Los Angeles Lakers vs Oklahoma City Thunder. Shape of the Teams

The injury-ridden Los Angeles Lakers host the Oklahoma City Thunder on Monday, but it’s still up in the air as to who will be playing. Shai-Gilgeous Alexander, LeBron James, and Anthony Davis all currently sit as questionable and probable for their game, as the three of them struggle with minor injuries.

Nonetheless, OKC should still have a slight edge coming into the NBA match. The trio of Chet Holmgren, Jalen Williams, and Josh Giddey should have no issue putting down the Lakers unless both LeBron and Davis play.

The young Oklahoma City will also be looking to extend their winning streak to five games, coming off a 112-100 dub over the Orlando Magic. The Lakers, on the other hand, have lost their last two games, falling to the Phoenix Suns 109-127, and the Utah Jazz 132-125.

The real question is, which superstars are playing? If SGA alone makes the game, the Lakers are cooked, and if the two superstars in Los Angeles play against an OKC roster without SGA, they’re going to have a rough time.

Odds via Tonybet

Los Angeles Lakers vs Oklahoma CityJanuary 15, 8:30 p.m ET
Lakers odds-130
Thunder odds+107
Thunder spread -2.5 +123
Laker spread +2.5 -156

As long as the worst case doesn’t come to fruition for the Thunder, either Chet Holmgren or SGA should have a good chance of taking a dub on the road. Holmgren, in particular, has been playing out of his mind over the last five games, averaging a stellar 21 points, 6.2 rebounds, 1.6 blocks, and 3.2 assists on 63.4% true shooting. Those simply aren’t rookie numbers, any way you look at it.

However, if both Lebron and Davis manage to make it to the game and fight through their ankle injuries, they have a chance to snap their losing streak. 

It’s just unfortunate that the two stars have no real supporting cast around them because even with D’Angelo Russell and Austin Reaves averaging 15 points a night, they don’t really create much offence on their own.

Overall, it should be a pretty interesting match, but we have to give a slight edge to the young Thunder roster. It’s a tough ask to assume the 11th seed in the NBA will beat the 2nd seed.

Los Angeles Lakers vs Oklahoma City Thunder Odds, Prediction

Even without SGA, the OKC Thunder are a formidable team, and if he does manage to play on Monday, it’s going to be an uphill battle for the Lakers. The trio of SGA, Holmgren, and Williams has been able to overwhelm almost every team in the league.

The only real struggle OKC has is that the offence tends to stagnate without SGA pushing the tempo and creating shots for himself. He has been instrumental to the team’s success, as he draws so much attention that it gives great shooters like Holmgren time to light teams up from beyond the arch.

On the Laker’s side of things, LeBron will likely play while Davis continues to sit on the bench. James is still listed as “probable” for the game on Monday, while both SGA and Davis remain “questionable.”

But let’s not forget, it’s a regular season game we are talking about here. It’s unlikely LeBron really has the drive at this point in the season to carry the Lakers on his back, and realistically, he’s been scoring less than Holmgren over the last five games.

There’s a good chance the young OKC core will come out the gate hot, taking an early lead over the much older Los Angeles roster. Obviously, nothing is set in stone, but with the momentum they have, they have a great chance of getting an early lead and holding onto it for the length of the game.

SGA potentially being out definitely leaves a major hole in the OKC roster that the Lakers could take advantage of, but it just feels unlikely.

Los Angeles Lakers vs Oklahoma City Thunder Player Pick and Betting Tip

Chet Holmgren has far exceeded any expectations placed on him at the beginning of the season and is only playing better in the new year. As we mentioned, his numbers are up across the board in 2024, scoring over 20 points per contest.  

Holmgren even dropped 31 points on 78.6% efficiency against the Wizards on January 8th. But that’s the thing with this guy: he always shoots with amazing efficiency, his shots are never forced, and his shooting stroke is silky smooth.

Adding insult to injury, if Davis truly doesn’t play on Monday, Holmgren really has no opposition down low. He’s going to shoot lights out from three as he always does while taking easy baskets down in the paint with his 7’1 (216cm) frame.

The 7’0 Jaxon Hayes may provide some resistance, but he still isn’t averaging more than 10 minutes per game.

With Holmgren’s increased production and potentially more shots coming his way without SGA in the game, he has a great shot at scoring over 19.5 points against the Lakers. 

While Shai-Gilgeous Alexander’s crazy 31.5 ppg this season has been taking all the attention, Holmgren’s deep bag simply can’t be overlooked. This guy is really going to be something special in a few short seasons.

Disclaimer: Odds are accurate at the time of posting and subject to change. Please verify the latest odds on our platform before betting.

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