The Oklahoma City Thunder (36-37) visit the Los Angeles Lakers (36-37) on Friday night! Action tips off at 10:40 p.m. ET. Below we continue our NBA odds series with a Thunder-Lakers prediction, pick, and how to watch.
Oklahoma City has won two of their last three games and sits in 11th place in the Western Conference. The Thunder covered 62% of their games while 59% went over the projected point total. Los Angeles has won two straight and sits in ninth place in the West. The Lakers covered 51% of their games while 51% went under. This will be the third and final meeting between the conference foes. They've split the series 1-1 thus far with the road team emerging victorious in each prior matchup.
Here are the Thunder-Lakers NBA odds, courtesy of FanDuel
NBA Odds: Thunder-Lakers Odds
Oklahoma City Thunder: +5.5 (-108)
Los Angeles Lakers: -5.5 (-112)
Over: 230.5 (-110)
Under: 230.5 (-110)
How To Watch Thunder vs. Lakers
TV: Bally Oklahoma, Spectrum SN
Stream: NBA League Pass
Time: 10:30 p.m. ET/ 7:30 p.m. PT
*Watch NBA games LIVE with fuboTV (click for a free trial)*
Why The Thunder Could Cover The Spread
Oklahoma City continues to be one of the most exciting young teams in the sport as they sit in a strong position to make a postseason push as the season enters the home stretch. The Thunder feature an explosive offense that ranks fifth in scoring with 117.5 PPG. They are dominant in the paint – averaging the third-most interior points per game. Consequently, that bodes well for their chances of covering tonight considering the Lakers allow the eighth-most points in the paint per game. While the Thunder aren't great on defense, they do an incredible job forcing turnovers. Oklahoma City forces 16.9 turnovers per game – the highest mark in the league. Conceding the Lakers turn the ball the 13th-most times per game, the Thunder could use their hounding defense to great effect tonight.
If Oklahoma City is going to cover as road underdogs tonight, they're going to need a big night from star Shai Gilgeous-Alexander. SGA has been unstoppable all season long but has taken his game to another level since the All-Star break. Since the break, SGA has averaged 34.4 PPG on 53% shooting. While he is listed as questionable on the second night of a back-to-back, SGA looks like he will play considering the Thunder are vying for a playoff spot.
Regardless of whether or not SGA plays tonight, rookie Jalen Williams should continue to see a high usage rate. Somewhat of an afterthought heading into the season, Williams has exploded over the last few months. The lengthy wing has been especially impactful since the All-Star break, averaging 19 PPG, 5.9 RPG, and 4.6 APG. He's torn the Lakers' defense to shreds in two prior matchups this season, averaging 24.5 PPG while swiping four steals per game.
Why The Lakers Could Cover The Spread
Los Angeles continues to make their playoff push as the Lakers have climbed to ninth place in the West. That being said, the Western Conference is jam-packed and a loss here could have them back on the outside looking in. However, Los Angeles has a great chance to win outright and cover a solid home spread tonight thanks to their improved defense. Since the All-Star break, the Lakers have allowed just 110.6 PPG – the fifth-lowest mark in the league over that span. With a number of capable offensive options, the Lakers should feel good about their chances of covering against a team they dropped 130 and 123 on in their two prior meetings.
If Los Angeles is going to cover as home favorites, they'll need Antonu Davis to continue dominating down low. AD has been locked in since the All-Star break, averaging 25.4 PPG and 12.8 RPG. He's continued to be a force on the defensive end as well, swatting 2.2 shots per game. Davis notably struggled in his lone prior meeting with the Thunder but all signs point to a dominant home outing tonight.
The X-factors for the Lakers tonight are their guards. Both D'Angelo Russell and Austin Reaves have been playing some of the best basketball of their careers since the All-Star break. Over that span, Russell averaged 19.1 PPG, 3.0 threes, and 6.6 APG while shooting 40% from three. Reaves has been nearly as impressive, averaging 17.6 PPG and 5.4 APG. He's been a foul magnet as well, averaging 7.1 free throw attempts per game.
Final Thunder-Lakers Prediction & Pick
Oklahoma City has been playing good basketball of late and notably took down the Lakers the first time they visited LA this season. The Lakers may win, but the Thunder should keep things close enough to cover a sizable spread.
Final Thunder-Lakers Prediction & Pick: Oklahoma City Thunder +5.5 (-108)