Lakers vs. Warriors odds, line: Christmas Day NBA picks, predictions from Vegas expert on 11-4 run

 cbssports.com  12/25/2018 22:00:12  2  CBS Sports Staff

LeBron James gets another crack at the defending-champion Warriors (23-11) when the Lakers (19-14) visit Golden State in the can't-miss game of Christmas Day. Tipoff from Oracle Arena is at 8 p.m. ET. This is James' first game against Stephen Curry, Kevin Durant and company since he faced them in the NBA Finals, with Golden State beating Cleveland for its third title in four years. James' arrival turned L.A. from a loser into a 19-14 team that currently sits fourth in the Western Conference. Bookmakers list Golden State as a 9-point favorite, with the over-under for total points set at 234.5 in the latest Lakers vs. Warriors odds. Before you make any Lakers vs. Warriors picks of your own, see what Vegas legend Micah Roberts has to say.

The longtime head of Station Casinos sportsbooks, Roberts now works on the other side of the counter, handing out winners to his followers. He's a scorching 11-4 (73.3 percent) in his last 15 NBA picks.

Now, using his proprietary power ratings, Roberts has uncovered an error in the Lakers-Warriors spread. He's sharing his pick over at SportsLine.

Roberts knows the Warriors have won eight of 10 behind the NBA's most efficient offense. Curry erupted for 42 points in Sunday's scintillating win over the Clippers, and is shooting 49.4 percent from the field and 46.5 percent from deep. Durant continues to do it all. The 30-year-old forward averages 29.0 points, 7.8 boards and 6.1 assists for the 23-11 Warriors, who have one more loss than Denver in the race for the Western Conference's best record.

Draymond Green has broken out of his slump, scoring 14 points in each of his last two games while draining 4 of 9 3-pointers. He remains a force on the board well with an average of close to 10 rebounds per contest in his last five outings. 

But just because Golden State is starting to recapture its championship form doesn't mean the Warriors cover this number against the much-improved Lakers.

Thanks to James' all-around brilliance (27.6 ppg, 8.2 rpg, 7.2 apg, 1.3 spg), the Lakers don't resemble last year's 35-47 disaster. L.A. is attacking the rim, ranking second with 55.6 points in the paint per game, and guarding with enthusiasm (11th in defensive efficiency).

Forward Kyle Kuzma has emerged as a perfect complement to James, averaging 18.1 points while shooting 48.5 percent from the field. The Lakers are 5-1 ATS in their past six games against winning teams. 

We can tell you Roberts is leaning under, but his much stronger play is on the side. Roberts' exclusive power ratings indicate this pointspread is flawed. You absolutely need to see this selection before locking in any picks of your own. 

Who wins Lakers vs. Warriors? And which side of the spread has extreme value? Visit SportsLine now to see which side of the spread you need to jump on, all from the sizzling expert who's nailed 11 of his last 15 NBA picks, and find out.

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