Wednesday Pick: Are the Warriors the New Lakers?

Wednesday, March 14, 2018 11:18 AM UTC

Wednesday, Mar. 14, 2018 11:18 AM UTC

The Golden State Warriors used to be a solid NBA bet, but now they’re swimming in red ink – just like the Los Angeles Lakers after they were past their Showtime peak. The teams meet in Oakland on Wednesday.

Los Angeles Lakers at Golden State WarriorsFree NBA Pick: UnderBest Line Offered: BetOnline

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Nobody gets to stay on top of the mountain for long. The 2016-17 Golden State Warriors might have been the best team in NBA history; one year later, they’re still playing elite-level basketball, but it’s just not the same. For the first time since Stephen Curry was a sophomore in 2010-11, the Warriors (51-16 SU, 28-38-1 ATS) are swimming in red ink. They have passed their peak, and, sure enough, the betting market is late to catch up.

The Los Angeles Lakers used to be that team. Old-school bettors made a mint fading the post-Showtime Era Lakers with their NBA picks, then they did it again after the Shaquille O’Neal-Kobe Bryant marriage began to fall apart. How times have changed; this version of the Lakers (31-36 SU, 37-30 ATS) is a young team on the rise, and in many ways the future is right now in Los Angeles. They’ll visit the Warriors on Wednesday at 10:30 p.m. Eastern on ESPN – but until we know who’s active for the Dubs, the NBA odds for this matchup will be off the board.

The Circle of Life

Like any other dynasty, Golden State’s reign had a beginning, and it will soon have an end. Curry (plus-8.4 BPM) is now in his ninth season at age 29. Kevin Durant (plus-5.7 BPM), also 29, is in his 11th year as a pro. Diminishing marginal returns have to be expected. These two players also account for nearly $60 million of Golden State’s $138 million payroll. The Warriors are having trouble filling in the gaps around them – stupid salary cap.

They’re also having trouble putting a basketball team on the court. Seven players are on their injured list, including Curry, who’s out until at least next Tuesday with a gimpy right ankle. Draymond Green (plus-5.4 BPM) is going to sit this one out with a sore right shoulder. David West (plus-2.2 BPM) has a cyst on his right arm. We’re waiting for word at press time about everyone else.

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Luke Walton on Kyle Kuzma (26P, 13R, 2A): “I thought his competitive spirit was great. He (gave) everything he had to the game. Kept telling me ‘coach I’m ready to go’ after he hurt the ankle.”

— Mike Trudell (@LakersReporter) March 14, 2018

Meanwhile, the Lakers just put the hammer down on the Denver Nuggets, winning 112-103 as 2-point home dogs out here on the Left Coast. They’re 12-5 SU and ATS in their last 17 games, but they have some injury concerns of their own, with Brandon Ingram (minus-1.4 BPM) out since March 1 with a strained left groin and Kyle Kuzma (minus-1.5 BPM) in doubt after he rolled his right ankle in the third quarter against Denver. The usual caveats apply for this game: See who’s at the shootaround, pounce if you think the odds don’t match the two rosters, and consider taking the UNDER in what could be a very ugly matchup.

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