There will be a total of six play-in tournament games in the NBA's pre-postseason, but no question the one that will draw the most attention from a TV ratings perspective and via betting action is tonight's Golden State Warriors at Los Angeles Lakers matchup due to the Steph Curry vs. LeBron James factor. The Lakers are 5-point favorites on the William Hill Sportsbook NBA odds. "Lakers-Warriors, without question, will be the biggest bet. This game is going to have a huge handle," said Nick Bogdanovich, Director of Trading for William Hill US.
The winner Wednesday will be the No. 7 seed in the Western Conference playoffs and visit the No. 2 Phoenix Suns in Game 1 of a first-round series Sunday. The loser would host the winner of tonight's Spurs at Grizzlies matchup Friday and then that winner visits No. 1 Utah for Game 1 of a first-round series Sunday.
Of course, Curry won his second career scoring title in the regular season, averaging a career-best 32.0 ppg. He joined Michael Jordan are the only players age 33 or older to win the scoring title and joined Jordan, Wilt Chamberlain and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar as the only players with multiple scoring titles, MVPs and championships.
William Hill is giving Curry a sky-high Over/Under of 36.5 points tonight, with the Over a -125 favorite. He averaged 36.8 points in May and the Warriors are 8-1 this month. On the road this season, Curry averaged 31.6 points and just 23.0 points in three games vs. the Lakers.
Meanwhile, Curry also averaged a career-high 5.3 made three-pointers per game. He had seven games with 10 or more three-pointers, an NBA single-season record. Curry is given an Over/Under of 5.5 made three-pointers, with the Over a -145 favorite. He averaged 3.0 makes vs. the Lakers.
As for LeBron, he averages 30.4 points per game in his career against Curry, his second-most against any All-Star he's faced in his career, behind injured Warriors guard Klay Thompson (30.7).
LeBron averaged 25.0 ppg this season and is given an Over/Under of 26.5 tonight. LeBron scoring more than 30 and the Lakers winning is yes-only at +250. For a triple-double, James is +575 for yes and -900 for no. He did have one March 15 at Golden State.
Injury-wise, it appears both teams are in good shape in that everyone who was supposed to play will. The Warriors remain without starting swingman Kelly Oubre due to left wrist soreness, and he's not close to a return. Reserve Damion Lee is out in the COVID protocols. We knew those. The Lakers are listing Anthony Davis as questionable, but he has been listed as questionable essentially all season and will play.
Free NBA pick: Under 36.5 points for Curry
Where does every player appear in our 2021 Fantasy football rankings? And which rookie quarterback will provide shocking value? Join SportsLine right now to get 2021 Fantasy football rankings, all from the model that simulated the entire season 10,000 times.