The tide is turning for the Oklahoma City Thunder. You don’t need to be a rocket scientist or nuclear physicist to see that with the stars back on the court, this team is very, very good. They’re the favorite on the NBA betting lines in this spot.
The Oklahoma City Thunder Can Win Because…
Their team is intact and whole once more, and obviously, everything’s now working the way it was always supposed to work. The Thunder have Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook back, and so it’s clear to see why this team has won three straight games. The Thunder might be 5-5 in their last 10, but in a comparison of the first five games and the last five, it’s evident that the team is on the upswing. Oklahoma City was 1-4 in the first five games of that 10-game stretch, and 4-1 in the latter five games of that swing. The team had been averaging close to 90 points for a good portion of the season. Now, though, it is averaging 93.5 points per game (heading into Thursday night’s game with the Cleveland Cavaliers). One thing that’s been strong all year for the Thunder is its defense, which currently ranks third in the NBA, allowing 94.4 points per game. The offense just has to come around, and it’s getting there. If Oklahoma City can put up 100 to 104 points every night, the defense should be able to finish off games.
The Minnesota Timberwolves Can Win Because…
They're getting the Thunder in a favorable position. If you were to ask a Timberwolf fan or player, “When would you like to play Oklahoma City?”, the first answer would have been, “At a time when Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook were still injured and unable to play.” They’re back on the court now, so the second best answer becomes something very simple: “On the second end of a back-to-back set, after having to travel away from home, and also after playing a high-profile team, meaning that the team will have expended a lot more emotional energy.”
That situation is exactly what applies to the Thunder in this game. Oklahoma City will be playing the second end of a back-to-back after playing a home game on Thursday night. The Thunder will also have played LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers, one of the most anticipated matchups of the entire NBA season. If there was ever a spot for the Thunder (or any really good NBA team) to have a letdown following a very important nationally televised game, this is definitely it. The Timberwolves are going to sense and smell opportunity, and they’re going to go for it. The Timberwolves do not have a very good defense – they allow 108.8 points per game – but if OKC is not “OK,” Minnesota can benefit from a sluggish performance on the part of the Thunder and get a 99-96 kind of game it wants. It’s very realistic to think that Minnesota can win this game, so keep it in mind when looking over the NBA odds.
The Thunder are not only superior, they’re in a position where they have to win after absorbing so many losses earlier in the season. There will be no letdown for Oklahoma City here. Take them with your NBA picks.
NBA Pick: Oklahoma City -10 at BetOnline