NBA Betting oddsSports betting players didn’t give Oklahoma City much of a chance in Sunday’s opener, as the Thunder hasn’t won in Los Angeles against the Lakers in a very long time. The Lakers will try to go up two games on the Thunder when they meet for Game 2 on Tuesday night.

Thunder vs Lakers odds – Tuesday, April 20, 10:30 PM ET

The Thunder showed their youth and nerves early in an 87-79 loss, falling behind by 13 at the end of the first quarter, but to their credit, they did fight back. Kevin Durant had to battle for every inch of real estate he got as he was guarded closely by Ron Artest, and the youngest player to win the NBA’s scoring title was held to 24 points on 7-of-24 shooting, although he was 9-of-11 at the charity stripe. Russell Westbrook, a California native who went to UCLA, kept the Thunder in it with 23 points and eight assists as he constantly found his way to the hoop, but the Thunder as a team need to learn when to stop shooting as they were 2-of-16 from the thee-point line, which is something they’ll learn as the experience comes.

The Lakers got a huge impact from Andrew Bynum, who missed the last month of the season with an Achilles injury. The young center had 13 points, 12 boards and four blocks in 30 minutes of action for the Lakers, who have a distinct advantage in the post when it comes to size. Kobe Bryant had 21 points to pace the Lakers, who didn’t have their best offensive game, but they overcompensated by playing tremendous defense on the Thunder.

Los Angeles will be the NBA playoff betting favorite in this contest at home, and the Thunder have now lost 13 consecutive games at the Staples Center against the Lakers, dating back to March 2006. With that kind of track record, it’s tough to bet on the Thunder in this game and while they’ll end the streak at some point, it probably won’t happen in the playoffs. The nerves should be out of the way now, especially Durant, who was forcing shots in the first half as he tried to find his rhythm. The team did much better when Westbrook used his quickness to get into the lane and create shots for himself and others. The Lakers have had problems with quick point guards all season as Derek Fisher has lost a step or three, and Westbrook got into the lane at will against the veteran. The problem is that the Lakers have the length to alter shots, and with Bynum in the post, it’s even easier. Look for the Lakers to take a decisive hold on the series.

NBA betting pick: Los Angeles Laker


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