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NBA Weekend Specials: Thunder and Lakers make a nice double

Fri, Dec 9, 11:03am by Staff Writer

This will be an interesting weekend of action for Aussie NBA fans. The Rockets take on Oklahoma City Thunder in a potentially high-scoring affair. Russell Westbrook will be on the hunt for his seventh triple-double in a row. The action heads back West to the City of Angels as the Lakers take on the Suns.  At www.australiangambling.lv, we crunched the numbers to give you the best bets for the action this weekend.

Rockets @ Thunder

Chesapeake Energy Arena, Oklahoma City – Saturday 10 December, 12.00pm AEDT

TV: Live on ESPN

Strap yourself in for this epic game. The Rockets visit the Thunder after easily accounting for the Lakers at the Staples Centre earlier in the week, and are on a four game run that also includes an away win against the Warriors. This game will be the second time that the two sides have faced off this year. The last time the Thunder walked away with a tight victory 105-103.

The matchup to watch out for will be between Thunder point guard Russell Westbrook and former team mate James Harden. Westbrook has been in all-star form, posting six straight triple-doubles, the fourth longest streak in NBA history. Lebron James thinks he can keep up this form all season. “He’s capable of doing it, he’s like the Energiser Bunny.”

The Rockets visit is another chance for Harden to remind the Thunder what they are missing out on. Harden has thrived in his new point-guard role for the Rockets. Harden has averaged 28.3 (PPG) plus 11 assists and 7.6 rebounds, and has been a leading the Rockets to 15-7 in the Southwest division.

Expect this to be a high-scoring affair with action at both ends of the court. This game will come down to whichever side has the best defensive game.

Sportsbet has the Thunder as slight favourites at $1.89 and the Rockets at $1.94.

I think the home court advantage tips the scales slightly in favour of the Thunder, and Westbrook’s irresistible form is too much to ignore. I’m tipping the Thunder to win this one on the last basket.

BEST BET:  Thunder to win at $1.89, also consider taking OKC by under 10 points at $2.63.

Phoenix Suns @ Lakers

Staples Centre, Los Angeles – SaturdAdd Imageay 10 December, 2.30pm AEDT

TV: Live on ESPN

They say there is no place like home, and right now the Lakers need to get back to the Staples Centre. The Lakers are in a bit of a rut, losing the last four games including a heavy loss to the Rockets earlier in the week. The young Lakers side have been performing admirably but can’t seem to find the right combination, with coach Walton using his ninth different starting line-up of the season against the Rockets.

The Lakers are struggling without key men but Walton wasn’t using injuries as an excuse for the performance earlier in the week. “Obliviously, we are missing key players and we are going to lose games, but if we are just sitting around as a team saying we are waiting for this guy or that, that not the mindset you want.”

The Suns have had a disappointing run into the holiday season and currently sit 6-16 and anchored to the bottom of the Pacific Division.  Devin Booker has been leading the scoring averaging 19 (PPG). The last time the two sides met Booker posted 39 points in the Suns loss to the Lakers.

This is a winnable game for the Lakers and they deserve some love. The Suns have struggled on the road and haven’t put together a decent defence, this season giving up an average of 113 (PPG). The Lakers need to take advantage of this and expect Lou Williams to continue his hot streak.

I’m tipping the Lakers in a close win.

BEST BET: Lakers to win by 1-10 – $2.50


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