Today's Free Picks for
Posted at 2:15 PM EST. Odds subject to change.
Pinnacle -4½ -113 BET365 -4½ -110 Sportsinteraction -4½ -110 888Sport -4½ -110
Golden State -4½ over L.A. Lakers
10:00 PM EST. In case anyone needed it, Steph Curry reminded the masses that he is the best big game player of his generation and should be included in any G.O.A.T. discussion, as not only a stone-cold shooter but the dude who literally changed the way this game is played for better or worse. About those 3-pointers, the Warriors can drain them from anywhere on the court, making them a nightmare for any defense to handle. Moreover, the Warriors are more than just their franchise player and the Robin to his Batman in Klay Thompson, the Dubs run deep.
What makes the Warriors truly undervalued is their depth. Beyond the star power of Curry and Thompson, they have a well-rounded roster with talented role players who consistently contribute. That depth gives them a significant advantage, especially against the Lakers, who roll two deep. What happens if one or both of the often-injured LeBron James or Anthony Davis go down? Even at full strength, the Warriors have the firepower to surpass them.
As for the Lakers, they are the market's darling out West. Never deny the star power of King James or the reach "Showtime" has in the market. The Lakers are like the Celtics, with both teams being a class above the rest when it comes to ranking NBA royalty. However, there is a premium to be paid to back L.A., one that the oddsmakers have already adjusted for.
Perception is reality, and the perception in the market is that the Lakers beat a solid Memphis team that was the #2 seed in the West. On paper, maybe it looks that way, but Memphis' season was totally derailed by Ja Morant and his gun-wielding antics in a Denver strip club back in March. The Grizz went 7-1 without their star down the stretch and never adjusted to him being back in the lineup. We can't speak to the mood in the Memphis room, but it would not be surprising if Morant lost the respect and trust of his teammates, which would help to explain the Grizz's total implosion.
Meanwhile, the perception of the Warriors in the first round is that they struggled with the "no-name" Kings, but that warped view could not be further from the truth. The Kings are so good it's not even funny, and they are legit. Sacramento is not going to be a one-and-done, and it will not be another two decades before they make the playoffs again. De'Aaron Fox is a stone-cold shooter in the making, and his battles with Curry and company will only make him and the Kings stronger. The Kings were a bad matchup for the Warriors, and now the Dubs take a huge step down in competition. In three home games against the Kings, Golden State was favored by -6½, -7, and -6. Now, the Dubs are just -4½ against the Lake Show? That can't be. We'll gladly swallow these deflated points.
Golden State -4½ -110 (Risking 2.20 units - To Win: 2.00)