Los Angeles Lakers at Oklahoma City Thunder Pro Basketball Expert Picks & Predictions

Los Angeles Lakers at Oklahoma City Thunder
Sunday, 2/27/11, 2:30 PM EDT, TV:  ABC
Opening Point Spread:  Pick
Current Betting Line:  Los Angeles -1
Opening Total:  201
Current Total:  201

Los Angeles has bounced back nicely after the All-Star break and will be looking for a fourth straight win when facing Oklahoma City Sunday afternoon.  The Lakers have managed to score at least 104 points in each of those games, which is a huge improvement from the 87.7 points they averaged during its three-game losing streak heading into the break.  The team is coming off an impressive 108-95 win over the Clippers, as forward Pau Gasol outplayed rookie sensation Blake Griffin.  Los Angeles comes in with a 41-19 overall record, including a 20-11 mark on the road.  The squad is 16-15 ATS on the road this season and currently a slight road favorite on the NBA lines page.

The Lakers currently lead their season series with the Thunder 1-0 after taking last season’s regular season series 3-1.  Los Angeles has won five consecutive seasons series from Oklahoma City, while also advancing past them in the first round of the 2010 NBA playoffs.  On the road in this particular series, the club has won eight of the last 10 meetings, while posting a 27-12 mark under the direction of Phil Jackson.  All-Star guard Kobe Bryant has also enjoyed great success against today’s opponent by averaging 25.0 points per game.

Oklahoma City is looking to avoid a third-straight loss after coming in dropping two consecutive games against the likes of San Antonio and Orlando.  The Thunder pulled the trigger on a major trade a few days ago and could have those pieces available in Sunday’s contest.  “I think we got more physical, as a whole now, and bigger that we were previously,” said general manager Sam Presti on acquiring Boston’s Kendrick Perkins, Nate Robinson and Nazr Mohammed.  “We also maintained our versatility on the roster.”  Robinson and Mohammed will likely be available immediately, while Perkins is battling a sprained left knee.  Oklahoma City is 17-7 ATS this season when revenging a loss versus an opponent.

The Thunder are a solid 20-8 at home this season and bring in a 12-6 mark in those games against the Western Conference.  Oklahoma City has shown great resolve in bouncing back from defeat this season and has posted a 16-4 record in games played immediately following a loss.  The team’s .800 winning percentage in those games ranks second in the NBA behind only the San Antonio Spurs.  After starting the season a perfect 7-0 on national television, Oklahoma city has lost five consecutive contests in front of a national audience.  In order to break that streak, the combination of Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook will need to continue scoring 50.6 points per game combined.  They trail only Miami’s LeBron James and Dwyane Wade in that particular category.

Bettors will be interested in backing the Thunder due to their 20-9 ATS mark as a home underdog, while the Lakers are 1-4 ATS on Sunday.

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Posted by on Feb 27 2011. Filed under Headlines, NBA. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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