Thunder vs. Lakers prediction and odds for Friday, March 24 (Expect fast-paced matchup)

Oklahoma City Thunder guard Tre Mann. Mandatory Credit: Alonzo Adams-USA TODAY Sports
Oklahoma City Thunder guard Tre Mann. Mandatory Credit: Alonzo Adams-USA TODAY Sports /

The Los Angeles Lakers sit one spot ahead of the Oklahoma City Thunder in the Western Conference standings, and they’ll face them for the third time this season on Friday night.

This is the second game of a back-to-back for OKC after it lost to the Los Angeles Clippers on Thursday night. It’s possible the Thunder look to rest players on the second night of a back-to-back, including All-Star Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, who has been dealing with an abdomen injury in the second half of the season.

The Lakers won’t have LeBron James or Mo Bamba in this game, but Anthony Davis (foot) isn’t even listed on the injury report.

These teams have split the first two games between each other this season, but the Lakers are set at 5.5-point favorites on Friday, which may signal that OKC will have a shorter roster tonight after being just a four-point underdog against the Clippers on Thursday.

Let’s break down the latest odds and my favorite bet for this matchup:

Thunder vs. Lakers odds, spread and total

Thunder vs. Lakers prediction and pick

The Thunder have been great as road underdogs this season, but since there is some uncertainty around the team with this being a back-to-back, I’m looking to the total for my best bet.

The first two games between the Thunder and Lakers this season finished with 263 and 240 combined points, yet the total on Friday is set at 232.5.

Even without SGA, Davis and James in the last meeting between these teams, it was still a high-scoring game.

I think that’s a reason to take the OVER, especially since these two teams rank No. 2 (Los Angeles) and No. 3 (OKC) in the NBA in pace this season. We should see plenty of possessions on both sides regardless of who actually suits up for OKC.

Not only that, but the Thunder are 7-4 on OVERs in the second night of a back-to-back this season and 18-13 when set as road underdogs.

I wouldn’t be surprised if this game turns into a track meet, and with at least Davis expected to play, the added star power should help these teams go OVER.

Game odds refresh periodically and are subject to change.