Handicapping injuries against the NBA odds can be a tough task; does an Anthony Davis equal a Kevin Durant? That's the situation we face with Wednesday night's Thunder-Pelicans game in Oklahoma City.
Pelicans-Thunder Betting Odds
Most of Wednesday's NBA odds market opened Oklahoma City at around -9 for tonight's game, with a total of around 212. In the early betting, most sportsbooks then bumped the Thunder to -1, and dropped the total to around 211.
Oklahoma City (6-5 SU, 5-6 ATS) might be the streakiest team in the league right now. The Thunder opened this season with three straight wins, then lost three in a row, then won three more in a row, but have now lost two straight, after going down at Memphis Monday night 122-114. The Thunder, playing their third game in a row without F Kevin Durant, led by a point after three quarters, but fell down by 11 in the fourth and could get no closer that three points after that.
For the game, OKC shot 51 percent from the floor, and made 10 of 24 shots from 3-point land, but committed 19 turnovers and 28 fouls, resulting in a 14-point disadvantage from the free-throw line.
In their first game without Durant last Friday, the Thunder beat Philadelphia 102-85, covering at -13. But Sunday they lost outright at home to Boston 100-85 as five-point favorites.
New Orleans (1-10 SU, 2-9 ATS), meanwhile, has lost four in a row SU, and three in a row ATS, after falling at home to Denver Tuesday night 115-98, losing outright as a six-point favorite. The Pelicans fell down by 10 after one quarter, and lost F Anthony Davis for the night to a shoulder injury. New Orleans actually rallied to take a two-point lead into halftime, but got outscored 64-45 in the second half, including 20-8 down the stretch.
On the night, the Pelicans shot 49 percent from the field, but without Davis patrolling the middle on defense, allowed the Nuggets to shoot 53 percent, and got outrebounded 49-38. Sunday New Orleans lost at New York 95-87, missing ATS as a two-point dog, and just before that it lost at Toronto 100-81, losing ATS at +10.
Pelicans-Thunder Recent History
New Orleans took three of four games from Oklahoma City last season, splitting the two meetings in which Kevin Durant played, taking both games KD missed.
Pelicans-Thunder Totals Trends
New Orleans is 7-4 on the UNDERS this season, even though it's allowing a league-high 109 PPG. On the whole, Pelicans games have averaged 210 points. OKC is 6-5 on the UNDERS, even though Thunder games have averaged 216 points.
New Orleans must be the most banged-up team in the league. Already this season four guys who should be in the regular rotation have missed time, and now Davis is dealing with a sore shoulder, listed as questionable for tonight.
On the other side of this match-up, Durant has missed the last three games with a bad hamstring, and is also out for tonight.
Thanks to all the injuries, New Orleans is a very thin, very small team at the moment, and probably a bit disheartened, to boot. We've heard of bouts with the injury bug, but this is ridiculous. Meanwhile, Oklahoma City is missing its big gun, but it still has Russell Westbrook, who could probably give this version of the Pelicans a run all by himself. For today's NBA picks, we'll take the Thunder on the side. Also, the two games these teams played last year that KD missed averaged 197 total points, so we're thinking UNDER.