NBA Odds: Pick Thunder Over Suns As Durant Returns

Jordan Sharp

Wednesday, December 31, 2014 3:03 PM UTC

Wednesday, Dec. 31, 2014 3:03 PM UTC

The NBA Odds have the Thunder as -7 home favorites against the Suns, with a total of 212. I won my two NBA Picks yesterday, so let’s try and keep the train rolling! 

Kevin Durant set to make his return
After missing several games to start the season, and now six more after spraining his ankle upon his return, Kevin Durant is set to make his return from injury tonight at home against the Suns. This should be a nice spot to bring him back. The Thunder have been playing relatively well without him and are currently favored in the NBA odds, but with him they should have no issues crushing the Suns here.

Phoenix is coming off a back-to-back, playing last night against the Pelicans in New Orleans. Even though the flight from New Orleans to Oklahoma City isn’t a long one, it’s the time in the season where back to backs start to affect players more, and I see it hurting the legs of the Suns tonight.

Even though he will likely be rusty, Durant should have a good game here, even though he has missed a few weeks. The Suns’ defense is already not great defending wing players, and with Russell Westbrook playing out of his mind right now, those two together should have no problem covering the -7 spread. Oklahoma City went on a nice run ATS once Durant came back from his stress fracture and before his most recent injury, and even though OKC was only 3-3 ATS in Durant’s absence, I think playing a tired Suns team is exactly what will get this team back to winning and covering.

For more betting value this New Year's Eve, Check out our Free Pick for Heat vs. Pacers

The Sharp Pick
On the season, the Suns are only 2-6 ATS when playing on the second night of a back to back, while the Thunder are 11-4 ATS this season at home, and after a SU loss they are 9-6-1 ATS. The Thunder are also 6-2 ATS in their last eight games as favorites at home, and they are 5-1 ATS in their last six games as home favorites between -5 and -10.

The Suns on the other hand are 6-1 ATS overall in their last seven games, but in their first meeting with the Thunder this season, they played in OKC and lost by 24 points. That game was with both Westbrook and Durant healthy, so tonight even with Durant coming off of a layoff, it looks like a great play here.

Outside of their big two superstars, the Thunder have been getting good play from their young center, Steven Adams. Adams looks like the one piece that might salvage the James Harden deal some, because he is the only player drafted from all of those draft picks that looks like an NBA starter in his young career. His defense, strength and even his offense have all improved a lot this season, and finally with Kendrick Perkins on the final year of his massive contract, Scott Brooks looks like he has finally pulled the plug on Perkins. Adams should have a big game here as well. The Suns are one of the worst teams in defending the post, and coming off a back to back in a game they gave up almost 20 and 20 to Anthony Davis, I expect a double double from Adams tonight as well.

Free NBA Pick: Thunder -7.5 at YouWager

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