Oklahoma City Thunder vs Los Angeles Lakers 2/8/21: Starting Lineups, Matchup Preview, Betting Odds

Oklahoma City Thunder vs. Los Angeles Lakers Matchup Preview

The Lakers are back at home after an east coast trip and will have an easy game back against the Thunder. Even with Anthony Davis ruled out, the Lakers are ten-point favorites. Kyle Kuzma will likely enter the starting five tonight with Davis out. The Thunder are still a bit limited and will have to rely on the starters with a depleted bench. Shai Gilgeous-Alexander is back, who is the bright young piece for the Thunder. Oklahoma City has been better, as they have climbed to two games below .500. The Lakers are in a race for the one-seed with the Jazz and Clippers. We knew the Thunder hit the rebuild button after last year, and the record has reflected that. The backcourt is something to watch for Thunder fans as both SGA and Lu Dort are putting together strong seasons. For odds movement and full matchup history, visit the Oklahoma City Thunder at Los Angeles Lakers Matchup Page.

TV Schedule

Date: 2/8/21
Time: 10:00 PM ET
Arena: Staples Center, Los Angeles CA
Channel: FSLA

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Thunder Starting 5

PG: Shai Gilgeous-Alexander
SG: Lu Dort
SF: Kenrich Williams
PF: Darius Bazley
C: Al Horford

Thunder Analysis

oklahoma city thunderIn a talented Western Conference, the Thunder are struggling to get out of the bottom third. But after trading most of the key veterans that helped them make a surprising run last year, this was to be expected. Injuries are going to give them a thin bench with Ariza, Hill, Muscala, and Roby all out tonight. We will see a heavy workload for the starters. Offensively they are averaging 107 points per game this season, which ranks 25th in the league. They don’t have a ton of offensive weapons. Shai Gilgeous-Alexander is the only one worth mentioning, given he has averaged 22 points per game and is shooting 51% from the field. While he has seen a jump for Lu Dort, he isn’t a consistent scoring option, at least yet. Al Horford at the age of 34 isn’t a threatening big man and overall there just isn’t a ton of scoring options. Facing a good Lakers defense tonight, it is easy to see why the spread is as large as it is.

Lakers Starting 5

PG: LeBron James
SG: Dennis Schroder
SF: Kentavious Caldwell-Pope
PF: Kyle Kuzma
C: Marc Gasol

Lakers Analysis

los angeles lakersWith Anthony Davis out, we oddly haven’t seen a massive tick up in production for James. He has averaged 25-7-9 in 11 games without Davis in the last two seasons, and that doesn’t stray far from his usual numbers. Instead, we get to see Kyle Kuzma jump into the starting lineup. He averages 30 minutes in games where Davis sits and has averaged 19 points per game. Adding Montrezl Harrell this offseason gives the Lakers another bench option when Davis has some time off. He has averaged 12 and 6 in the three games he has missed this season and chips in around 25 minutes per game. We are starting to see Talen Horton-Tucker emerge a bit more. He is a second-year player out of Iowa State. In January, he averaged 7-2-2 with 17 minutes per game. So far in February (3 games), he has played 21 minutes per game and is averaging 9-3-2. Lakers fans and many who liked him coming out of college will be thrilled with him beginning to be a bigger part of the rotation.

Thunder & Lakers DFS Angle

With Anthony Davis out, that changes some things. LeBron James becomes a featured play on a night with a handful of expensive players to build around. He has a 34% usage rate with him off the court and has averaged 28-7-8 per 36. Kyle Kuzma has averaged over 30 fantasy points per 36 with Davis out this season. You also will want to look at Dennis Schroder and Talen Horton-Tucker, who are mid-range or cheap guard options. Montrezl Harrell is also in play, who has averaged 0.99 FPPM with Davis off the court. Shai Gilgeous-Alexander is the driving force behind the Thunder offense. He has a 28% usage rate and is averaging over 40 fantasy points in the last ten games. Lu Dort is the other option, who has averaged 21 fantasy points per game in the last ten games. He is cheap and has some upside for the price.

Thunder vs. Lakers Betting Odds

Thunder Spread: +10.5
Thunder Moneyline: +430
Lakers Spread: -10.5
Lakers Moneyline: -590
Over/Under Points Total: 218.5

The spread is double-digits, and that is even with Davis being ruled out. It still makes sense, given LeBron James is leading this team, and they have secondary options like Kyle Kuzma to step up and Dennis Schroder. The Lakers averaged 121 points per game in the nine games Davis missed last season and went 6-3. They have won two of the three games without him this season as well. With the depleted bench of the Thunder, it is going to be tough to keep pace with the Lakers tonight. It would take an over the moon performance from the backcourt in addition to someone else chipping in with an above-average game. I can’t see that happening.

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Jason Guilbault has been writing and podcasting in the fantasy sports world for over five years. You can find his work at Daily Fantasy Cafe. He is an avid Tottenham fan, and follows the Boston sports teams. When he isn’t diving into stats, he is enjoying the outdoors or down at the local brewery.

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