The Los Angeles Lakers (15-20) are still searching for their first win in the month of January, which can't be ignored when making your NBA picks against the spread (ATS) on Friday night, as they prepare to host the Oklahoma City Thunder (27-8) at the Staples Center.
Sports bettors will find that the Lakers are 5.5-point road underdogs in the pro basketball odds (courtesy of SBR Forum), while the total has risen two points to settle in at 217 in the market.
Kobe Bryant is leading the league in averaging 30.1 points per game, but the Lakers have dropped all five of their games in 2013.
Let's take a closer look at this Western Conference matchup from a betting perspective, while offering up a pro basketball pick along the way.
The Oklahoma City Thunder came away with a 114-108 victory in their first meeting with the Los Angeles Lakers as 7.5-point home favorites on Dec. 7, while going OVER the posted total of 212.
Point guard Russell Westbrook finished that game with 33 points and eight assists. He's averaged 21.8 points and 8.2 assists in his last six games when matching up with Lakers point guard Steve Nash, who missed the first game due to a leg injury.
Sports bettors will find that the Thunder are 7-1 ATS as road favorites when scoring 100 or more points during the 2012-13 NBA campaign.
The Los Angeles Lakers return home after dropping both games in a road trip to the Lone Star State, including a 108-105 setback to the San Antonio Spurs as 13.5-point underdogs on Wednesday.
Sports bettors will find that the Lakers have lost all nine of their games in straight-up fashion when getting points this year.
I'm going to recommend that readers back the Oklahoma City Thunder as one of their pro basketball picks on Friday night, as they've gone 4-0 ATS as road favorites of 3.5 to six points this season.
NBA Pick: Oklahoma City Thunder -5.5