The Oklahoma City Thunder (26-17) will look to hand the Los Angeles Lakers (24-21) their sixth loss in nine games Thursday, when they host L.A. as big home favorites at sportsbooks.
The Lakers have gone 4-7 straight up and 4-6-1 against the spread without LeBron James, who will miss at least two more games with a groin injury.
Why the Lakers Can Cover the Spread
The good news for Los Angeles is that James has been cleared to begin practicing in the coming days, which means he should return to the court sometime soon. In the meantime, his young teammates are continuing to learn and grow up fast under the tutelage of head coach Luke Walton, who has done a great job under the circumstances.
The Lakers may not have the star power to match up with the Thunder and win in this spot, but staying competitive and covering is definitely a possibility.
Why the Thunder Can Cover the Spread
Oklahoma City has lost four of its past five games after winning four of five, and the team expects to perform better, especially here versus Los Angeles. The Thunder are 13-3 straight up in the past 16 meetings with the Lakers, also going 11-5 against the spread during that stretch.
The lone game between them this season saw Oklahoma City win 107-100 as a five-point road favorite at Staples Center on January 2 behind 37 points from Paul George.
Lakers vs. Thunder NBA Betting Pick
This game is about motivation, and the Thunder will have plenty of it after splitting their past 10—the worst mark of any of the top six teams in the conference over that span. They want to finish as one of the best three teams in the West, and the Portland Trail Blazers, Houston Rockets and San Antonio Spurs are all on their heels.
Los Angeles continues to bide time until James comes back and kicks off a difficult two-game road trip at Oklahoma City before visiting the Houston Rockets on Saturday. The Lakers are 9-12 SU and ATS away from home this season, so take the Thunder to roll to an easy win and cover at online sports betting sites.
OddsShark computer pick: 119.4-107.0, Thunder. Get NBA picks on every game via the OddsShark computer.
NBA Betting Trends
Los Angeles is 2-5-1 ATS in its past 8 games.
The total has gone under in five of Los Angeles' past six games on the road.
Oklahoma City is 14-4 SU in its past 18 games at home.
All NBA odds and betting trends according to Bleacher Report's official odds partner, OddsShark. Check out OddsShark on Twitter and Instagram or head to YouTube for more betting picks and analysis on this week's top games. You can also download the free odds tracker app.