Date/Time: 01-02-2019, 22:30 EDT
Spread: Los Angeles Lakers +5
In this all-Western showdown between two squads sitting among the playoff places of the conference, the Oklahoma City Thunder, who have lost only once in their last three games, are visiting the Los Angeles Lakers, who are still playing without LeBron James and have ended a small losing streak.
Thunder are 23-13 so far in the league and are sitting on the 3rd place of the Western Conference. They are 2-1 in their last 3 games and in their latest matchup they were victorious against Dallas at home, 122-102. Lakers are 21-16 so far in the league and are tied with Portland in the sixth place of the Western Conference. In their latest matchup they ended a 2-game losing skid with a home victory against Sacramento, 121-114.
Top Basketball BookmakersOklahoma are led in scoring by Paul George with 26.4 ppg. He also adds 8.2 rebounds and 4.1 assists per game, while Russell Westbrook follows with 21 ppg and leads the team both in rebounding with 10.7 and in assists 10.1 per game. Dennis Schroder adds 15.9 ppg and 4.5 assists off the bench. LA are led in scoring by LeBron James with 27.3 ppg. He also leads the team both in assists with 7.1 and rebounding with 8.3 per game but he is currently injured. Kyle Kuzma follows with 18.7 ppg, adding 5.9 rebounds per game. Brandon Ingram adds 16 ppg and 4.2 rebounds per game.
Those two teams met 4 times last year and were tied 2-2 wins. They were 1-1 in Los Angeles with the hosts winning 106-81 and the guests 96-133. LA are 13-6 at home, while Oklahoma are 10-9 on the road. LA have a better offense with 113.4 ppg to Oklahoma’s 112.1, while Oklahoma have a better defense, allowing 105.6 ppg to LA’s 111.4 ppg. LA have a better accuracy both from the field, shooting with 47.9% to Oklahoma’s 45.7% and from behind the arc, shooting with 34.8% to Oklahoma’s 32.2%. Oklahoma on the other hand commit fewer turnovers (14.5 to 15.2) and grab more rebounds per game (48.4 to 46.4), while LA dish more assists per game (24.5 to 22.4). LA don’t pose a threat to Oklahoma at home without LeBron so pick Thunder in this one.
Oklahoma City Thunder vs Los Angeles Lakers Prediction: Oklahoma City Thunder -5 (-122)