Free NBA Picks: Thunder To Hang Tough In First Game vs. Warriors

Charles Stark

Monday, May 16, 2016 1:00 PM GMT

With The OKC's upset against the Spurs we have a bit of an unexpected Western Conference Final between the Thunder and Warriors. Where's the value in the NBA Odds?

The NBA odds have come out making OKC a +7.5 underdog like at Pinnacle Sports -109. For my NBA pick of the day I am going to grab the points with the Thunder. They match up well with Golden State and will make this game and this series a lot more interesting than people anticipate.

 

OKC Thunder
OKC comes in averaging 109.7 points per game and shoot 47.5% from the field which ranks third in the NBA. Much to my chagrin they eliminated my favorite team but I thought they were the better team versus San Antonio. On the season although they lost to Golden State three straight times they were right in the thick of each game with their worst loss being the last time they played them in which the Warriors went for 39 points in the final quarter to secure the win.

This team seems to be hitting their stride and should come in with a lot of confidence against the best team in the league. Offensively they can score from the inside out and they rebound the ball better than anyone in the league averaging over 56 per game led by Adams, Ibaka, and Kanter.

Defensively will be extremely challenging for them but they held the Warriors to 34% and 32% from beyond the arc the last two times they met, well below their 41.5% average. Durant and Westbrook have been in this type of situation before and I expect for them to step up their games tonight.

 

Golden State Warriors
The Warriors rank first in the league in every major offensive category and second in opponent overall shooting percentage. Head coach Steve Kerr always puts the emphasis on defense which sometimes gets lost in the shuffle when Stephen Curry is lighting up the scoreboard. Curry single handedly beat the Trailblazers in their semi-finals highlighted by a monster over time performance in game four.

I could go on ad infinitum on how good this team is but I think they are giving away just a few too many points tonight against an OKC team that is rolling right now. For the most part both teams are cut from the same cloth focusing on defense turning into transition offense with the Warriors ranking first in fastbreak points and the Thunder 4th.

The main difference comes from beyond the arc where Golden State thrives ranking first in attempts and made shots from distance while OKC ranks in the middle of the league in those categories. Still, OKC has proven resilient in keeping the Warriors to respectable shooting percentages from range and I believe they can do so again tonight as well as score themselves to stay within the number.

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Free NBA Pick: Thunder +7½
Best Line Offered: at Pinnacle