Thunder vs. Lakers TNT Lock Picks and NBA Odds

Tonight’s winners include from Vic Duke and Matt Rivers. Let’s start out with Vic Duke, newest and one of handicapping’s hottest sensations.

Oklahoma City (-1) for 1.5 Units *’

Okla City/Los Angeles 10:30: I realize the Lakers play well at home (20-4 SU) and looking to avenge their February 23rd loss. But Los Angeles is not playing their best basketball at this phase of the season and I’m fading them here. 

The Lakers are on a 1-6 ATS slide and lost two of their last three at home: not exactly a team you want to throw money on going into a game against an NBA heavyweight. Moreover, uncertainty in offensive assignments (Bynum) may get by the Golden State Warriors but not the Thunder. In addition, the Lakers will see Derek Fisher, whose locker room and floor leadership were noteworthy in the Lakers’ championship runs, in the enemy uniform. His energy and comradeship immediately permeated through the Thunder organization; consequently, Fisher’s teammates will play hard along with him tonight. Furthermore, the Sessions’ acquisition is questionable in my eye. He may have athleticism but remains in his raw stages of development on both ends of the floor. We’ll look for Durant and Westbrook to continue to play at a high level as their supporting cast steps it up as well.

The Thunder are 13-3 ATS on Thursdays whereas the Lakers stumble to a 6-14 ATS mark on this day. The Lakers are also 0-6-1 ATS in their last 7 on one day of rest. With the favorite at 6-2 ATS in this series, we’ll lay a point with the road strong Thunder.

As it turns out Matt Rivers agrees. Here is his reasoning:

First it was Kobe who was benched and then it was Andrew Bynum. I’m not saying that the roof is collapsing on Mike Brown but things certainly aren’t too good right now and even at home I just think that Durant, Westbrook and the high flying Thunder are the better team and the squad that is clearly more together at this point in the season.

I definitely liked the Ramon Sessions move which gave the Lakers a solid enough point guard to help out Bryant and the dominant bigs in Gasol and Bynum but these off the court issues are clearly a distraction and to beat the Thunder you just cannot have this. Okie City is a loaded group that is borderline great and superior to this current Lakers squad.

I’m not saying that we are going to see Los Angeles hit rock bottom and lose by 50 points but they are the inferior side and with the recent infighting that just should not result in a victory.

Rivers pick: Oklahoma City

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About the Author

Grandmaster Sports Handicapper Joe Duffy got his start in the sports handicapping industry with the Dial Sports (Communications Team) audiotext network. It was owned by sportswriter, broadcaster and handicapping pioneer Mickey Charles. Dial Sports was the sister company of the popular Sports Network Wire Service. Upon graduating California University of PA, where he was a play-by-play announcer on student radio station WVCS (now WCAL) and cable channel 29 (now CUTV), he became a full-time sports announcer and handicapper for the Sportsline scorephone network. He learned from NFL legends coach Hank Stram and broadcasting icon Ray Scott the ins and outs of the sports betting world. His Amazing Cadillac Club became the most successful 900-number in sports betting history. He left to become the first General Manager of the Freescoreboard scorephone network broadcast all over North America. His articles have appeared on several dozen websites and hard copy publications. He is now CEO of, the top sports betting site in the world. Email:

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