NBA playoffs, Lakers-Warriors spread and LeBron James player prop: Best Bets for May 4

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Golden State Warriors forward Draymond Green (23) shoots against Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James (6) during the second half of an NBA basketball Western Conference semifinal game, Tuesday, May 2, 2023, in San Francisco. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)

Each day, one of our experts will offer up a best bet (or two or three) that mobile sportsbooks are offering. It might be a traditional spread bet, a player prop or one of the various odds boosts that books offer.

Here are our best bets for Thursday, May 4:

TOP PLAY

The play: NBA Western Conference semifinals, Lakers +6.5 over Warriors

The odds: -110

The book: FanDuel Sportsbook

Time/TV: 9 p.m. (ESPN)

Our take: Well, bucking the public helped us on Wednesday, and has been our go-to when trying to stop a down streak. We’re going to the well once again.

Unlike Wednesday when Aunt Mabel figured the Sixers were great in Game 1 without Joel Embiid, so they surely would cover the eight-point spread at Boston in Game 2, she thinks just the opposite with the Lakers’ chances in a critical second game Thursday night in San Francisco.

Don’t be fooled: The Golden State team is not the same one that won it all last year. And quite frankly, I haven’t given the Lakers enough credit this year.

Not only do I think the Lakers keep this tight and make the Warriors sweat until the finish, but I wouldn’t be shocked if they win this one outright (not bad value at +220ish).

They are playing with as much confidence as any other in the NBA, and if they take a 2-0 lead, they could even win this one in four or five games.

LEBRON AS COLD AS ICE

The play: Player prop, LeBron James to make fewer than 2.5 3-point field goals

The odds: -170

The book: FanDuel Sportsbook

Our take: James has been fantastic in the playoffs, especially in the Lakers’ victories, but he has been anything but great from beyond the arc. He has made two or fewer 3-pointers in six straight games after making three or more in six in a row.

In fact, in the six games in which he has made six total 3s, he is 6-of-41 from back there, which could see him try fewer long shots.

HOW WE’VE FARED

Tuesday’s best bets

NBA playoffs: Celtics -8 over Sixers (WON)

PGA, Wells Fargo Open: Xander Schauffele to finish in the top 20 (PENDING)

Tuesday’s record: 1-0, 1 pending

Total for the week: 4-1, 1 pending

Total for May: 4-1, 1 pending

Total for 2023: 92-106, 1 pending

NOTE: If a line or odds are minus, it considers the juice one must lay to place the bet. Ex: Team A is -160 on the money line, one would have to bet $160 to win $100 (or $16 to win $10). OR Team B is a 5-point favorite at -110, one would have to bet $110 to win $100 (or $11 to win $10.)

Conversely, on positive lines, if Team C is +140 on the money line, $100 would bring in $140 (or $10 to win $14).

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