NBA Pick on Thunder as Overlays at San Antonio on ESPN

LT Profits Sports Group

Wednesday, March 25, 2015 7:03 PM GMT

Each day LT Profits Sports seeks an overlay side that has a better chance of cashing than its spread, offering long term value. Here is their Side Value Play for Wednesday.

 



Despite the current seedings of the two participants, there is actually a heavyweight battle in the NBA Wednesday night with the underdogs appearing to offer great value as those Oklahoma City Thunder (41-30, 14-21 away) pay a visit to the San Antonio Spurs (44-26, 26-8 home) at the AT&T Center in San Antonio, TX at 9:35 ET in a game televised nationally on ESPN.

The point spread at Bet365 has Oklahoma City as a decided road underdog for this contest with the current line at +8 with odds of -115.


Both Teams on Back-to-Backs
Few people would have expected the Spurs to be tied for the sixth seed in the Western Conference and for the Thunder to be the last team in the playoffs as the eighth seed at this point before the season started, but that is precisely where they are although both have been hotter lately. Also both teams are on a back-to-back after being in action last night.

The Thunder got off to a terrible start to this season with Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook both out at the time, and Durant is now out again, this time quite possibly for the season. However, Westbrook has raised his play to MVP levels and the Thunder were the winning NBA picks for the fourth straight game 127-117 over the Los Angeles Lakers last night, opening up a three-game lead over ninth seeded Phoenix for the final playoff spot in the West.

The Spurs meanwhile entered last night having won 10 of their previous 12 games, but they fell 101-94 at Dallas to drop into a tie with those Mavericks for the sixth seed.


Thunder Should Have the Fresher Legs
Even under normal circumstances, both the these teams simultaneously playing back-to-backs would seem to favor the much younger Thunder team, and that is now compounded here by the fact that Oklahoma City was able to sit its regulars for the entire fourth quarter with a big lead on the Lakers, which should lead to even fresher legs here in the Lone Star State tonight.

But back-to-back factors aside, the Thunder seem like overlays at this number just based in the merit of their recent play alone, as besides Westbrook becoming a walking triple-double in Durant’s absence, Oklahoma City acquired the inside presence that it has lacked for many years at the trading deadline by picking up Enes Kanter from the Utah Jazz.

And Kanter has certainly not disappointed while averaging 17.7 points and 10.9 rebounds in a Thunder uniform and he has now recorded six consecutive double-doubles after going off for 25 points and 16 rebounds last night. The Thunder had no inside presence and still no Durant the only other times these teams met so far this season in December, and yet Oklahoma City prevailed 114-106 here in San Antonio as a six-point underdog.


Spurs Now Tied with Dallas for Six-Seed
The Spurs also took a while to get going this season due to assorted injuries, but they have begun to again resemble the NBA Champions of last season while playing with a full roster lately, especially when going into Atlanta and dominating the top seeds in the East in the Hawks on the road 114-95 on Sunday.

However the loss at Dallas hurt the Spurs’ playoff standing a bit and that makes it highly unlikely that Coach Gregg Popovich will rest any regulars here as he often does in back-to-backs toward the end of the season. There is some good news there though as Kawhi Leonard was the only Spur to play more than 28 minutes last night and he is the most equipped to handle that load as the youngest major contributor to the team.


Head-to-Head Dominance by OKC
Thus, playing without a day off may not have as much effect on either team as you would expect, but one thing that cannot be overlooked is the dominance that the Thunder have had over the Spurs in this head-to-head series. The earlier upset this season brings Oklahoma City to 13-5-1 ATS in the last 19 meetings overall, and the Thunder have now won each of the last six regular season meetings between these teams straight up including a season sweep last year.

Of course San Antonio got its revenge when it mattered most by knocking Oklahoma City out of the playoffs last season in six games, but we expect this contest to more closely resemble the recent regular season meetings, making these points worth taking with the Thunder on Wednesday.

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NBA Pick: Thunder +8 (-115)