Add Thunder ATS vs. Nets to Your NBA Picks Tonight

David Lawrence

Friday, November 21, 2014 1:23 PM GMT

The Brooklyn Nets have lost five games in a row. The Oklahoma City Thunder have fallen to a 3-10 record in the NBA. Both teams are facing true crises. The Thunder are a slight one-point favorite on the NBA betting lines.

The Brooklyn Nets Can Win Because…
Their opponent just can’t handle various other bad teams in the league. Oklahoma City should have been able to take care of the Denver Nuggets, a team with only three wins, on Wednesday night. Serge Ibaka was there for Oklahoma City with 22 points and 13 rebounds, but was anyone else from his team there? The Thunder are not dealing with the fact that Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook aren’t yet ready to come off the injured list and make this team what it once was. This team just isn’t coming up with answers to a very nightmarish scenario.

How bad are things for the Thunder in terms of bread-and-butter statistics? Oklahoma City’s assists-per-game average is 26th in the NBA, and while that has a lot to do with Westbrook not being around, the rest of the team is not chipping in enough to provide a normal amount of assists per game. The other big stat that makes Brooklyn a good betting play is that Oklahoma City is next to last in the NBA in points per game, under 90. It’s hard to know which number is more of an attention-catcher. Being next to last is one thing; being held under 90 is another. Brooklyn can jump on a team whose scoring offense is below 90.

 

The Oklahoma City Thunder Can Win Because…
They're playing a team that’s doing even worse than Oklahoma City over the course of the past five games. Brooklyn is in freefall right now, having lost five games in a row. The Nets were 4-2, but they’ve lost all sense of competence and structure in recent weeks, tumbling to a 4-7 record at the present moment. Brooklyn has to be very discouraged by the fact that it is not just losing one kind of game. The Nets are losing games being played at different tempos and with different styles. Brooklyn lost 112-104 to Phoenix and 107-99 to Golden State on a West Coast road swing. Then, however, the Nets fell to Portland, 97-87, and to Miami at home on Monday, 95-83. Then came a total humiliation for the Nets. A lack of perimeter defense in the final seconds of overtime, allowing a tying three by the Milwaukee Bucks, caused Brooklyn to lose at home to the Bucks, 122-118, in three overtime periods, not covering the NBA odds. This is a team that is tired and down on itself. Just one of those two characteristics is really bad for a basketball team or any professional sports team. Brooklyn is dealing with both of them right now, and so while Oklahoma City’s season is going down in flames, the Thunder are, believe it or not, better positioned to win this game on their home floor.

 

Outlook
The Thunder have been bad the past week, but the Nets have amazingly been worse. Brooklyn is also coming off a three-overtime game. The Nets might not have very much left on Friday when they make a cross-country commute to the Heartland. Take Oklahoma City with your NBA picks here.

NBA Pick: Oklahoma City -1 at Bodog

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