Thunder, Lakers collide in Western showdown

Unsure of what exactly they can expect out of the Western Conference this season, basketball fans will tune in Friday as the Oklahoma City Thunder play host to the Los Angeles Lakers. How the two contenders handle each other may just determine just how Vegas’ oddsmakers decide to handle their NBA odds.

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Although the veteran Lakers had the advantage of a booming offseason heading into the start of the 2012-13 campaign, the magic of adding Dwight Howard and Steve Nash has seemed to wear off in L.A. With Nash injured and Howard still struggling to replicate the impact he had in Orlando previously in his career, the Lakers have underperformed.

Despite the struggles, at 4/1 on the NBA futures, they’re second in the league behind only the reigning champion Miami Heat. The Thunder in contrast, who didn’t add any big names but rather lost one over the offseason, sit third with 9/2 odds of winning the NBA championship.

If Los Angeles, with the help of new head coach Mike D’Antoni and an eventually healthy starting lineup, can play to the level fans expected them to when their super team was announced this summer, the Thunder may be in trouble heading into the early December showdown.

However, that’s no guarantee. Bet on the NBA regular season at its finest today.

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