NBA Playoff Picks: LA Lakers at Oklahoma City Thunder

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The Thunder blew the doors off Los Angeles in the much-hyped series opener Monday but sports betting sites have only bumped the NBA odds for game 2 by a half-point


According to our numbers, the oddsmakers have hit this line right on the head at Thunder -8 but we have a full NBA betting preview with a suggested play on the first-half line


The Meta World Peace and James Harden reunion probably received more coverage than it was worth leading up to this second round NBA playoff series and maybe four or five years ago, Ron Artest made a difference in games.


On Monday, the 10-year NBA vet scored 12 points in the 119-90 loss to Oklahoma City and now he and the rest of his elder statesmen must try to find a way to keep pace with a much younger, faster Thunder squad.


Online sportsbooks offered the Thunder at -7.5 for game 1 and the line for tonight’s contest favors the home side by -8 points, with 68-percent of the action riding the wave. Oklahoma City has covered four of the past five meetings between these clubs but this pointspread has set new boundaries. The Thunder boasts a solid 29-7 straight-up record on home court but they are a pedestrian 18-18 ATS and just 14-12 ATS when favored by eight points or more.



The posted total for this game opened at 195.5 and sportsbooks have held steady. Los Angeles was 21-15-1 O/U on the road this season, are 8-2 O/U the past 10 games with a day of rest and 7-1-1 O/U in their past nine conference semi-finals.


Oklahoma City stayed under the total six of the past eight times after holding opponents to double-digits but the Thunder is 38-17 O/U in the first-half when playing against a team with an overall win percentage between .600 and .700.



Starting C Kendrick Perkins is a game-time decision for the Thunder after re-aggravating a strained muscle in his right hip. Perkins did not take part in a full practice Tuesday, opting only to shoot free throws.



The Thunder was in a similar situation this year, coming off a home win and hosting the Celtics on a day of rest, with the Los Angeles Lakers on-deck. Oak City (-8.5) blew Boston out of the water 119-104 and oddsmakers made the Thunder a 7-point favorite for the LA game, which many felt was going too far. Russell Westbrook followed up his 31-point performance vs. Boston with 19 points, six rebounds and five assists, and Oklahoma City won that game 100-85 (UN 195.5).


Los Angeles will be forced to make adjustments throughout this game but it’s going to be tough slowing this red-hot Thunder team down in the early going. Oklahoma City has outscored opponents by an average score of 57.8 to 49.9 points during the first-half the past 11 times in this exact situation and with a first-half line of Thunder -5; we are willing to lay the points.

Pick: Take the Thunder in the first-half


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