Free NBA Picks: Thunder vs. Bucks

Darin Zank

Tuesday, November 11, 2014 2:21 PM GMT

Playing through a tough bout with the injury bug Oklahoma City is off to a 2-5 start, although they're also 4-3 ATS. The Milwaukee Bucks, meanwhile, after going 15-67 last season, are 3-4 SU and 5-2 ATS through the first seven games of the Kidd era. The Thunder and Bucks get together Tuesday night at the Bradley Center.

 

Thunder-Bucks Betting Odds
For this game's NBA odds Milwaukee opened right around -3 over OKC, on most books we consulted, with a total of 187.5. And while the spread had held steady in the early betting, the total rose to 189.

The Thunder could also be found getting +135 on the NBA betting moneyline at 5Dimes.

Thunder-Bucks: The Situation
OKC began this season without the great Kevin Durant, who will be out until at least December with a broken foot. The Thunder then opened 0-2, with losses at Portland and at the Clippers. Oklahoma City then also lost star guard Russell Westbrook to a broken hand. The Thunder beat Denver, but then lost three in a row to Brooklyn, Toronto and Memphis, and couldn't even score 90 points in any of those defeats. Sunday night, though, OKC defeated a hot Sacramento team 101-93, winning outright as two-point home dogs, snapping the Kings' five-game winning streak.

The Thunder led that game by 17 points in the third quarter, allowed Sacramento to rally to within a bucket in the fourth, but held on from there.

OKC shot 46 percent from the floor Sunday, and made 23 of 27 free-throws, as the Thunder hit the century mark for just the second time this season.

Milwaukee opened this season with a 108-106 overtime loss at Charlotte, blowing a 24-point third-quarter lead. The Bucks then bounced back to beat Philly 93-81, lost at Washington, won at Indiana 87-81 as four-point road dogs, then lost back-to-back games to Chicago and Detroit. But Saturday night Milwaukee knocked off Memphis 93-92, winning straight-up as four-point home dogs, handing the Grizzlies their first loss of the season after a 6-0 start.

The Bucks trailed that game late, but Brandon Knight completed a 3-point play with one second left for the victory.

Milwaukee shot 46 percent from the field Saturday, and held the Grizz to just 35 percent shooting.

Be sure to take a look at the top NBA Betting Futures Odds

Thunder-Bucks, Statistically Speaking
On the season OKC ranks 13th in the league in FG shooting at just under 45 percent, but has made just 32 percent of its shots from 3-point range and 71 percent of its free throws. On the other end of the court the Thunder rank 10th in FG defense, holding opponents to 44 percent shooting, and they've outrebounded foes by four per game.

Milwaukee ranks just 22nd in FG shooting at just under 44 percent, has made 34 percent of its shots from beyond the arc and 79 percent of its free throws, but also ranks seventh in FG defense, holding foes to 43 percent shooting, and has outrebounded opponents by about one per game.

Thunder-Bucks Recent History
OKC swept the two-game season series from Milwaukee last year, by scores of 92-79 and 101-85, covering the spread as a favorite of 10 and 15 points. And both those games played UNDER on the totals. But of course those results are meaningless when handicapping Tuesday's contest, because Durant and Westbrook combined to score 83 points in those two games combined.

 

Thunder-Bucks Betting Trends
These two teams are a combined 4-10 on the totals this season, as OKC games have averaged 191 total points, Milwaukee games 189 points.

 

Injury Update
Not only is OKC playing without Durant and Westbrook, but now F Perry Jones, who averaged 15 points per game through the first five games of this season, has missed the last two contests with a sore knee, and is questionable for Tuesday night.

 

Thunder-Bucks Free Pick
Oklahoma City burned us Sunday night, beating our free NBA pick, Sacramento. But we can't help but believe the Thunder are headed down a rocky road without their Big Two. Milwaukee, meanwhile, is working with a nice young core, and while it probably won't make it to .500 this season, it certainly should improve upon the 15 wins of last season. And with all things considered the Bucks should win this game. So we like the healthier team in this spot, at a short spread.

Free NBA PickMilwaukee -2.5 at Bookmaker

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