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The Oklahoma City Thunder have stumbled through the first several weeks of the season, falling below the .500 mark on the season. The Thunder are coming off an impressive win over the Philadelphia 76ers in overtime.
Meanwhile, the Los Angeles Lakers have continued to steamroll through the season, holding the best mark in the Western Conference. The Lakers are fresh off a convincing double-digit win against the Atlanta Hawks.
It's an opportunity for the Lakers to maintain their strong start to the year.
Thunder in full rebuilding modeFollowing an offseason of much change, the Thunder have fallen to a slow start out of the gate to the 2019-20 season. Oklahoma City has struggled to get any significant footing on the court with their mixture of young and proven talent struggling to help them get any footing in the stacked Western Conference. They have struggled offensively with their core group averaging just 107.1 points per contest despite shooting 45.8 percent from the floor. The Thunder hasn't found any consistent success, dropping three out of their last five games that include their first five road contests. It has put them in a tough spot digging their way out of an early-season rut.
Former All-Star point guard Chris Paul has had his ups and downs in his first campaign with the franchise as he's averaging just 16.3 points and 5.4 assists while shooting 45.9 percent from the floor and 42.0 percent from beyond the arc. Paul's numbers are a bit down from what has become expected from him as it has seen him take a bit of a secondary role offensively that has seen second-year guard Shai Gilgeous-Alexander take over as the Thunder's primary scoring factor. Gilgeous-Alexander is averaging 20.4 points on 46.2 percent shooting from the floor and 40.0 percent from 3-point range. He has tallied more than 20 points twice in his last five games while reaching double-figure scoring in each game. If the Thunder hope to keep pace with the Lakers, they will need their offense to step it up on the road.
Lakers are off to a promising startHeading into the 2019-20 season, there was much hope around the Lakers that they could finally get back on track towards becoming one of the top teams in the league. That has largely come to fruition through the first several weeks as they have raced out to the best record, having won 11 of their first 13 games. This has included them dominating at home, winning seven out of their first eight contests. Los Angeles has found much of its success behind their stout defense, which has been among the best in the league, giving up 100.6 points per game. That alone has been a huge game-changing factor as it has willed them through games when their offense has stumbled or hit rough spots this season.
King ➡️ Kuz. All day. pic.twitter.com/dNsKcx5QAY— Los Angeles Lakers (@Lakers) November 18, 2019
Another major factor has been a rejuvenated LeBron James leading the charge as he has continued to prove to still be at the top of his game in his 17th season as he's averaging 25.0 points, a league-best 11.2 assists, and 7.6 rebounds while shooting 49.0 percent from the floor. James has remained a stat stuffer as he has tallied a double-double all but once while he has four triple-doubles. It has been much more than the four-time league MVP's production, as Anthony Davis has fit in quite smoothly alongside James as their primary scoring option, averaging 24.5 points and 9.2 rebounds while shooting 47.5 percent from the floor. Davis has been able to do that despite dealing with nagging shoulder and rib injuries throughout the first 13 games played. Regardless if he's able to play, the Lakers will have a sizable advantage over the rebuilding Thunder on Tuesday night.
The top supporting trends for this game, found on Covers.com, are:
- Los Angeles is 6-1 ATS in their last seven games against the Western Conference.
- Los Angeles is 6-1 ATS in their last seven home games against a team with a losing road record.
- Los Angeles is 12-3-2 ATS in their last 17 home games against a team with a road winning% of less than .400.
- Oklahoma City is 2-5 ATS in their last seven games against the Pacific division.
- Oklahoma City is 1-4 ATS in their last five road games against a team with a home winning % of greater than .600.
- Oklahoma City is 1-4 ATS in their last five road games against a team with a winning home record.
The Bottom Line What to bet on this game.
Full-Game Side Bet
The Lakers may have some question marks around Davis' status for the contest, but they have plenty of talent offensively led by LeBron James, who makes everyone around him better. Meanwhile, the difference in the contest will come from their defensive presence. All that will equate to a one-sided affair on Tuesday night.
Prediction: Los Angeles -9.5
Full-Game Total Pick
At the same time, their defense will dictate how the game plays out, making it a lower-scoring affair. It also favors this being the case, with the Thunder averaging just 107.1 points per contest. This would all seem to indicate this being a game where points will be difficult to come by for Oklahoma City.