The Oklahoma City Thunder have notched a 4-1 ATS mark in their last five games, scorching foes for 119.3 PPG in the span’s three home dates. Thursday’s NBA matchups has Scott Brooks’ squad hosting the Miami Heat, who ended this past week’s homestand with three straight cashed tickets.
Where do the best NBA picks lie for the ‘side’ and ‘total’ between these hot foes?
Thunder, Durant fall short in Utah
Oklahoma City saw a four-game winning streak end with Tuesday’s 109-94 defeat as 5 ½-point road ‘chalk’ to the Utah Jazz. The Thunder trailed by as many as 21 points, despite a stellar 55.9 percent night of field shooting.
Thunder forward Kevin Durant notched team-highs of 33 points and six boards, while he and mate Russell Westbrook added five assists each. Westbrook finished with 22 points, knocking down 8-of-14 shots from the floor.
The battle’s combined 203 points leaped above the closing ‘total’ of 201, lifting the OVER to 5-2 in Oklahoma City’s last seven contests. Thunder forward Serge Ibaka logged seven of his squad’s 13 blocks, while he and his mates were outrebounded, 38-26.
Heat, Bosh outgun Blazers
Miami’s latest victory came in Tuesday’s 117-104 triumph over the Portland Trail Blazers, collecting as an 11-point home favorite. The Heat connected from the floor at a 58.1 percent clip, including an 8-for-19 mark from three-point land.
Heat center Chris Bosh logged a second straight double-double, notching 32 points and 11 rebounds. Miami’s LeBron James and Dwyane Wade united for 54 points and 16 assists, while adding two blocks each.
The affair’s combined 221 points soared beyond the ‘total’ of 198 ½, moving the OVER to a 4-0 mark in Miami’s last four duels. Heat guard Ray Allen notched 14 points off the bench, reaching double figures for the first time in seven games.
Back the Heat and UNDER
NBA odds makers first opened Oklahoma City as a five-point home favorite, while first setting the ‘total’ at 204 ½. The squads are meeting for the first time since December’s 103-97 victory for Miami as 2 ½-point home ‘chalk.’
I am looking for Miami to collect again here, and I am also adding a play on the UNDER to my free picks in a tightly-played affair. The Heat have found themselves as road dogs only twice all year, cashing with wins against the Denver Nuggets and Los Angeles Lakers en route to the UNDER going 2-0.
Miami has allowed a stingy 87.4 PPG in its last five road spots that did not reach overtime, with the UNDER cashing at 4-1 in that span. The Heat found the rims at a 46.8 percent clip over its two matchups in Oklahoma City as part of June’s NBA Finals, while collecting at 6-1 ATS in the last seven meetings between the rivals.
Oklahoma City should do its part for UNDER backers in keeping this affair tight, giving up 91.4 PPG in the team’s last seven home dates. The UNDER has cashed at 4-1 in OKC’s last five spots that followed a loss of over 10 points.
Look for Miami to squeak out a cover here, while the octane stays low in this marquee matchup.
Parlay Pick: Miami +5, UNDER 204 ½ (5Dimes.eu)[gameodds]5/218399/43/us[/gameodds]