The Lakers begin the playoffs looking to defending their NBA title. The Lakers did not play well down the stretch but they are still solid basketball betting favorites against the Thunder in Game one on Sunday.
NBA betting is going to be exciting in this series since the Thunder as the league’s leading scorer in Kevin Durant while the Lakers have Kobe Bryant. Even though this is a #1 vs. a #8 seed, the Thunder finished with just seven wins less than Los Angeles. The Lakers won 57 games while Oklahoma City won 50. Compare that to the Eastern Conference where top seed Cleveland won 61 games while eighth seed Chicago won 41.
The advantage the Lakers have in this series is experience. The Thunder has very few players with any playoff experience and their head coach Scott Brooks has never coached a playoff game. The Lakers have Phil Jackson who has won 10 NBA titles while Kobe Bryant and Derek Fisher have four rings each. The Lakers do not want to take Oklahoma City lightly. "Win as quickly as possible," Jackson said. "Apply the pressure and take advantage of the non-growth and inexperience that they may exhibit." The Lakers haven’t had their starting lineup on the floor in a long time. Kobe had been sitting out games with injuries and Andrew Bynum has been in and out of the lineup. Kobe missed four of the Lakers final five games of the season. Bynum missed the Lakers last 13 games with a strained left Achilles' tendon. The Lakers do have Pau Gasol who has been excellent all season.
NBA betting trends indicate that the Thunder are 4-1 ATS in their last 5 vs. the Pacific Division. The Thunder are 0-4 ATS in their last 4 Sunday games. The Thunder are 5-2-1 ATS in the last 8 meetings in Los Angeles.
The Lakers are 7-3 in basketball betting in their last 10 Conference Quarterfinals games. The Lakers are 4-9-1 ATS in their last 14 vs. the Northwest Division. The Lakers are 1-5 ATS in their last 6 games overall. The Lakers are 1-6 ATS in their last 7 home games.
The last seven Oklahoma City road games have gone over the total. Five of the last six Los Angeles home games have gone under. In this series, five of the last seven have gone under.