game ahead of the break due to personal reasons and apparently those aren’t resolved even after a week plus. Donte DiVincenzo got the start in the last game and had 10 points in 29 minutes, while Jonathan Kuminga saw more minutes off the bench and had 16 points in 22 minutes. 

Can the Warriors Reactivate Championship Drive?

Oddsmakers at BMR’s top-rated books still expect the Warriors to flip a switch and make the playoffs, which means the final eight teams in the West after the play-in tournament. I tend to agree barring more injuries. Golden State is (-240) to make the postseason and (+180) to miss.  

To participate in the play-in tournament, the Dubs are (-135). They are a game back of No. 6 Dallas but also trailing No. 7 New Orleans and No. 8 Minnesota in that chase. To get the sixth seed, GS is (+550). It is the (+450) favorite for both the No. 7 and No. 8 seed. 

The key number for the Warriors is 115: when they hold teams under 115 points, they are 20-3 this season for a winning percentage of .870, second-best in the NBA behind Denver (.875).

The league average for scoring is 114.3 points per game, the highest since 1969-70. Golden State ranks 28th in the NBA in allowing 118.5 ppg. The only teams worse are Charlotte, Detroit, and San Antonio, three of the worst overall teams in the league.  

The Warriors are 2-5-1 ATS against NBA odds in their past eight games. 

LeBron Plans To Play Every Game 

LeBron James had been 5-0 in the captain’s format of the All-Star Game but his team lost to Team Giannis on Sunday in Salt Lake City. I doubt LeBron cares much, and he didn’t play in the second half due to a hand contusion. Nothing that’s expected to keep him out. The Lakers need James to play every game the rest of the way as they are in 13th place in the West at 27-32. 

“It’s 23 of the most important games of my career for a regular season,” LeBron said prior to Sunday’s All-Star Game. “It’s the type of mindset that I have and I hope the guys will have coming back off the break. I don’t want to see myself not being part of the postseason for two years straight. It’s just not part of my DNA. I’m going to figure out ways to make sure I’m available and on the floor for every single one of these 23 games." 

Lakers Path to the Playoffs

To make the playoffs, which means past the play-in tournament, the Lakers are (+155) with no at (-195). To participate in the play-in, LA is (-110). The good news is the Lakers have one of the easiest schedules remaining as their 23 opponents have a combined winning percentage of just .483.  

James has played just once since he broke Kareem Abdul-Jabbar’s all-time NBA points record and also since the Lakers reworked their team ahead of the Trade Deadline. That was last Wednesday, a 120-102 win over New Orleans. James only had to play a season-low 29 minutes and had 21 points, six assists, and six rebounds.

The Lakers are absolutely going to limit his minutes wherever possible. 

That Pelicans victory was LA’s fourth wire-to-wire victory of the season. Los Angeles shot 53 percent from the field, improving to 16-5 this season when shooting at least 50 percent.

Summary and Picks

The Lakers are 2-5 ATS in their past seven, but LeBron missed a few of those. It’s now must-win time.

Perhaps consider the moneyline under (-200) as I am confident LA wins but that 4.5-point spread is tricky

Have to go over even the big total as the Lakers are about as bad defensively as the Warriors are, allowing 118.2 ppg. The over is 5-1 in the past six meetings. 

NBA Pick: Lakers -4.5 (-110) at Bovada 

NBA Pick: Over 238 (-110) at BetOnline (visit our BetOnline Review)

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Over 238 (-110)
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*The line and/or odds on picks in this article might have moved since the content was commissioned. For updated line movements, visit BMR’s free betting odds product.