Lakers: Betting Big On LeBron James To Make History

Tonight, your Los Angeles Lakers are returning home to host the Oklahoma City Thunder, with whom LA is actively jockeying for play-in tournament position. The Thunder, led by team president Sam Presti, would probably be more than happy to tank into a high-quality lottery pick yet again this summer, but unless (until?) All-Star OKC point guard Shai Gilgeous-Alexander is shut down by the team for a bogus injury yet again during the season’s home stretch, they may just stay in the playoff hunt.

Thus, they’ll present something of a formidable foe for LA. Much like the Orlando Magic, the Thunder are young, deep-ish (with high-upside talent, anyway), athletic, long, and fearless. The Lakers are… none of those things, though they do have two of the best 30 or so players in the league, in All-Star power forward LeBron James and center Anthony Davis.

So who will win tonight? Will LeBron James, currently questionable to play, score the 35 points or more that he needs to tie Kareem Abdul-Jabbar’s all-time regular season scoring record (38,387 points)? Will anyone get a triple-double? Let’s take a look at some pertinent gambling odds and lines (via Action Network).

The Game Spread

The Lakers are comfortable 6.5-point home court favorites tonight. Given the fact that this may very well be the single most exciting game for LA fans this season (sorry), I’d expect an absolutely amped Arena tonight, provided James can play. They can will this team to a big win. Plus, the Thunder are 9-17 on the road thus far this season. Take the over.

LeBron James’s Total Points

This is for all the marbles. The 6’9″ vet’s projected tally tonight ranges from 31.5 to 32.5 points. Again, he needs to hit 35 or more to tie or win the all-time regular season scoring record. James, too, is aware that this is probably the biggest moment of his season (which is sad, but also a story for another day). He’ll step up. Take him to cover either number.

Triple-Double Watch

James has the best triple-double odds (+700), followed by Thunder guard Josh Giddey (+1300), and finally Lakers reserve guard Russell Westbrook (+1400), a triple-double machine in his prime. I would bet against any of them doing this tonight. James has only notched one triple-double all year, and will be looking to score. Giddey has logged two this season, while Westbrook has four.

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