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May 19th NBA Play-in Action: Golden State Warriors @ LA Lakers


Betting Lakers can contain Steph Curry Wednesday: LA -4.5


FiveThirtyEight makes the Lakers 4.5-7 points better then the visiting Warriors Wednesday per their RAPTORS and Elo frameworks. On the basis of a compelling historical precedent, we are likewise calling for the Lakers to cover versus the Warriors, endng Golden State's playoff ambitions for the second straight season.


The environmental edge goes to LA...


Favorites that made the prior playoffs and that are on at least three game SU win streaks have proven solid bets in post-season action.



Backing teams in this spot has been good for an 18% return on investment since 2005.


Further, when streaking favorites with recent playoff experience met teams off one or more wins after the end of the regular season, the historical profitability of laying the chalk held (36-23 ATS).


Moreover, in instances when competing teams were in the same division, the tally related to betting on playoff-tested favorites with momentum improves to 7-2, for a whopping 51% return (statistically significant at the 90% confidence level, despite the small sample size).


Separately, per CleaningTheGlass.com, the Warriors were outscored by more than 13 points per 100 possessions facing the League's most elite defenses on the road during the regular season (this is relevant because the Lakers boast the 2nd best defense in the NBA). Not surprisingly, Golden State's reduced efficiency from this spot materialized mostly at the expense of offensive productivity. Golden State's output on offense slid about 11 points against premier defenses.


This finding makes intuitive sense given the Warriors' heavy reliance on Steph Curry, the most valuable player in basketball, according to ESPN Real Plus-Minus statistic, and the fifth most utilized player in the League. The 11th year marksman out of Davidson College was good for 133 points per 100 possessions in general throughout the season, but 125 against top-tier defenses. So, the takeaway seems to be, stop Curry and the Warriors' offense prowess diminishes.


Conversely, the Lakers' differential facing the best defenses at home is -0.5 per 100 possessions, about three points worse than LA's aggregate differential (the Warriors rank 5th in defensive prowess). As such, the champs seem to have a material edge by this measure heading into Wednesday's action.


Separately, neither the Warriors nor Lakers have been particularly strong bets this year, but one team has to cover Wednesday. We note the following team-specific trends in effect for this contest:


  • The Lakers are 32-39-1 ATS overall this season,

  • L.A. is 12-17 versus the number laying chalk at Staples Center,

  • Lakers are 5-7 ATS facing the Pacific Division,

  • L.A. is 16-25 against the spread after a win,

  • But the Warriors are 7-16 ATS as road dogs, and

  • Golden State is 4-8 ATS vs. the Pacific,


Happy betting!!


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