Golden State Warriors Open Up Semifinals with a Bang vs Los Angeles Lakers

Dan Favale
By , Updated on: May 1, 2023 08:00 PM
Golden State Warriors Open Up Semifinals with a Bang vs Los Angeles Lakers

The NBA league office has to be thrilled with the Golden State Warriors taking on the Los Angeles Lakers in the Western Conference semifinals. Stephen Curry vs. LeBron James is the stuff from which lucrative television ratings are made. But who's actually going to emerge victorious from this showdown? That's what we're here to figure out.

First, however, let's take a look at all the pertinent details for the start of this series:

  • What: Warriors vs. Lakers Game 1
  • Date: Tuesday, May 2
  • Time: 10 p.m. EST 
  • Where: Chase Center in San Francisco, California
  • Series Score: 0-0

Go ahead and throw the regular-season meetings out the window when looking at Warriors vs. Lakers. Injuries limited the availability of key players, and Los Angeles, specifically, overhauled their roster at the trade deadline. Both teams have arguably undergone facelifts in the past few months. The Lakers brought in new players, and the Warriors started futzing and fiddling with their rotations. We have seen the odds to win the 2023 NBA Finals increase for each squad as a result.

At present, linemakers favor the Warriors to win this series. And judging from the 2023 NBA playoff betting odds we're seeing ahead of Game 1, these same linemakers strongly expect Golden State to begin this best-of-seven set with a bang:

To WinBetOnlineBovadaBetUS
Golden State Warriors-200-200-225
Los Angeles Lakers+168+170+195

Please remember to double-check these NBA online betting odds until you have actually submitted your wager. Our Warriors vs. Lakers betting odds are accurate as of Monday, May 1. This gives linemakers plenty of opportunities to implement changes prior to opening tip-off on Tuesday, May 2, at 10 p.m. EST. 

Though both teams enter the series relatively healthy, you should still brace yourself for some 11th-hour alterations. Game 1s are always filled with a flurry of betting action that can tip the scale at the last minute as both gamblers and odds providers try to get a handle on the series. This won't be an issue for anyone who has signed up with the right sportsbook. And fortunately, we can help with that. All the information found in our reviews of the top online sportsbooks should allow you to suss out the best online NBA betting sites in the business.

Now, despite being heavily favored in Game 1, the Warriors have been nothing if not a wild card all season. Are they ready to put the inconsistency to bed following their seven-game victory over the Sacramento Kings in Round 1? Or do the Lakers deserve more consideration as they head into Chase Center on Tuesday night?

On Paper, the Golden State Warriors Win the Matchup Battle with the Los Angeles Lakers

While the Lakers cobbled together a strong defensive performance against the Memphis Grizzlies in Round 1, things won't be as easy against the Warriors in Round 2.

Anthony Davis has been everywhere, and then some, all at once. But he will have his hands full on the boards with Kevon Looney or if he's tasked with chasing around Draymond Green, who despite not being a good shooter sets quality high screens and makes plays out of the short roll. And then there's the question of who defends Stephen Curry. Jarred Vanderbilt is more than capable, but will he hit enough threes on offense to justify more than 15 to 22 minutes per game? And if it's not him on Curry, will Austin Reaves be up to the challenge?

After a stellar series against the Grizzlies on offense, Rui Hachimura will be put through the ringer versus Golden State. The Warriors will give Hachimura plenty of wide-open jumpers, which he will perhaps knock down. But he'll have harder defensive assignments opposite players like Klay Thompson and Andrew Wiggins and maybe even Green, all of whom move extremely well without the ball.

Lakers fans will argue that their team has two of the top-three players in this series. They're not wrong. LeBron James and AD remain among the NBA's most dynamic duos. But Los Angeles' supporting cast is a huge question mark in this matchup. They're going to need Malik Beasley, D'Angelo Russell and Dennis Schroder all to shoot better—and probably to chuck more threes as well. The Warriors lead the NBA playoffs in the percentage of their shot attempts coming from distance. The Lakers, meanwhile, rank 14th out of 16 teams in this same category.

This isn't to say Los Angeles doesn't have a prayer. Jordan Poole and Klay Thompson have run hot and cold for the Warriors, and Golden State will have a tougher time rolling small against the Lakers' bigger lineups. Overall, though, we're shocked the reigning champion Dubs aren't larger favorites heading into Game 1.

OSB Prediction: Golden State Warriors (-200)

Golden State Warriors To beat the Los Angeles Lakers

Should We Expect Game 1 Between LA and Golden State to Enter Crunch Time?

Game 1s are always a feeling-out process during the NBA playoffs. This one is no different. And yet, if you look at the latest NBA playoff point spread betting odds for Warriors vs. Lakers Game 1, you're led to believe differently:

  • Golden State Warriors, -5.5 (-110)
  • Los Angeles Lakers, +5.5 (-110)

The Warriors, on average, are beating teams by double digits at home this season. If they're going to win, we bet they're going to win big.

Plus, nabbing a victory by six or more points isn't necessarily a tall ask. The advantage Golden State has in threes made per game currently amounts to nine points. 

OSB Prediction: Golden State Warriors, -5.5 (-110)

Golden State Warriors To cover the point spread against the Los Angeles Lakers

Will Offense or Defense Prevail in Warriors vs. Lakers Game 1?

Linemakers seem to think offense will take precedence in Game 1, as you can see below with the latest NBA playoff over/under betting odds for Lakers vs. Warriors Game 1:

  • Over 227.5 (-110)
  • Under 227.5 (-110)

Kudos to oddsmakers for making this a toughie. On the one hand, the Warriors get up lots of threes and the Lakers look to push in transition. On the other hand, Los Angeles plays exceedingly slow in the half-court and Golden State's non-Steph minutes have bordered on atrocious.

Given how well the Lakers defend overall, along with how stingy the Warriors have been at home this year, we're thinking this game skews more towards lower scoring.

OSB Prediction: Under 227.5 (-110)

Lakers and Warriors To score under 227.5 combined points

Take a look at this list of the top online sportsbooks so you can decide which one to use for all of your 2023 NBA playoffs betting:

Meet the author

Dan Favale

Dan Favale leverages over 12 years of sports journalism expertise in his role as New York staff writer. He provides in-depth analysis across the NBA, NFL, MLB, NHL, tennis, NASCAR, college basketball, and sports betting. Dan co-hosts the popular Hardwood Knocks NBA podc...

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