The Kings have been a mess of late and we think they'll really struggle in this encounter with the Thunder, regardless of them at home tonight. They are underdogs in NBA odds against Oklahoma City.
The Thunder enter as 7.5-point favorites on the NBA Odds board, a position they've become very familiar with over recent seasons. The number was lower earlier, but it looks like the public is really like Oklahoma City to cover, and we don't blame them.
If you're itching to get a piece when it comes to total betting, you can find the number at 211 or 211.5, depending on the sportsbook you use.
The Kings had started to struggle a little bit before Mike Malone was let go, but they've been far worse without him. They're an awful 5-15 over their last 20 games, which has put them at 14-20 overall on the season. Yes, Sacramento was "sitting pretty" at 9-5 at one point in time, but it's pretty much all gone downhill from there.
Off since Sunday, the Kings have had ample time to prepare for this encounter with Oklahoma City. Over the weekend, Sacramento got crushed 114-95 by a resurgent Detroit squad, with the Kings shooting just 42.7 percent overall. DeMarcus Cousins came through with 18 points, 15 rebounds, four assists, two steals and a block, and Darren Collison (17/6/3 with three steals) had an effective game too, but Rudy Gay and Ben McLemore shot a combined 7-of-27 from the floor in the loss. Obviously the Kings struggled mightily defensively too.
This is clearly a team that should mostly be avoided when placing our NBA picks, until they at least prove they deserve some more love. We're not holding our collective breath that that will happen any time soon, though. Sacramento is once again as dysfunctional as ever.
Oklahoma City Thunder
So, the Thunder may have a losing record (17-18) right now, but it's only a matter of time before they're near the top of the Western Conference again. They're far too talented to stay as low as they are, and now that they're healthy again they should be able to pick up a lot more wins and make up some ground.
Oklahoma City was also recently involved in a three-team trade that saw the team land shooting guard Dion Waiters. Personally, I think this is a great snag for the Thunder, who desperately need another scoring option to take the load off Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook. Waiters is a natural playmaker and knows how to put the ball in the basket, so he should be a welcome addition to Scott Brooks' team.
The Thunder will be out for blood after getting throttled by Golden State two nights ago on national television. As a team, Oklahoma City shot a miserable 30.6 percent, as Durant and Westbrook combined to shoot a miserable 8-of-37 from the field. We're going to go out on a limb and say that's not going to happen again tonight.
Times are tough in Sacramento, and a matchup with a motivated Thunder team isn't exactly the best remedy.
Oklahoma City needs to start picking it up and earning wins in order to move up the Western Conference standings, and you know the Thunder will be eager to re-find their winning ways after getting blown out of the gym by the Warriors the other night. This sets up as a nice bounce-back spot for Durant and company, as they're healthy now and ready to make their presence felt among the league's elite again.
So, with Oklahoma City raring to redeem themselves and Sacramento down on their luck, we don't mind laying this kind of number on the road We'll be siding with the Thundet to win by eight or more points this evening.
Free NBA Pick: Oklahoma City Thunder -7.5 at BetOnline