The Oklahoma City Thunder (25-28) visits the Los Angeles Lakers (25-29) on Tuesday night. The action begins at 10:00 pm ET. Next, we continue our series of NBA odds with a prediction, a selection and how to watch the Thunder-Lakers.
Oklahoma City has lost three of its last four games and is ranked 12th in the Western Conference. The Thunder covered 62% of their games while 59% exceeded their projected point total. Los Angeles has won two of its last three, but remains 13th in the West. The Lakers covered 47% of their games while passing 54%. This will be the first of three meetings between the teams. Last season they split the series, 2-2.
Here are the NBA Thunder-Lakers odds, courtesy of FanDuel
NBA odds: Thunder vs. Lakers odds
Oklahoma City Thunder: +7 (-112)
Los Angeles Lakers: -7 (-108)
Plus: 237.5 (-110)
Less: 237.5 (-110)
How to watch Thunder vs. lakers
Television: TNT, Spectrum S.N.
Broadcast: TNT live
Time: 10:00 p.m. ET/ 7:00 p.m. PT
*Watch NBA games LIVE on fuboTV (click for free trial)*
Why thunder could cover the spread
Oklahoma City comes into tonight’s game as one of the most exciting young teams in the league. The Thunder feature an explosive offense that ranks fifth in scoring at 117.3 PPG. They excel at tearing down defenses and getting to the rim as they average 55.5 points in the paint per game, fourth-most in the league. With the Lakers allowing the sixth most interior points per game, expect the Thunder to be very successful on the offensive end.
Point guard Shai Gilgeous-Alexander serves as the engine behind Oklahoma City’s potent offense. The fifth-year guard has exploded in his age-24 season, averaging a career-high 30.8 PPG. However, his nod to stardom is not only due to his scoring abilities, as he also brings in 4.7 RPG, 5.6 APG, and 2.8 STOCKS (steals plus blocks) per game. Although SGA is coming off one of his worst outings of the season in his loss to the Warriors last night, he expects him to come out firing in a high-profile matchup.
The X factor for Oklahoma City tonight has to be wing Josh Giddey. The sophomore pro really began to shine in his sophomore campaign, averaging 16.2 PPG, 8.0 RPG and 5.9 APG. At 6’8″, Giddey has the size to intimidate opposing guards. However, he is still as graceful and skilled as any smaller guard he has ever faced. A triple-double night threat, look to Giddey to have a monster night against a Lakers defense that allows the fourth most points per game.
Why the Lakers could cover the spread
All eyes will be on the Lakers tonight as LeBron James closes in on the all-time NBA scoring record. Entering tonight’s matchup, LeBron has 38,352 career points from him, just 35 points shy of tying Kareem Abdul-Jabbar’s record. There is a very real possibility that James will break the record tonight. Although FanDuel views Thursday’s tilt with the Bucks as the most likely date (-200), tonight’s matchup is still listed at +135. LeBron is certainly capable of breaking the record tonight considering his scoring pace. LeBron is averaging 30 PPG for the season and has eclipsed 36 points nine times this season, including five times in the last month. That said, Thursday’s date with the Bucks seems like too good a story for LeBron to pass up. So I expect LeBron to play more of a dealer role tonight. James is averaging 7.1 APG for the season and has posted double-digit assists in two of his last five outings.
While LeBron’s scoring quest will receive the lion’s share of media commentary, the Lakers’ best chances of covering tonight likely lie on the shoulders of big man Anthony Davis. Now that Davis is healthy, the Lakers are once again a dangerous threat in the Western Conference. AD has been amazing this year, averaging 27.1 PPG, 12th RPG, and 3.3 STOCKS per game. A dominant force in the paint, Davis has been remarkably efficient. The big man shoots 58% from the ground and 83% from the free throw line on nearly eight attempts a night. Davis hasn’t missed a beat since he returned and is coming off a dominating two-game streak in which he eclipsed 30 points and 14 rebounds in consecutive outings. With the Thunder allowing the ninth most points in the paint per game, look to Davis for another monster night.
Thunder-Lakers Final Pick and Prediction
Hype behind LeBron breaking the scoring record aside, I expect this to be a close game and one that the Thunder should easily cover. That being said, if LeBron is going to break the record tonight, I’d like him to do it in dramatic fashion via a late-game free throw.
Thunder-Lakers Final Pick and Prediction: Oklahoma City Thunder +7 (-112) and LeBron to score his 38,388 point in the 4th quarter on a free throw (+2000)