This Sunday, April 22nd, we have a crucial match-up between two teams who could end up meeting in the Western Conference Finals when the Oklahoma City Thunder head on the road to take on the Los Angeles Lakers. The Thunder are currently sitting just a half of a game back of the top spot in the West behind the San Antonio Spurs, so obviously this game is huge for them. The Lakers on the other hand are looking to hold on to the third spot in the West with the Los Angeles Clippers and the Memphis Grizzlies hot on their trail. Obviously both teams are locked in to the playoffs this season, but that doesn’t mean that we won’t have a huge match-up on Sunday night that includes two of the best players in the game in Kobe Bryant and Kevin Durant.
The Lakers come into this game with a record of 40-24, while the Thunder have one of the stronger records in the NBA at 46-17. The best match-up of this game is of course between Durant and Kobe, and that could make the difference between who takes down this game in the end. Another important thing that’s worth pointing out though is the fact that the Lakers have an incredibly strong home record of 25-7. When they play in the Staples Center they can really compete with anyone in the NBA, even a top team like the Oklahoma City Thunder. Keep an eye on the inside games here too, because the Lakers have their two seven footers in Pau Gasol and Andrew Bynum, but the Thunder have two defensive stoppers in Serge Ibaka and Kendrick Perkins.
Tip off for this game is set for 3:30pm EST, and it’ll be nationally televised on ABC, meaning that you have to make sure to tune into this game!
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This is going to be an incredibly close game from start to finish in my opinion, but the Thunder definitely haven’t seemed as strong recently as they were to start the year. I think the Lakers are finally back at full strength (meaning that Kobe will be back), and that they’ll be able to get the job done in front of their home crowd. The Lakers home record is incredibly impressive, and I’m expecting them to show up big time in this game. The playoffs might not start until next weekend, but the emotion in this game and the game in general will have the feel of a playoff atmosphere on Sunday afternoon. Kobe and his crew are going to be ready to go, and they’ll be able to pull off the close, hard-fought win this weekend.
I’m going with the Los Angeles Lakers- 98 over the Oklahoma City Thunder- 94
Sports Betting Line and Odds:
Oklahoma City Thunder: -1 (opening line)
Los Angeles Lakers: +1 (opening line)
The line on this game should be close to a pick’em, and honestly I wouldn’t be surprised to see the Thunder favored in this game. They have the better record and are trying to catch up to the Spurs for the number one seed, so they’ll definitely have a good amount to play for. With that being said though, I’m rolling with the Lakers on their home court and I expect a huge game from Kobe Bryant against a player in Durant who is definitely one of the potential favorites to win the MVP award this season. Look for the Lakers to get points here and then get your bet down!
UPDATE: Line dropped at OKC -1 as I thought. Very close. Gonna roll with the Lakers +1 here and see what happens. Felt good about it before and now with such an easy line like this where the public should pound the super hot OKC Thunder, we have some great value. Good luck!
FREE Pick: Los Angeles Lakers +1 : 1 Unit : (-102)