Free Picks: Oklahoma City Thunder vs. Los Angeles Lakers

Thunder vs Lakers NBA
Oklahoma City Thunder vs. Los Angeles Lakers, NBA, Chesapeake Energy Arena

After taking care of business in a wire-to-wire 117-100 triumph over the Houston Rockets on Tuesday night, the Los Angeles Lakers—who boast the best record in the NBA after the win at 9-3—head to the Sooner State on Wednesday for the second leg of a back-to-back against an Oklahoma City Thunder team that is also playing their second game in as many nights after dropping to 5-5 on the year with a 112-102 loss on Tuesday. Expect these two tired teams to contest a shootout on Wednesday night at Chesapeake Energy Arena.

Tuckered Out Teams To Put Up Big Scoring Night (Season Betting Record: 11-12)

The young Thunder—who are giving youngsters 25 years old and under 70 percent of their minutes so far this season—were actually on a bit of a roll before Tuesday night, snagging three straight wins away from home before returning to continue their cold streak at Chesapeake. In fact, the Thunder aren’t just cold in their own arena, they’re straight-up frozen: Shai Gilgeous-Alexander and company have not won at all at home this season, going 0-4 so far this year.

It would seem that the home rut the Thunder find themselves in would make the NBA-leading Lakers spread an easy bet, but with the mind games coach L.A. Frank Vogel has been playing with injury designations for heavyweights LeBron James and Anthony Davis, it’s a nervy question unless you’re betting right before tip-off.

Granted, James has yet to miss a game, and the Brow has missed just a pair, so if you’re willing to wait until it’s confirmed that the big guns are not taking a night off, you can feel comfortable taking the Lakers -9 point spread at -111 odds on sports betting site 22Bet. The fact that the King has averaged 28.1 points per game against the Thunder in his career is also a plus (if he plays) considering the fact that he’s only averaged more against five other teams.

If you’re the type of person that likes to get their picks in early, however, the Game Total prop is a much safer wager on Wednesday night. The number is set at 218.5 as of this writing, which is right in the sweet spot for over bettors. Both of these teams are pretty solid defensively, ranking in the top 11 in points allowed per game, which is why we’re getting a more reasonable total number.

This season games have gone over the total eight of 11 times when one or both teams is playing in the final leg of a three-in-four stretch (which both of these teams are) and the game total is between 215 and 219.5. The reason for this strange pattern is not obvious, but the fact that teams generally play lazy defense on no days’ rest certainly has something to do with it.

A total between 215-219.5 is also a strange spot where sportsbooks can’t quite decide what kind of game it’s going to be, allowing for sharp bettors to find value like we’re doing on Wednesday night in Oklahoma. Three of the past four meetings between these squads have also ended over the total and discounting their bubble meeting in August, the past five straight games in this matchup have gone over 218. With that in mind, feel comfortable taking the Game Total Points Over 218.5 prop at -111 on 22Bet to go along with the Lakers spread as long as the King and the Brow hold court.

Stats

  • The OVER has gone 4-1 in OKC’s last 5 games against teams with a winning SU record
  • OKC has scored 100+ in 8 of their past 10
  • L.A. has scored 107+ in 8 of their past 10
  • OKC has gone 0-4 ATS in their last four games on no days’ rest
  • 3 of the past 4 L.A. games have had totals over 218.5

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Alex is an alumnus of Ryerson University's RTA Sport Media program, a contributing NHL, NBA, and MLB writer in the BetPicks.ca team. He has been writing on sports, betting, and fantasy contests for several years, including pitstops as an NFL Editor for theScore and as one of the lead NBA news writers for fantasy sports site FantasyPros. As a lifelong athlete, bettor, and sports fan, Alex is uniquely qualified to help you reach the sports betting success that you've always dreamed of and your wife never believed you could achieve. Follow Alex on Twitter

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