Maybe the only way for the Lakers’ season to become immediately more aggravating would be to lose to the Thunder, the not-so-proud owners of the second-worst record in the West. Don’t rule it out. Los Angeles has recently lost to both the Kings and the Timberwolves, not exactly bastions of success.
Oklahoma City is on a two-game winning streak, coming immediately on the heels of an eight-game losing streak. The Thunder have a chance to keep that good turn going.
Here are our free NBA picks and predictions for the Lakers at the Thunder on December 10, with tip set for 8:00 ET.
(Editor's Note: These picks were made prior to Friday night's news that Anthony Davis was out with knee soreness.)
Lakers vs Thunder odds
Odds via the Covers Line, an average comprised of odds from multiple sportsbooks.
Los Angeles opened as a 6-point favorite late Thursday, but that fell to -5.0 by Friday morning, some spots still bouncing back-and-forth to -5.5. The total began the day at 215.5 before ticking up to 217.0.
Lakers vs Thunder predictions
Predictions made on 12/10/2021 at 11:30 a.m. ET.
Click on each prediction to jump to the full analysis.
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Lakers vs Thunder game info
• Location: Paycom Center, Oklahoma City, OK
• Date: Friday, December 10, 2021
• Tip-off: 8:00 p.m. ET
• TV: Bally Sports Oklahoma, SportsNet LA
Lakers vs Thunder betting preview
Lakers: Rajon Rondo PG (Questionable), Anthony Davis PF (Out), Trevor Ariza SF (Out), Kendrick Nunn PG (Out).
Thunder: No injuries to report.
Find our latest NBA injury reports.
Betting trend to know
The Lakers are 1-9-1 ATS in their last 11 games against teams with a winning percentage below .400. Find more NBA betting trends for Lakers vs. Thunder.
Lakers vs Thunder picks and predictions
Our predictions are compiled from the analysis of the spread and total and are indications of where we are leaning for this game.
Our best bet is the play that we like the most for this game, which we would actually put some of our bankroll behind.
When the Lakers start acting like a team you can trust, start acting like a title contender, start acting like a competent basketball team, then you can start betting on them. Until then, fading Los Angeles is the profitable tactic.
The Lakers are 3-7 ATS in their last 10 games, twice losing against the spread to the woeful Detroit Pistons. That alone should explain why the pick tonight is to back the Thunder. The problems in the Los Angeles locker room are deep and myriad and not about to be solved 24 hours after a 13-point loss at Memphis.
The Thunder, meanwhile, have fared well in gambling terms, even as they suffered that ugly losing streak. Oklahoma City is 7-3 ATS in its last 10, including outperforming expectations by multiple baskets against both the Bucks and the Jazz.
This task will not be seen as too daunting for the Thunder. Winning by three possessions, however, may be too much of an ask for the Lakers.
Prediction: Thunder +5.5 (-110)
Los Angeles’ back-to-back does not demand an Under play on its own, but its approach to the first game of this stretch does. The Lakers went to Memphis intent on winning, playing Anthony Davis 38 minutes and LeBron James 37. Their workloads should diminish tonight, even if Frank Vogel is working with only a nine-man rotation these days.
Turning away a bit from Los Angeles’ best players will not spur the Thunder to an offensive explosion. If removing the highest and lowest outliers from Oklahoma City’s last 10 games — more intended to remove the historical 152-79 blowout from Memphis last week than to ignore the 114 points the Thunder scored in its next outing — Oklahoma City has averaged 100.9 points per game of late.
There is not enough offensive firepower in the panhandle state to push this game well into the 200s if LeBron James and Anthony Davis are not carrying the load.
Prediction: Under 217.0 (-110)
If feeling an absolute need to watch this slog on a Friday night, at least lean into the Lakers’ continued struggles. Having faith in the Thunder is a bold decision, the kind of approach usually needing a few Friday night happy hour shots of courage, but having faith in Los Angeles these days would be an even more concerning way to start the weekend.
Oklahoma City has at least shown a capacity to play to expectations lately. Those expectations may usually be low, but the Thunder meet them, and usually exceeds them by just enough to allow you to pay for those shots of courage.
Pick: Thunder +5.5 (-110)
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