NBA Picks: Thunder vs. Lakers
2012-2013 NBA season straight picks record: 64-46-4
I went .500 in the last week. Let’s see if I can get back on the purely winning side of the NBA odds today.
My first NBA pick that I’ve chosen for today is a mid-afternoon clash between the Thunder and Lakers. Oklahoma City comes in as a -3 or -3 ½ favorite, with a total of 206 ½. Will LA be able to stop the Thunder in the afternoon battle, or will OKC come in and prove who is still the dominant force out West.
Lakers turning corner?
I think I’ve posed this question before in my articles, and the answer so far has been a resounding “no.” However, after LA has lost four in a row SU, (three of which to playoff teams) the Lakers beat down the Jazz the other night at Staples Center.
LA won by nearly 20 points, and it was a team effort, unlike most Laker games this season. Five different Lakers scored in double figures (something that will have to continue if they want to be successful) and Kobe Bryant of all people only took ten shots! He made seven of them which led to 14 points for Kobe, and all four others Lakers in double figures scored more than Bryant.
Obviously one game is a small sample size, but the Lakers did look really good that one time. If they can put a string together of wins throughout the second half, the bombastic nay-saying surrounding this team will quickly change.
Against Utah the other night, LA beat Utah up on the glass (45-30) and fast break points (54-40). Those numbers, along with the balance on offense for the Lakers, will lead to many more LA wins and covers for bettors. We could be seeing the turnaround we all knew was coming. However, against the Thunder tonight, the Lakers will have to play nearly flawless basketball to get the win.
Thunder road warriors
This is the sixth and final game of a long road trip for the Thunder, and on it they have won three of the first five SU. The end of road trips can be tricky. Teams are tired, and after probably ten days of sleeping in a different hotel every night, the Thunder will have to be extra sharp to beat a hungry Lakers today.
It was actually a bit longer road trip than six games, because before this stretch, the Thunder had played on the road in five of their last seven before this stretch. Including tonight, the Thunder’s last nine of 11 games played have been on the road. In that stretch, the Thunder are 9-3 SU, with a big win over the same Lakers team they face today.
The Sharp Pick
All the mentioning of the Thunder and their road trip over basically this entire month has a point. The Thunder, like most teams, suffer more on defense when they are tired, and that has been showing recently, as they have slipped down to giving up and average of almost 98 points per game.
Against the Lakers today, I am giving out a double pick for this one. Obviously a lot of unders have cashed on Sunday afternoon games, but I think the over and the Lakers are the play here. OKC will be tired, and while I expect them to play well, I think the Lakers will be able to score, and win. It’s a unique couple of free picks, but it’s what I feel gives you the best chance at TWO cashes today.
Free NBA Picks: OVER 206 & Lakers +3 ½