Add Thunder to Your NBA Picks vs. Lakers Despite Durant's Injury

Steven Suarez

Friday, December 19, 2014 5:49 PM GMT

We don't know if Kevin Durant will be able to go tonight, but we still like the Thunder's chances of covering the NBA betting lines regardless. Find out why inside.

Odds Overview
Early NBA odds show the Thunder favored by six points out on the road and playing their second game in as many nights. You would have to think the number would be even higher if Durant was set to play, which leads us to believe he may be rested this evening. That's merely a gut call though, so make sure you check on his status before tipoff.

Another high-scoring affair should be on the cards tonight, which explains the O/U of 208.5.

 

Los Angeles Lakers
The Lakers have had quite a bit of time to rest. They've been off since Monday's blowout loss against Indiana.

Coming into the matchup with Indiana, LA had actually picked up three straight victories, but they were completely blown out of the gym by the Pacers. Apparently they couldn't wait to get back to sunny Los Angeles and get some much-needed rest after having to play three times in four nights on that road trip.

While the Lakers' 8-17 overall record leaves a lot to be desired, we'll try and find the positives. Kobe Bryant and company have managed to go 5-4 over their last nine games, and have won three of their last four as we said. They've been playing better basketball and the results are there to show for it.

But, no team has been worse defensively than LA, who have allowed 109.5 points per game on average this season. Russell Westbrook must be licking his chops. Ditto with Durant if he's active and ready to go.

 

Oklahoma City Thunder
They certainly gave it their best effort, but the Thunder came up just short in a 114-109 loss to the Warriors last night. It was a highly entertaining game, filled with some of the best offensive playmakers in the entire league. Westbrook, Durant, Curry and everyone else didn't disappoint us viewers.

Oklahoma City will be wondering what if, though, as they had to do without Durant for the entire second half after he sprained his ankle right before the break. KD had already scored 30 points in the first half and was clearly in the zone, so who knows what would have happened. Instead, Westbrook had to assume almost all of the responsbility, and though he responded with 33 points and eight assists, Oklahoma City wasn't able to secure the win.

We'll have to wait and see how Durant's ankle feels later today, but Scott Brooks' team will be eager to bounce back and notch their eighth win in nine games.

Whereas the Lakers are dead last in the NBA in points allowed per game, the Thunder are atop the pack in first place. That's a little surprising but an impressive feat nonetheless, especially when you consider how much time Westbrook and Durant have missed this season. There's no doubt this team is going to keep racking up the wins and quickly move up the Western Conference standings.

 

NBA Pick
This is not a great spot for the Thunder. We're just going to get that out in the open at the start.

That being said, we think Oklahoma City will come in and take care of business. They looked really good for most of last night's game and seemingly were able to score at will against a Golden State team that had been excellent defensively throughout the season. Just imagine what Westbrook and company will be able to do against the Lakers, who don't play a lick of defense.

Durant's availability is a major question mark, but we believe the Thunder to be the right NBA pick regardless. They should be able to take out last night's frustrations on Los Angeles inside the Staples Center.

NBA Pick Oklahoma City Thunder -4 at 5Dimes