NBA

Oklahoma City Thunder at Los Angeles Lakers Betting Pick

Oklahoma City shocked sportsbooks when they took down the Lakers last Wednesday for the first and only Thunder win of the season so far. There’s no way OKC can make it two in a row over the star-studded Los Angeles squad – can they? 

The betting odds for the Thunder were just +5.5 in the first meeting as both teams were playing on the second leg of back-to-back games, and the Lakers were without Lebron James (ankle). Both teams are rested for Thursday’s NBA picks, and James is back, which is why BetOnline has the Lakers as -14.5 favorites and Bovada -14. 

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Thunder Should Have Confidence

It’s going to be a little tougher for the Thunder to beat the Lakers with James in the lineup, and OKC’s win over L.A. last week was at home as well. Even so, the win over Los Angeles was historic for the Thunder as they rallied from 26 points down to get the 123-115 win – the biggest comeback in franchise history. 

Things haven’t gone so great for Oklahoma City since their only win of the season, however. The Thunder immediately went on this West Coast road trip and lost by 21 to Golden State (103-82) before falling 99-94 at the Clippers in a hard-fought game with OKC +12.5 betting line underdogs. 

The Thunder were up 15 at one point on Monday against the Clippers, so this young team can go on runs. Shai Gilgeous-Alexander had 28 points vs. LAC as well as 27 in the win over the Lakers last week. Rookie Josh Giddey (#6 overall pick) has been a solid contributor with 11.3/5/7/5.9 splits on the season. 

Totals betting for Thursday’s game has the number at just 216 even though Oklahoma City could be without their best defender Lu Dort (questionable – shoulder). The Lakers also haven’t played their usual stellar defense yet this season, ranking 27th in the NBA, giving up over 112 ppg. 

Lakers Seek Retribution

There’s no way the Lakers are going to look back at last week’s loss to the Thunder and say that’s where the season got away from them. In fact, that’s the only defeat Los Angeles has suffered in the last five games while they were also playing on 0 days rest and without their best player. 

Still blowing a 26-point lead to one of the worst teams in the NBA may put a little extra kick in L.A’s step for the rematch as part of Thursday’s NBA picks. That’s especially true for Lakers PG Russell Westbrook, who spent 11 seasons with the Thunder and was also ejected in last week’s game for getting his second technical foul of the game in the closing seconds. 

Westbrook had 20/14/13 in last week’s game while Anthony Davis had a 30-point night as both teams got more usage with James out of the lineup. The Lakers have rattled off three wins since then, but that has come against Cleveland (113-101), Houston (95-85), and the Rockets again (119-117). That’s three bad teams, and the Lakers didn’t cover Thursday’s -14.5 point betting lines in any of them. 

Thunder at Lakers Pick

Using the term ‘revenge game’ is a little harsh for two teams with different goals for this season, but the Thunder beating the Lakers last week was league-wide news. 

There’s little to no doubt that the Lakers can cruise to an easy win in this game as they are by far the more talented team. That’s what Los Angeles has done in their last three wins – do just enough to get the victory against the Cavs and Rockets twice. L.A. eases their foot off the gas, though, and that’s not good when trying to cover the betting odds. 

Pick: Thunder +14.5

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