Jordan’s NBA Picks: 27-13
Tuesday, 8 p.m. EST, NBATV
Free NBA Pick: Thunder ATS
Best Line Offered: BetOnline
With their hard-liner head coach now sitting at home and getting paid for a second time in his career, the Wolves might end up being a very under the radar good bet on Tuesday. However, they have to do it against one of the league’s best teams, so don’t hold your breath on the Wolves being some incredible value.
Wolves Still Have Problems
I know all about team’s playing well ATS after the firing of a head coach. However, this is more of a football thing than a basketball thing and as we’ve seen with Thibodeau’s old team, the Bulls, things don’t always get better and can very much get worse after an in-season coaching change.
Thibs was fired just moments after A WIN on Sunday and while the move was probably unexpected for him, it wasn’t for most of those watching outside the organization.
The Wolves may end up playing better without Thibodeau at the helm, but that still doesn’t change their roster limitations, especially against a team like the Thunder. Sure, the Wolves beat out the Thunder by two points in Oklahoma City a few weeks ago. Good for them.
However, a big difference from then and now is Robert Covington’s absence. Covington held Paul George to 11-for-24 from the floor in that game and without him, the Wolves have literally no one qualified to keep George from going nuts.
I understand the boost the Wolves will get from being without the shackles of Thibs for the first time, but without Covington on the floor to check George, this one is probably over before it begins.
I’ve gone this whole time too and haven’t even mentioned that the Thunder are coming off arguably their worst loss of the season at home to the Wizards by 18 points. The bounce-back narrative for them is much stronger than any Wolves coaching one.
The Sharp Pick
I talked about this on my last pick involving the Thunder, but their defense has been really good this season. Even after giving up 116 points to the Wizards, the Thunder are holding opponents to just 101.7 points per 100 possessions, which ranks best in the league.
With that in mind, the Thunder also have been playing at a lightning fast pace this season. While it hasn’t helped their efficiency much, their offense has not suffered too much, especially when they play at home. The Thunder average a few points per 100 possessions more when playing at home and their effective field goal percentage takes a big leap too.
Enter a team without much defense and without their best wing defender and you have a ripe opportunity to fade the narrative bettors on the Wolves and lay the sharp money with those of us on the Thunder.
Final Score Prediction: Wolves 107 – Thunder 116