NBA Picks: Side With Thunder As Home Faves To Cover Over Wizards

Swinging Johnson

Monday, February 1, 2016 12:54 PM GMT

The Wizards head into Oklahoma City after snapping a three-game losing streak, while the Thunder has been rolling over the opposition. Let's peruse the odds and get a profitable NBA pick.

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Free NBA Pick: Thunder - 8½
Best Line Offered: at Pinnacle

 

Washington Wizards (21-24 SU, 23-22 ATS)
Washington had lost their last three and were losers of five of their last six when they touched down in Houston to face James Harden and the Rockets. The Wizards brought their A-game offensively as John Wall flirted with a triple-double but ultimately fell just shy with 19 points, 13 assists and eight rebounds but was a big reason why the Wizards were able to work their magic and escape Houston with a 123-122 shootout victory. Ramon Sessions was another major contributor as he came off the bench and dropped 17 points in 18 minutes of work while Marcin Gortat notched 13 points and a team high 11 boards. The Wizards outrebounded the Rockets 45-37 and won despite a herculean effort by Houston's James Harden who rained 40 points down on Washington.

Head coach Randy Wittman will miss the meeting with Oklahoma City on Monday night after receiving word his brother had passed away last Friday night. Wittman is scheduled to return after a two game absence and should be available to welcome the 76'ers to DC this coming Friday night. The head coaching duties will temporarily transition to assistant coach Don Newman. The Wizards are averaging 102.3 PPG (10th) and allowing 104.8 PPG (24th) and are dead last in the rebounding department grabbing an average of just 40.1 boards per game.

 

Oklahoma City Thunder (36-13 SU, 18-30-1 ATS)
The Thunder and their fans are ecstatic that they have been ripping off victories lately, winning 10 of their last 11 and forging the third best record in the league behind only San Antonio and Golden State. However, those who have been backing them in their NBA picks have a completely different opinion as the Thunder has covered the number in only four of those 11 contests. Take a look at their impressive straight up record and then venture a glance at their ATS mark and you will see a team that has been saddled with far too great a handicap, far too often by the NBA odds makers.

Oklahoma City has won four of their last five but failed to cover in each and every one of those victories. In their last outing they, like their opponents Monday night, battled the Rockets only OKC were hosts while Washington was a visitor in Houston. Like the Wizards, they notched a victory, but unlike Washington, they did not yield a return for their backers. When the final buzzer sounded, the Thunder rolled to a 116-108 win but lost an agonizingly close cover as 8½ point home chalk. Russell Westbrook has been playing like a man possessed and landed a triple-double, his sixth of the season, with 26 points, 14 assists and 10 rebounds. Fellow superstar Kevin Durant had 33 points and 12 boards in the win over Houston.

 

Betting Analysis
November 10, 2015 was the last time these clubs met and the Thunder dribbled out of DC with a 125-101 victory as seven-point road favorites. As for tonight the Thunder has been installed as 9½ point home chalk. Oklahoma City has had an extra day of rest having last played on Friday night at home while the Wizards were involved in a frenetic game with the Rockets on Saturday night. The fact that OKC has that extra day of rest and didn't have to hop a plane after their win over Houston, unlike Washington, is a bigger deal than many would believe. The season is beginning to grind at this point, but OKC will have fresh legs, owns a huge advantage on the glass and has greater firepower on both ends of the court.

Durant and Westbrook have been unstoppable lately, and I notice that the NBA odds makers have added only 2½ extra points more than they did when OKC notched a 24-point victory at the Verizon Center back in November. That is a stark reaction to bettors not only laying off the Thunder due to their money burning ways, but we may see the squares actually fading them. That is a dangerous thing to do because the Thunder can beat virtually any team by double digits on any given evening. Factor in that Washington is without their fifth year head coach, and I will side the home team here.