Oklahoma City Thunder vs Los Angeles Lakers Preview, Prediction, and Free Pick 1-2-2018




Oklahoma City Thunder (23-13) vs Los Angeles Lakers (21-16)

Date : 01/02/2019
Time : 10:30 pm EST
Location : Staples Center, Los Angeles, California

Pick, Prediction, & Preview:

Oklahoma City Thunder vs Los Angeles Lakers

The Oklahoma City Thunder will travel to Staples Center in Los Angeles California, in which to battle the Los Angeles Lakers on Wednesday night at 10:30 p.m. Eastern Standard Time. The LeBron James-less  Lakers were able to hold a two-game losing streak as they were able to atone for a loss to the Sacramento Kings on the road by beating them in their own backyard as the Kings were able to take a four-point lead at the end of the third quarter; However, the Lakers went on a 29 – 18 run in the final quarter while being led by Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, who led the team with 26 points while Josh Hart also chipped in 22 points for Los Angeles.

On the other hand, the Oklahoma City Thunder are winners of two of their last three games, overall, as they were able to pick up a huge home victory over the struggling Dallas Mavericks at home as Russell Westbrook led the team with 32 points, 11 rebounds, along with 11 assists while Paul George worked his way back into the lineup after injury while scoring 22 points along with four rebounds and four steals for the Oklahoma City Thunder.  OKC has allowed opponents to score only 102 points in the last 3 games. The Thunder are 3-7 against the spread in the last 10  games versus the Lakers at Staples Center while the over has been the play in five of the last seven meetings at Staples Center amongst these two teams.

 

Oklahoma City Thunder's Latest Performance :

And while George certainly looked sharp in his return to the lineup, Russel Westbrook certainly improved upon his play from his last outing as he had 32 Points, 11 rebounds, along with dishing out 11 assists for his 10th triple-double of the season as OKC was  able to split the second of a back-to-back game against the Dallas Mavericks. Jerami Grant also had 16 points for the Thunder who entered the game losers of three of their last four games, overall. Nonetheless, Westbrook was certainly the catalyst in allowing the Thunder to maintain a lead throughout the entirety of the game as he was also a defensive presence for the team as he finished with  four steals on the night. As stated, the Mavericks only were allowed to shoot 41% on the night despite connecting on 14 3-pointers as Harrison Barnes along with Luka Doncic had 25 and 17 points, respectively.

Oklahoma City will now face off versus a Los Angeles Lakers team that they have not faced this year.  With James not being in the lineup for the Lakers in this contest, look for the Thunder to have a huge advantage. Nonetheless, Oklahoma City has simply been average in their last six road games as they picked up wins in only three contests. However, in their last six road games, the Thunder have only allowed opponents to score just 107 points per game.

 

Los Angeles Lakers's Latest Performance :

The Lakers will be without LeBron James for yet another game for this matchup versus the Oklahoma City Thunder, however, the offensive output for the Lakers has certainly not suffered in James’s absence as the Lakers are averaging 115 points in the last three games. Nonetheless, the Lakers are 1-2 without James in the lineup, primarily due to their inability to play consistent on the defensive end of the floor as opponents are scoring an average of 116 points during this time.

And while both teams was on fire when the Lakers met the Kings, the Kings were certainly the aggressor early on as they took a 68-54 halftime lead. Nonetheless, the Lakers were able to have a decent third-quarter while outscoring the Kings 29-18 in the final period in which to pull out a much-needed victory to halt a two-game losing streak. Kentavious Caldwell-Pope led the team with 26 points while Josh Hart chipped in 22 points while pulling down seven rebounds for Los Angeles. Brandon Ingram also ended the game with 21 points, seven rebounds, along with nine assists for a Lakers team that outrebounded the Kings 50-45 for the game while also capitalizing on 13 turnovers from the visitors en route to the victory. Los Angeles will now look to continue their recent success while building some momentum in the meantime in picking up a win over an Oklahoma City team that recently benefited from the return of Paul George to the lineup as he chipped in 22 points for the Thunder in what was their second win in three games, overall.

 

How Oklahoma City Thunder & Los Angeles Lakers Matchup.

Vegas Odds, Offshore Odds, & Odds ATS:

 

Oklahoma City is 20 – 16 against the spread while the OU is  19 – 16

Los Angeles is 16 – 20 – 1 against the spread while the OU is 14 – 22

 

 

In-Depth Analysis of each team:

This will certainly be an interesting matchup as Oklahoma City will look to keep rolling with a fresh line up versus a Los Angeles Lakers team that is dealing with injury at this point in the season while also suffering from defensive mishaps at pivotal points within games. Nonetheless, the Lakers were certainly able to pick up a much-needed win versus the Kings in their last outing; However, they will need to focus in in this matchup vs Russell Westbrook and Company as the Thunder continue to  possess one of the more dangerous offenses in the league.

Against The Spread Selection: Pick:   Oklahoma City Thunder

My reason for the pick :

 

I will back the  Thunder in this matchup as they are simply the better team at this time of the season. And while the Lakers have maintained near normal offensive production without LeBron James in the lineup, expect for them to struggle versus an Oklahoma City team that has really put the clamps  down on opposing offenses all season long. In all, expect for Oklahoma City to push the pace early and often in which two gained a huge advantage that they will carry throughout the duration of the contest en route to a victory.

 

Totals Selection: Pick: Under

My reason for the prediction :

While I have no doubt that Oklahoma City will score points in this matchup, look for their defense to have a solid night as they will neutralize an offense for the Lakers that continues to be up and down, particularly without James in the lineup. It is for this reason that the under will indeed be the strong play as Oklahoma City will scoring enough points in the first half in which to allow them to rely on their defense to preserve a victory over a Lakers team that should be prepared to struggle while their star heels from injury.

Betting trends for Oklahoma City Thunder:

  • Thunder are 0-4 ATS in their last 4 road games vs. a team with a home winning % of greater than .600.
    Over is 5-1 in Thunder last 6 vs. a team with a winning straight up record.
    Thunder are 1-4 ATS in their last 5 road games vs. a team with a winning home record.

Betting trends for Los Angeles Lakers:

  • Under is 8-1-1 in Lakers last 10 games vs. a team with a winning % above .600.
    Under is 6-1-1 in Lakers last 8 home games vs. a team with a winning road record.
    Lakers are 1-5-1 ATS in their last 7 games following a straight up win.

Falepa

A sports analyst and enthusiast, Filipa enjoys writing articles for NHL, NBA, NCAAB, and, of course, for NCAAF. In addition, he enjoys the true art of breaking down games in such as way as to locate certain trends that can impact future contests. With a willingness to research, construct, and relay information that any reader can understand, Filipa aims to provide the reader with interesting & indepth knowledge for upcoming sporting events.