You do not often hear rolling thunder in Phoenix, but those living in the area might feel rumbling in the downtown area. If you are placing NBA picks, it might be wise to listen to what you hear.
Oklahoma City (32-25, 28-28-1 ATS) has faced adversity all season, with Russell Westbrook and Kevin Durant out of the lineup at various points, but a recent lucky 7-0 SU and ATS surge has propelled the Thunder into eighth place ahead of New Orleans and floundering Phoenix and caught the attention of NBA basketball handicappers and those perusing the betting odds alike. What should we look for in the nightcap on TNT this evening when it comes to making NBA picks? let’s chug ahead and review both teams.
Oklahoma City Winning and Having Fun
As a person reading this article you know and appreciate winning streaks with your sports picks. The morning coffee tastes a little better, the aroma of lunch or dinner has a more enticing smell.
If you have watched the Thunder play during this winning streak, not only is Oklahoma City winning but they are beating the point spread by 9.3 points on average. This has lead to a lot of happiness on the floor and on the bench where all the players are more touchy-feely then John Travolta or Joe Biden.
Presently, Westbrook is playing MVP-quality basketball, but he’s hardly doing it alone with players like recently acquired Enes Kanter and Dion Walters making plays and the energy players like Mitch McGary and Anthony Morrow have brought. "So much fun," Kanter said. "I'm actually liking basketball. I've never felt like this before. It's how close we are. Everybody tries to help each other. I've never seen it before. I've played for a lot of teams and never seen it before."
Even with Durant out of the lineup again, Serge Ibaka and Westbrook are partnering up in scoring. Since failing to reach 100 points in a five-game span at the end of January, OKC has averaged 111.7 points a game since, while allowing 99.3. The Thunder is rolling.
Phoenix has to be More Defensive
It has been a tumultuous few weeks for the Suns (30-28, 29-26-3 ATS), being losers of eight out of 10 (3-6-1 ATS) and falling to 10th place in the West. Phoenix was forced to alter its roster when Goran Dragic hung out his dirty laundry on the organization and their moves at the trade deadline have been widely criticized.
Nonetheless, there are 24 games to play for coach Jeff Hornacek’s squad and a playoff berth to fight for and last night’s win at Denver 110-96 ended their five-game losing streak. While it was only the Nuggets, last evening proved the importance of defense, because the Suns still have plenty of offense, especially once Brandon Knight gets in the flow. The effort and execution has to come on the other end of the floor in making stops where Phoenix is in the lower third in the league in almost every key category. Against an opponent like Oklahoma City, it is tantamount to defend.
Betting Odds and Head to Head
The NBA odds have Oklahoma City as five-point road favorites with a total of 216.5.
The Thunder has won both matchups this season which were home games. Phoenix however won and covered their two home games a season ago versus the Thunder and Oklahoma City is just 6-7 ATS as road fave, winning by 3.7 PPG.
Oklahoma City will attempt to stay hot as they open a quick three-game four day road excursion beginning this evening. The Thunder will fly to Portland for a game tomorrow and take on the Lakers on Sunday before returning home to play perpetually rebuilding Philadelphia on Wednesday. OKC is 11-18-1 ATS in away games and 19-16 (17-18 ATS) with precisely one day between games.
The slumping Suns off their win last night at Denver have San Antonio in town on Saturday, before heading out East to face Miami, Orlando, Brooklyn and Cleveland next week. Phoenix is .500 against the spread at home (16-12 SU) and an unsavory 4-9 and 5-8 ATS without rest.
The Suns are catching points, but I’m going to side with the road favorite and here is why. Home underdogs of 3.5 to 9.5 points like Phoenix, having lost four of their last five games and playing their fifth game in a week are 4-19 ATS, losing by an average of 9.2 points a contest. Back the better team in a more favorable situation.
NBA Basketball Free Pick – Oklahoma City -4 at The Greek