L.A. Lakers vs. OKC Thunder NBA Gambling Preview & Pick

Los Angeles vs Oklahoma City NBA Betting Odds

Once upon a time, the Los Angeles Lakers vs. the Oklahoma City Thunder would have been a Western Conference Finals dream. [ad-4468020]

Los Angeles (10-11) @ Oklahoma City Thunder (17-4)
Friday, Dec. 13 8:00 PM ET @ Chesapeake Energy Arena
Spread: Oklahoma City 12.5
O/U: 208
[dfads params=’groups=63740&limit=1&return_javascript=0′]

NBA ATS Stats | NBA Betting Insight!

Check out our in-house Handicapper!!! Buy Razor Ray’s NBA Picks!

Kobe Bryant vs. Kevin Durant would have been the headline, but this season, we’re looking at the future of the NBA versus the past—Bryant, who is a player trying to prove he is worthy of All-Star consideration, is coming back from a brutal injury late last season, while Durant is thriving as the No. 1 scorer in the entire Association.

Los Angeles

Just as the Los Angeles Lakers began to see a glimmer of hope with the return of Kobe Bryant, Steve Blake goes out with an arm injury for the next six weeks. Typically Blake wouldn’t be that detrimental of a loss, but consider two things:


The point guard has been fantastic on the year, and more importantly, he’s the only remaining healthy point guard on the roster—or at least he was.

At this point in the year, with Blake now lost to injury, the Lakers are without a single healthy point guard on the roster. Jordan Farmar and Steve Nash were lost earlier in the year, and the loss of Blake should force L.A.’s hand when it comes to signing an undesirable free agent early in the year.

Unfortunately for the team, a free agent won’t be signed—and a trade won’t be made—before Friday night’s game against OKC.

Without a point guard, Los Angeles will look for Kobe Bryant to exceed expectations early in the year. He’s only a few games removed from returning from a devastating season-ending injury, and he’s finding a balance between scoring and contributing.
On the season, the Lakers have found a solid level of production on offense. They’re fourth in scoring on the year, at 105.1 points per game, but that was before Blake went out, and Bryant’s contributions have lacked the flare of the pas at this point in the process.

Oklahoma City Thunder

The Oklahoma City Thunder haven’t been making a lot of noise this season, but that just means they’re quietly attacking the entire Western Conference. At this point in the year, the team from the Northwest Division is 17-4, having taken advantage of an early comeback from Russell Westbrook.

On the season, the squad is averaging the 14th-most points in the entire NBA, but the issue is one defense.

Through the first quarter of the year, Oklahoma City is the second-worst team in the league when it comes to points allowed. They’re giving up 103.5 points per contest, which is 29th in the league.

The key against the Lakers, as it will be for every NBA team the rest of the way, will be stopping Kobe Bryant. So far, the 15-year All-Star has proven that he can score when he needs to, but not consistently throughout a 48-minute battle. With Blake gone, the Lakers will be scrambling for an impromptu lineup come Friday, which means OKC will have the edge at home.

Prediction: Oklahoma City 110 – Los Angeles 96

By Cappers Picks

Articles on are written by Q (the Head Honcho) at Cappers Picks or by our resident "in house" handicapper Razor Ray Monohan! Enjoy the free picks folks! "Pad that bankroll one day at a time!"