The Oklahoma City Thunder and Los Angeles Lakers will send the league into the All-Star break when they square off at the STAPLES Center later tonight. The Western Conference rivals are scheduled to take the court at 10:30pm ET; their meeting will be broadcast live on TNT. Thursday's latest NBA Betting Odds have Oklahoma City listed as a -11.5 against the spread road favorite and the Over/Under set at 206.5 points.
If tonight's game looks anything like the first meeting between these two teams, the Lakers are in serious trouble. Los Angeles, playing with Kobe Bryant, Pau Gasol, Xavier Henry, Nick Young, and Jodie Meeks, fell 97-122 at the Chesapeake Energy Arena on December 13th.
Unfortunately for the Lakers, none of those players will be in action tonight as they are all nursing some kind of ailment. L.A.'s performance this season, and particularly over the last month and a half, has reflected the team's myriad injury issues.
The Lakers are 5-21 in their last 26 games and they enter tonight's contest having lost nine of their last 11 outings.
Conversely, Oklahoma City, despite the extended injury induced absence of star guard Russell Westbrook, has managed to find success and lots of it.
The Thunder lead the league in wins with 42 and their 19-9 away mark is second only to the Spurs (20-7). Oklahoma City also enters this evening's game on a 14-2 run thanks to Tuesday's 98-95 win over the Trail Blazers at the Moda Center.
Series Notes: The Thunder are 7-2 in their last nine meetings with L.A. and they have procured a 4-1 mark in their last five games opposite the Lakers at the STAPLES Center.
Notable Trends: The Lakers are 2-13 straight up and 3-11-1 against the spread in their last 15 games as an underdog coming off back to back home games.
NBA Betting Odds Oklahoma City Thunder vs Los Angeles Lakers:
Oklahoma City Thunder -11.5 (-110), Over 206.5 (-110)
Los Angeles Lakers +11.5 (-110), Under 206.5 (-110)
Handicapping Tips: Basketball Specialization
Steve Fezzik, from Pregame.com, discusses how specialization in basketball can aid you in your handicapping.
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