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Warriors vs. Lakers prediction: Grab the points with Golden State in Game 4

Defending champs will at least keep it close as L.A.’s Anthony Davis again fails to deliver in back-to-back games

Los Angeles Lakers forward Anthony Davis heads into Monday’s playoff game against the Golden State Warriors averaging 22.9 points and 15 rebounds in seven postseason wins, and 18.3 points and 11.7 rebounds in three postseason defeats. (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
Los Angeles Lakers forward Anthony Davis heads into Monday’s playoff game against the Golden State Warriors averaging 22.9 points and 15 rebounds in seven postseason wins, and 18.3 points and 11.7 rebounds in three postseason defeats. (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)Read moreezra shaw / Getty Images

The Los Angeles Lakers have played to a very predictable pattern so far in the 2022-23 postseason.

Beginning with a 108-102 overtime victory at home over the Minnesota Timberwolves in an NBA play-in game on April 11, here’s how things went for the Lakers in their first nine playoff contests: Two straight wins, one loss. Two straight wins, one loss. Two straight wins, one loss.

What happened Saturday night? Los Angeles followed an ugly 127-100 loss at Golden State with a 127-97 beat down of the defending NBA champs at home in Game 3 of their best-of-7 Western Conference second-round playoff series.

So going by the win-two, lose-one pattern, the Lakers are destined to prevail in Monday’s Game 4 at home, right?

Not if another Lakers-related postseason trend continues. And we believe it will, which is why we’re grabbing the points with the Warriors.

Odds updated as of 1:15 p.m. ET on May 8.

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Warriors vs. Lakers Prediction

  1. Warriors +3 (at FanDuel)

  2. Note: Stick with this bet down to Warriors +2.5

Warriors vs. Lakers Prediction: Analysis

Before the postseason started, everyone looked at the L.A. Lakers and said the same thing: They’ll go as far as their insanely talented superstar takes them.

No, that superstar was not LeBron James. It was Anthony Davis, a generational 6-foot-10 power forward whose raw skills match those of any player in the league.

That includes guys named Giannis, Embiid, Durant, Luka, Jokic and, yes, even LeBron.

The only trait Davis lacks that the league’s brightest stars possess in abundance: consistency. It’s an issue that’s cropped up time and again throughout Davis’ 11-year pro career — and particularly in these playoffs.

» READ MORE: Warriors vs. Lakers props: Target Steph Curry, Dennis Schröder in the player prop market

Davis began the postseason with two solid outings against the Minnesota Timberwolves (24 points, 15 rebounds in a play-in game win) and Memphis Grizzlies (22 points, 12 rebounds in a Game 1 opening-round series victory).

Of course, Davis and the Lakers enjoyed five days off between those two contests.

Since Game 1 at Memphis, Davis’ play has been so erratic that his nickname should be changed from “Unibrow” to “On Again, Off Again”.

His points/rebounds numbers in his last nine games going back to the series opener against the Grizzlies: 34, 22, 48, 23, 50, 30, 53, 18, 38. Point totals in those nine contests: 22, 13, 31, 12, 31, 16, 30, 11, 25.

To the surprise of nobody, the Lakers are 5-1 SU and ATS in these playoffs when Davis tops 20 points and 6-1 SU and ATS when he combines for 30 or more points and rebounds.

However, L.A. is 2-2 SU and ATS when Davis fails to reach 20 points (both wins against Memphis) and 1-2 SU and ATS when he fails to tally at least 30 combined points and rebounds (lone win against Memphis).

» READ MORE: Knicks vs. Heat prediction: Back New York as an underdog in Game 4

Now, is it possible for Davis to follow up Saturday’s stellar 25-point, 13-rebound performance with a similar effort in Game 4? Absolutely. But can you bank on it? Hardly.

And while the Lakers were able to overcome their Jekyll and Hyde power forward a couple of times in the Grizzlies series, it’s unlikely to happen against Golden State.

We saw as much in Game 2, when Davis only had 11 points and seven rebounds (to go with four turnovers) as the Warriors rolled to a 127-100 series-tying victory.

As much as Davis’ lack of offensive production hurt Los Angeles in that contest, his poor defensive play was even more of a problem. Davis failed to fight through screens and get out and defend the perimeter as Golden State drained half of the 42 3-point shots it hoisted.

Obviously, not all the blame for that poor defensive effort lands on Davis’ shoulders. But it’s no coincidence that the Warriors scored 127 points and shot 50% from 3-point land in Game 2 when Davis had seven rebounds, three blocks and one steal, but managed just 97 points in Game 3 when he had 13 rebounds, four blocks and three steals.

And Davis played exactly six more seconds in Game 3 than he did in Game 2.

What did Davis do against Golden State in his team’s Game 1 upset on the road? 30 points, 23 rebounds, five assists and four blocks in just shy of 44 minutes.

So it’s clear the talent is there, as is the stamina. Again, though, it comes down to consistency. And right now, it’s simply impossible to count on Davis to deliver back-to-back productive performances.

» READ MORE: Heat vs. Knicks props: Bet on Jimmy Butler to keep shooting in Game 4

There’s a counterargument to all this, of course: Golden State’s entire team has had consistency issues throughout the playoffs. That’s why the Warriors have alternated SU wins and losses in their last six games, and alternated ATS wins and losses in their last nine.

But if those trends continue Monday, Golden State will bounce back from Saturday’s Game 3 debacle. As it is, the Warriors have lost consecutive games just once this postseason (Games 1 and 2 at Sacramento by scores of 126-133 and 114-106).

In fact, going back to March 20, Golden State is 13-5 overall, including 5-1 after a loss.

Will the Warriors continue those solid trends in Game 4 in Los Angeles? We like their chances. But rather than go the moneyline route, we’ll snag the handful of points FanDuel is offering, as these rivals are due for a competitive battle after back-to-back laughers.

Warriors vs. Lakers Odds (via FanDuel):

  1. Point spread: Warriors (+3, -114) @ Lakers (-3, -106)

  2. Moneyline: Warriors (+122) @ Lakers (-144)

  3. Total: 227 points

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