A night after playing and beating Washington at home, the Nuggets head south into Oklahoma City to play the Thunder. The NBA Odds have the Nuggets as +10 ½ road underdogs here, with a total of 220 points. Playing on no rest at this point in the season is a big disadvantage, but before you go blindly betting on the Thunder, you might want to read further.
Westbrook not cleared for back to
Russell Westbrook is going to sit out either tonight or tomorrow due to not being able to play back to backs, and with the Nuggets only a shell of their full self, the Thunder might chose tonight as the better night to sit out Westbrook. Plus, their opponent tomorrow is the Mavs, a potential first round playoff matchup, so I am pretty sure OKC will chose tonight to sit out their point guard.
If that’s the case, it could mean a few points in the spread, however with all of the injuries for both teams, the spread is very volatile at this point. However, the total of 220 does seem to have some value tonight, and with all of the unknowns, it might be the way to go.
The Nuggets coming off the back-to-back will be tired, and they have sustained some major injuries to important players recently. They lost JJ Hickson for the rest of the season with a torn ACL, and Wilson Chandler is also questionable tonight after missing another game on Sunday.
All of these injuries for the Nuggets will force them to shorten up their bench even more, which means more run for bench players, and probably more scoring from the Thunder. The Nuggets are already not a good defensive team, and on no rest, I could see OKC dropping 110 points or more, even potentially without Westbrook.
The Sharp Pick
Denver is 6-5 cashing the over on the second night of a back to back this season, and the over has cashed in three of the last five times these two teams have played one another. With Denver playing on no rest and with a short bench, expect the Thunder to push the pace a little more than they normally do. If the Nuggets are tired from their game last night, they will give up a ton of transition points to one of the most offensively efficient teams in the NBA.
Another huge issue for the Nuggets will be trying to slow down Kevin Durant, especially if Chandler is unable to go once again, even though he isn’t the greatest defender, Chandler is much better than some of the other options the Nuggets have to defend Durant. It might be amplified even more for the Nuggets if Westbrook sits, because Durant will take another 15 shots.
The Thunder rank in the top ten in offensive efficiency this season, and playing at home, they are even better than their season averages. Take the over tonight for your basketball picks. Despite it being a large total, this should be a very high scoring game.
NBA Pick: OVER 220