Toronto Raptors vs. Oklahoma City Thunder
It's the first meeting of the season between these teams. Last year the Thunder won both matchups easily, beating Toronto 108-88 at home and then dispatching them in a 104-92 road win a couple months later.
For tonight, Oklahoma City is understandably a heavy favorite once more (10.5), with the O/U at 204.5.
Before we get to the pick, let's take a closer look at how each team's been doing as of late.
The Raptors seem to be adjusting to life without Rudy Gay just fine. They're 4-2 SU and ATS in their previous six contests, with a home win over Philadelphia and road victories over Chicago, Dallas and the LA Lakers.
But, Toronto hasn't been nearly as dominant as Oklahoma City. The Thunder are on a roll, winning nine straight games while covering the spread in seven of those victories.
Both teams are playing well and we just don't see a lot of value on either side. We like the look of the OVER much more.
Oklahoma City has scored 101+ points in 10 straight games and is currently ranked fifth in the NBA in offensive efficiency. Over their last five, the Thunder have put up an impressive 109.6 points per game on 48.2 percent shooting overall. Meanwhile, the Raptors have been scoring at a good clip too, having averaged 104.2 PPG in their past five matchups.
As long as this one doesn't turn into an Oklahoma City blowout early, we think the OVER will cash with our NBA picks.
Pick: OVER 204.5
You couldn't ask for a better nightcap than this. Chris Paul and the Clippers up against Kevin Love and the Timberwolves.
L.A., who won easily over Denver last night, will come in favored by six points in the NBA odds. The O/U has settled in at around 208.5 or so.
The Clippers' win last night was their fourth straight and sixth in their last seven. Blake Griffin had a huge game, posting 24 points and 16 rebounds while Jamal Crawford (27 points) and Chris Paul (10 points and 11 assists) each were effective as well.
Conversely, the Timberwolves have failed to find much consistency to their performances. They've alternated wins and losses over their last six, which was highlighted by a fantastic 120-109 triumph over Portland back on Wednesday.
Again we're going to have to recommend the OVER.
The Timberwolves have been playing at a lightning fast pace all season long. They're second in PACE, behind only Philadelphia. The Clippers have been running up and down a lot too, which is why we find them in eighth in PACE.
L.A. is averaging 108.2 points per game over their previous five and Minnesota isn't too far behind at 103.8 PPG. The Timberwolves have been poor defensively as well, having surrendered 104.8 PPG on 47.9 percent shooting in that same span.
The OVER has hit a great clip in Clippers' home games so far (9-4) and we foresee it coming through again. There will be a ton of great shooters out on the floor tonight, so let's bank on this thing turning into a shootout.
Pick: OVER 208.5