Shane McNichol makes his NBA playoff predictions as the Los Angeles Lakers take on the Golden State Warriors in Game 2 on Thursday night.
With just one game on tonight’s NBA slate, bettors will be excited to jump on the Warriors-Lakers matchup. That probably would have been true no matter how many games were scheduled, given the magnitude and the star power in the Game 2 meeting of these Western Conference powers.
Here are my four picks for a same game parlay:
Golden State Warriors -6.5
The Boston Celtics’ win on Wednesday night continued a trend in recent NBA playoff history. Boston became the 15th straight team to respond to a Game 1 home loss with a Game 2 win to even the series. Road teams with a 1-0 are due for a team to sweep the first set of games in a series, yet I don’t like the Lakers chances here.
First, let’s remember that there is a reason a team starts a series on the road. The home team earned their place with a regular season record. We’re not talking about 15 coin flips going the same way – the home teams are likely favored in each of these outings.
That’s the case here, with a Warriors team that let Game 1 slip away but is still favored to win both Game 2 and the series. That is especially true given the Warriors home and road splits this season. Golden State was 33-8 in their home gym, losing three of those games without Steph Curry in the lineup.
The safe pick is the status quo, taking the Warriors to even the series.
Steph Curry Over 5.5 Three Pointers Made
This number is sitting right about where you’d expect. Curry is averaging five made deep balls this postseason so far, on 39 percent outside shooting. In his last 14 playoff games, Curry has topped this mark exactly half the time.
The most important stat here is his attempts. Curry is getting plenty of shots up, with no postseason outings with fewer than 10 threes attempted yet this spring. He took 18 shots from outside the arc in a must win Game 7 at Sacramento, hitting seven of those en route to a 50-point afternoon.
Curry will be looking to attack a weak defensive Lakers backcourt and knows a spurt of made 3s can spark the kind of Warriors run that can seal a victory.
Anthony Davis to record Double-Double
The odds on this prop won’t move the needle much, yet it’s as close to a lock as you’ll find on the board for this game. In his last 21 games, Davis has 16 double-doubles. In all five games in that span when he did not reach ten rebounds, he was just one shy with 9 boards in the game. He hasn’t had a game with fewer than 9 rebounds since March 5.
On the season, Davis has had double-figure scoring in each of the 55 games where he played at least 30 minutes, as he will Thursday evening. He added ten or more rebounds in 42 of those games.
With proper rest and a massive motivation to steal another win, I don’t see how Davis falls short of the mark here.
Jordan Poole over 1.5 Turnovers
I feel bad picking on the Warrior who received the lion’s share of the blame following the Game 1 loss, yet this number feels too low.
In the playoffs, Poole is averaging just under one turnover per game and has only eclipsed this number once. That doesn’t feel sustainable based on his regular season play. Over his last 30 regular season games, Poole posted 2.6 turnovers per game and topped this prop number 23 times. At one point this season, Poole went 40 straight games with at least two turnovers.
I find it way more likely he regresses back to that version of himself at some point soon than he keeps up his clean play of late.