There is a case of deja vu here with the Los Angeles Lakers as they open their 2021-22 NBA season as slight favorites, per the NBA betting odds. The Lakers, who have undergone a complete makeover from last season, host the Golden State Warriors.
On paper, the Lakers should beat the Warriors, a team they have gone 6-1 against since Kevin Durant left. Golden State has struggled against the Lakers, but this is a prime spot for an upset as the aged team of Tinseltown may still be rebooting.
|Team||Point Spread||Moneyline||Total||Team Total|
|Golden State||+3½ -110||+135||226 -110o||111½ -115o/-115u|
|Los Angeles Lakers||-3½ -110||-155||226 -110u||115 -115o/-115u|
Warriors: Hot off the Gates
Golden State will need to pounce on the Lakers here. The Warriors did not make too many offseason changes but it does have a solid mixture of veterans and young players continuing to get better. Forward Otto Porter will provide much-needed three-point shooting and defense off the bench.
Other players, like swingmen Andrew Wiggins and Jordan Poole, should be better this season. In fact, the latter has been showing out in the preseason and led the Warriors over the Lakers. Preseason usually means nothing, but Poole is also a contender for this season’s Most Improved Player.
Stephen Curry will also need to play better against the Lakers. He has had limited success going against LeBron James in his career. But the improvements to his team should give him the support he needs.
Lakers: Deja Vu to 2013
The Lakers went 0-6 the preseason and dropped both games against the Warriors. We could think that all of this is pointless, but a similar Lakers team went winless in the preseason and it actually meant something in 2012-13.
That Lakers team also shook things up in the preseason, acquiring Steve Nash and Dwight Howard. Suffice to say, this experiment backfired, and the Lakers started 0-3 and did not become a .500 team until their 62nd game.
The Lakers’ preseason record pic.twitter.com/XpZuZBePq8
— NBA Memes (@NBAMemes) October 15, 2021
We’re not alluding that this “new” Lakers team will be that bad. Betting online for the Lakers can still be a productive affair, but this team will have growing pains. Russell Westbrook will be a dynamo, but as has always been the case with him, get ready to be frustrated.
It’s hard to envision the Lakers beating the Warriors badly. This one may come down to the wire like last season’s play-in game: a three-point victory for the Lakers. Expect there is an elephant in the room that needs to be addressed: Westbrook.
Without throwing too much shade at the former MVP, but his style seems counterintuitive to what the Lakers are. Westbrook plays an uptempo, full-court style with little-to-no defense. This would work better if Westbrook is an able shooter, but he is a career .305 shooter from deep.
The Lakers are also integrating several bench players into the system. The team will play hard-nosed defense and that will keep them in the game. But Golden State has a higher upside here and has more continuity. Take the Warriors straight on the sportsbook.
Pick: Golden State Warriors +135
Regardless of who wins, expect this game to be a grueling defensive affair. Westbrook may try to push the pace, but both the Warriors and Lakers play a slower tempo type of game. That’s why eight of the Lakers’ last 12 games against Golden State have gone under, including four of their last five at the Staples Center. Defense rules this NBA free pick.
Pick: Under 226