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NBA Free Picks: Los Angeles Lakers vs. Oklahoma City Thunder

Free Pro Basketball Pick  

Los Angeles Lakers at Oklahoma City Thunder

The Los Angeles Lakers are looking to continue their strong play but they will be tested against one of the best teams in the NBA. Oklahoma City hopes to find a way to defend Dwight Howard and Kobe Bryant. The Lakers travel to Chesapeake Energy Arena in Oklahoma City to take on the Thunder at 9:30pmET (TNT).

NBA Current Betting Odds:

The Oklahoma City Thunder are a 8.5-point betting odds favorite and it opened at 8. The total opened at 213.5 in most books and remained there in most books.

Latest games

The Lakers (30-30 SU, 24-35-1 ATS, 30-29-1 O/U) have won five of their last six including a 99-98 home win over Atlanta on Sunday, giving 5.5. Five of the last seven matchups have gone over the total bet.

Oklahoma City (43-16 SU, 35-22-2 ATS, 31-28 O/U) is coming off a 108-104 win over the Los Angeles Clippers on the road, 108-104 getting 3. They have won four of their last five games and three of the last four matchups have gone under the total bet.  

Most Recent Matchups:  

Last game (1/27/13) LOS ANGELES LAKERS (+3) over Oklahoma City, 105-96. The Thunder have won four of the last five in this series.

How do they matchup?

The Lakers match up pretty well even with Pau Gasol (foot) on the bench. That's because Early Clark (6-9, 225) gives them a much more athletic option. Clark scored 11 points in 23 minutes in the first matchup on Jan. 27 when the Lakers upset the Thunder at home. In fact, the Lakers could have won this by a lot more than nine points had Dwight Howard (2-of-10 FT) performed better at the foul line.

Kevin Durant (35 points) will score the ball, but so will Kobe Bryant, who had 21 points in the first game. Steve Nash also had one of his best games (17 points) coming off an abdominal injury.
Key betting trends

Los Angeles Lakers are:
  • 6-2 ATS in their last 8 games following a ATS loss. 
The Lakers are hungry for the last playoff spot

Kobe Bryant guaranteed a playoff spot a little over a week ago and he's making good on that promise. He scored 34 points, including the go-ahead layup to give the Lakers a 99-98 win over Atlanta on Sunday. Atlanta 99-98 on Sunday. The Lakers have finally reached the .500 mark and it took them over two months to get there. Injuries haven't helped but other than Gasol (foot), the Lakers are healthy and playing their best basketball of the season. They have won 13 of their last 18 games and are two games behind the Utah Jazz for the final playoff spot in the Western Conference. 

Bryant is back in his scoring mode as he averages 34.8 points per game over his last five. He has scored 30 or more points 25 times this season. Nash is also getting back to form after a slow start. He averaged 15.3 points per game his last four games and had 10 assists against Atlanta in their 99-98 win on Sunday. The Lakers are playing their best basketball of the season. 
Bryant scored 21 points and had a season high-tying 14 assists in a 105-96 home win over the Thunder on Jan. 27. He's averaging 33.3 points over his last six versus Oklahoma City, including last season's five-game loss in the West semifinals.

The Thunder may have the Lakers' number at home, but expect the Lakers to cover the big number on the road with their motivation to go over .500 for the first time in over two months.

Tuesday's Pro Basketball Free Picks: Go with the Los Angeles Lakers to cover over Oklahoma City

(ATS' Free Picks are strong this season, hitting close to 57%. But for our top selections that hit over 70% of our big games lifetime, check out ATSwins.com's Lock Club, which has won nearly 50 units the last two weeks.  Click here for more information)
Posted in: NBA

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