NBA Predictions: Los Angeles Lakers vs. Golden State Warriors

NBA expert Adam Taylor joins the OddscheckerUS team of NBA experts for the 2021 NBA season! He's here with his debut article with his prediction and pick for the 2021 NBA opening night game between the Los Angeles Lakers vs. Golden State Warriors.
Adam Taylor
Tue, October 19, 7:38 AM EDT

NBA Predictions: Los Angeles Lakers vs. Golden State Warriors

When: Tuesday, October 19, 10:00 p.m ET

Where to Watch: TNT

Spread: Lakers -3.5

Total: 226.5

Click Here For Lakers vs. Warriors Odds

Los Angeles Lakers vs. Golden State Warriors Prediction

It's opening night! Basketball season is once again upon us, and in a few hours, we will be watching a competitive game between two teams with championship aspirations. The second of today's contests will feature Steph Curry and the Golden State Warriors as they take on LeBron James and the Los Angeles Lakers in a marquee matchup between two of the Western Conference's most compelling teams.

For those of you who followed these teams during preseason, you will already be aware that the two franchises faced off against each other twice, with the Warriors coming out victorious on both occasions. Before you ask, yes, LeBron did play in both games, and Anthony Davis was suited up for one of them too.
The problem is, the Lakers are still figuring out how to play together. After a summer of acquisitions that saw Russell Westbrook, Carmelo Anthony, Dwight Howard, Kent Bazemore, and several other veterans head to "Tinsel Town," the Lakers are in the midst of developing team chemistry.

On the other hand, the Warriors are relatively unchanged at the top end of the roster. They have also been buoyed by the draft signings of Moses Moody and Jonathan Kuminga, who will both add defensive versatility and youthful energy to the rotation.

Of course, two preseason defeats don't indicate that today's game will end in a similar fashion. However, when looking at the Lakers preseason form, where they lost all of their games, it makes you wonder if they're the favorites for this contest or if they're in for a tough start to the year.

Expecting the Lakers to come out of the gate in a much more cohesive manner is a tall ask, regardless of the individuals on their roster. One of the primary concerns the Lakers will have in tonight's game is guarding the Warriors perimeter game. With Alex Caruso now plying his trade in Chicago, there's bound to be questions about the Lakers' ability to stay in front of Steph Curry.

Furthermore, the Lakers' age will likely play a factor throughout the season, but it shouldn't be an issue in tonight's game. However, you wonder if Andrew Wiggins' explosiveness will cause problems in the lane, especially when guarded by Carmelo Anthony, a defensive turnstile. Regarding perimeter defense, the most important question is if Avery Bradley will suit up tonight following the Lakers' claiming him off waivers on Monday afternoon.

Interestingly, Bradley started the preseason donning a Warriors uniform, but after failing to make the cut, he will suit up in the purple and gold this season. Bradley's reputation as an on-ball defender and capability to lock guys down on the perimeter will be a much-needed wrinkle to the Lakers
rotation. Still, having no time to practice or gel with his new team, his position in the rotation tonight remains a mystery.

Los Angeles Lakers vs. Golden State Warriors Pick

What makes this matchup so interesting is the difference in play styles. The Lakers modus operandi will be to pressure the rim and attack the paint at every turn - when you have Westbrook, Davis, and LeBron on the same team, it's the most sensible form of offense. In contrast, the Warriors will continue to carve teams up with relentless off-ball movement and a barrage of attacks from three-point land.

Each team's weakness is the other's strength, meaning this game will come down to who adjusts better throughout the contest. However, neither team is left wanting in terms of experience, and both will be looking to get into the win column right off the bat.

Opting for the Warriors to cover a 4 point spread looks like a solid value bet at -110, while a Moneyline at +140 also projects to provide fair value to risk.

Los Angeles Lakers vs. Golden State Warriors Betting Pick

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