Bet 3.5 Units on Warriors vs. Thunder for Sunday's NBA Pick

Jason Lake

Sunday, November 23, 2014 12:07 PM UTC

Sunday, Nov. 23, 2014 12:07 PM UTC

The Golden State Warriors have been one of this year’s most profitable NBA picks. On Sunday, they’ll visit the plucky Oklahoma State Thunder, who are getting a little bit healthier every day.

Jason’s record as of Nov. 21: 10-7 ATS

Profit: plus-6.43 units

The moment has arrived for the Golden State Warriors. They’re off to a tremendous start this year at 9-2 SU and 8-3 ATS, one of the emerging teams in a Western Conference that’s seen the old guard struggle through injuries and downgrades. New head coach Steve Kerr has taken an already successful team and made it even better. Maybe even worthy of an NBA title.

And yet hardly anyone seems to have noticed. Golden State is very much a regional market in the NBA, and the public money charts have the Warriors ranked No. 22 in action, sandwiched between Orlando and Detroit. But that’s part of what makes the Dubs such a great NBA pick. The early-bird sharps concur: They were unanimous in supporting Golden State for Sunday’s matchup (7:00 p.m. ET) against the Oklahoma City Thunder, who are getting 7.5 points at home.

Green Grow the Rushes
Kerr had the good fortune of taking over a Warriors team that went 51-31 (41-38-3 ATS) last year. And at this point of the new season, the players are relatively healthy, which hasn’t usually been the case in Oakland. None of that should detract from the job Kerr has done thus far. From a strategic perspective, his decision to bring in Andre Iguodala (plus-0.8 BPM) off the bench and elevate Harrison Barnes (plus-2.1 BPM) has worked out very well overall, even if Iguodala is having trouble with the adjustment.

Putting Draymond Green (plus-3.9 BPM) in the regular starting rotation has also worked out brilliantly for the Dubs. If there was any concern that Golden State would slip on the defensive end with the departure of former coach Mark Jackson, players like Green and center Andrew Bogut (plus-5.7 BPM) have assuaged those fears. As we go to press, the Warriors are No. 2 in the league in defensive efficiency at 95.2 points allowed per 100 possessions.

This is where Golden State picks up even more value against the NBA odds. Those casual fans who do think about the Warriors are mostly occupied by the high-scoring backcourt of Stephen Curry (plus-10.0 BPM, tops in the league) and Klay Thompson (plus-4.0 BPM). Indeed, Golden State ranks No. 6 overall in offensive efficiency at 106.8 points scored per 100 possessions. But this is hardly a one-dimensional team.

Players Wanted
The Thunder (3-11 SU, 6-7-1 ATS), on the other hand, are one-dimensional in the sense that their lineup is paper-thin. Reigning MVP Kevin Durant (plus-8.2 BPM last year) and All-Star point guard Russell Westbrook (plus-6.6 BPM) remain sidelined with injuries, opening up a window of opportunity for the Warriors. But at least Oklahoma City is getting some of its supporting cast back on the court.

And the Thunder need all the support they can get. Andre Roberson (plus-3.7 DBPM) is a valuable defensive stopper on the wing now that he’s back, even if he can’t hit the broad side of a barn (minus-2.9 OBPM). But Lance Thomas (minus-4.2 BPM) isn’t getting the job done at small forward in relief of Perry Jones (minus-3.7 BPM), which is already setting the bar pretty low.

As it stands, the Thunder are No. 29 in the league in offensive efficiency (95.3/100), ahead of only the tanking Philadelphia 76ers (88.9). Oklahoma City plays hard on defense for coach Scott Brooks, hard enough to check in at No. 12 overall (103.1) and keep the Thunder from dipping too deep into the red. But they’re on a five-game losing streak right now at 1-3-1 ATS, and the longer this streak goes on, the more they might want to think about tanking, too.

The Five Stars
Depth/Travel/Rest: GS
Defense: GS
Coaching: EVEN
Market Bias: GS
Betting Line Value: OKC
Verdict: 2-star pick on GS

Free NBA Pick: Bet 3.5 units on the Warriors –8 BetOnline

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