NBA Picks: Is Durant Best Bet for Most Points Per Game?

David Lawrence

Thursday, October 23, 2014 7:20 PM UTC

Thursday, Oct. 23, 2014 7:20 PM UTC

Under normal circumstances, Kevin Durant is probably the best NBA betting pick to win the scoring title. However, an early-season injury has thrown everything off. Is he still worth the bet? Here are the pros and cons:

Yes, Bet Him
When chosing your NBA picks keep in mind that if Durant wins the scoring title, you’re going to look at his injury – which has taken him out of commission for the month of November, possibly a little longer – as something that will actually wind up helping him. Remember that this is not about total points for the whole season. LeBron James and Carmelo Anthony are going to fight over that honor as long as they don’t miss very many games due to injury. This is a points-per-game chase, and so Durant can play only 65 games and yet still be the winner when the regular season ends in April.

How can Durant win the points-per-game race? Very simply, the injury will leave him fresh when he comes back. Durant’s time away from the court will make him that much stronger and more active when he comes back. When a lot of NBA stars are dragging just before the All-Star break, Durant might be a lot more energetic and vigorous, keeping him a step ahead of the league and giving him a leg up on the competition during the dreary middle third of the season, when players and teams are just trying to get through January and early February before the one-week break they’ll have during the expanded All-Star break this season. Durant might get more mileage out of each and every game he plays. As long as he plays enough games, his specific averages could very well be better than LeBron’s. Playing a slightly shorter schedule could certainly work to his advantage, because LeBron could, over 82 games, throw in a few clunkers to drag down his average. Durant, by playing fewer games, could maintain his scoring average on a higher plane.


No, Avoid The Line And Bet Someone Else
The NBA betting case against Durant is as simple and uncomplicated as the case for him. The reason why Durant could lose the scoring title, as measured by points per game averages, is that when he comes back from his injury, he could be rusty. He might require time to get back into the flow of Oklahoma City’s offense. NBA analysts remember what happened with the Thunder last season, when Russell Westbrook returned from an injury in the month of February. In the first week after Westbrook came back, Oklahoma City actually struggled instead of performing even better. Westbrook was getting reacquainted with the offense, and he was also working his way back into full playing shape will getting re-established with his teammates, who had played a number of weeks without him. Backup guard Reggie Jackson had become comfortable with the rest of the team, and Oklahoma City developed a great rhythm with Jackson on the court. In the short term, Westbrook’s return disrupted the Thunder. This is exactly what could happen with Durant, and if it does, a bad two-week stretch of scoring numbers could be all that’s needed to give LeBron or Melo the scoring title.

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