Thunder vs. Lakers odds, line: NBA picks, predictions from model on 7-2 roll

The Oklahoma City Thunder will host the Los Angeles Lakers on Thursday in one of the final games of the Thursday NBA schedule. Tipoff is scheduled for 9:30 p.m. ET. Oklahoma City is favored by 10.5 and the total is at 225.5 in the latest Thunder vs. Lakers odds. LeBron James won't be in action again, but he has been cleared to return to practice next week. Of course, that's not going to help the Lakers with Russell Westbrook and company on Thursday night, but L.A. still has plenty of firepower.

So before you make your Thunder vs. Lakers picks, be sure to check out the NBA predictions from the advanced computer model at SportsLine. 

The model simulates every game 10,000 times and enters Week 14 of the 2018-19 NBA season with a sterling 159-118 record on all top-rated picks, returning well over $3,000 to anybody following them. And it was particularly red-hot on its A-rated NBA picks against the spread in Week 13, going a blistering 7-2. Anybody following it is up huge. 

Now, it has set its sights on Thunder vs. Lakers. We can tell you the model is leaning toward the Under, but its much stronger play is against the spread. In fact, the model says one side of the spread cashes in nearly 70 percent of simulations. You can only see that pick at SportsLine.

The model knows that the Thunder will have a leg-up with James out. He's L.A.'s best perimeter defender, capable of matching up against the likes of Westbrook and Paul George, so not having his defensive versatility in the lineup should give the Thunder's stars more opportunities to get to the rim in addition to giving them one less shot-eraser to deal with once they get there. 

Of course, Westbrook is the real engine that makes the Oklahoma City offense churn. His explosiveness makes him the most effective finisher the Thunder have and his ability to take people off the dribble forces defensive help that allows him to set up his teammates. The Thunder are 13-6 this season this season when Westbrook has at least 10 assists.

But just because L.A. is without James doesn't mean they can't stay within the Thunder vs. Lakers spread.

They've won three of their last five and their defense has improved significantly of late. They've allowed 101 points or fewer in four of those five contests. In the three wins, the Lakers have held their opponents to just 43 percent shooting from the floor. 

In particular, they've been successful running their opponents off the three-point line in those wins. The Mavericks, Pistons and Bulls shot a combined 29.5 percent from beyond the arc and the Thunder are the worst three-point shooting team in the NBA.

Who wins Thunder vs. Lakers? And which side of the spread hits in nearly 70 percent of simulations? Visit SportsLine now to find out which side of the spread you should be all over, all from the model that's up nearly $3,000 on NBA picks this season.

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