The reigning NBA champions are set to have another tough series against an in-state rival. The Golden State Warriors needed to overcome a 2-0 deficit to beat the Sacramento Kings in the first round of the NBA playoffs, and Golden State is now starting at a 1-0 hole after falling to the Los Angeles Lakers in Game 1. These teams combined to score 129 points in the first half, but the game barely finished over the total by the NBA betting odds. That’s something to keep in mind coming into Game 2.
NBA Betting Odds at BetRivers Sportsbook
Golden State Warriors -5 vs. Los Angeles Lakers
Although Golden State was playing at home in Game 1, the Warriors did not get a lot of calls in their favor. Everyone who saw more than 12 minutes of action for the hometown team picked up at least 24 fouls, and that allowed the Lakers to go to the charity stripe a whopping 29 times. The Lakers knocked down 25 of those 29 free throw attempts, while the Warriors were only able to go the free throw line a total of six times on the evening.
There will almost certainly be a correction in Game 2 on Thursday night. Steph Curry had a decent performance in the opener against the Lakers, but he only took one free throw. Curry knocked down six threes and shot better than 40% from the field, but he turned the ball over five times. As usual, Klay Thompson was nearly as effective as Curry, but he needed a few more shots to hit his six treys.
Jordan Poole came off the bench to score 21 points for the Warriors in the 117-112 defeat, while Kevon Looney brushed aside any doubts that he wouldn’t be as effective on the boards against the Lakers. Looney pulled down a whopping 23 rebounds (seven offensive) in Game 1, and Golden state doesn’t want to waste that kind of performance in Game 2 on Thursday night.
Anthony Davis and Dennis Schroder took most of the free throws for the Lakers in the first game of this Western Conference semifinal. Davis had a big game alongside Looney with 30 points and 23 rebounds, and Schroder came off the bench to provide 19 points. LeBron James had a decent performance with 22 points and 11 rebounds, while D’Angelo Russell made a quality impact.
Aside from the free throw discrepancy, the other thing to watch is the perimeter shooting in Game 2. The Lakers struggled from beyond the arc in the first game, but this isn’t their strength. Golden State’s three top scorers each made six threes, yet I expect to see more scoring from Andrew Wiggins and others going forward. That’s a big reason why I like Golden State to cover the basketball betting line on Thursday night.
Over 227.5 in GS-LAL
As I said above, there are some strong reasons to like the Over in this game. The high-scoring first half we saw in Game 1 could be a trend we see throughout the series, and Golden State will have more opportunities at the free throw line here in Game 2. Additionally, the Lakers will probably do a better job of connecting from beyond the arc, making this a higher scoring contest.