NBA Picks: Suns vs. Thunder

Steven Suarez

Friday, February 8, 2013 4:53 PM GMT

Friday, Feb. 8, 2013 4:53 PM GMT

The Thunder, who are 22-3 at home this season, play host to the struggling Suns to Oklahoma City tonight and we believe we've found where the best value lies with our NBA picks.

Odds Overview

We've gotten accustomed to seeing the Thunder listed as double-digit favorites, so it's business as usual tonight. They're favored by 12 points, with 12.5 also on the NBA odds board at certain sportsbooks.

If you feel a total play may be the better bet with your sports picks, you can pin down the O/U at 205.5. The OVER has gone 7-2 in the last nine head-to-head meetings between these two teams.

[gameodds]5/217465/43/us[/gameodds]

Phoenix Suns

Since opening the Lindsey Hunter era with two wins, the Suns have gone on to lose five of their next seven games, both straight up and versus the spread.

On Wednesday, Phoenix coughed up the lead and ended up losing 93-84 to New Orleans as 6.5-point underdogs. The Suns went ice cold in the second half, scoring a total of 31 points.

Though they got double-digit scoring out of five different players, Phoenix couldn't get anyone to take over the game and impose their will offensively. Marcin Gortat finished with 14 points and seven boards, Goran Dragic had 13 points and six assists, and Michael Beasley contributed 11 points and five boards off the bench.

With the loss to the Hornets, the Suns moved to 5-21 SU and 11-13-2 ATS on the road. They've gone 1-3-1 ATS over their previous five contests outside of Phoenix ahead of tonight.

A little rest hasn't done much good for the Suns lately either. They've managed a 0-6-1 ATS record in their past seven matchups when playing on one day of rest. Compare that to Oklahoma City, who have gone 21-9-1 ATS in their last 31 with the same amount of recovery time.

Oklahoma City Thunder

We keep waiting for a rough patch for the Thunder, but we may end up waiting a while.

Oklahoma City enters tonight's game on the heels of a 119-98 annihilation of the Golden State Warriors two nights ago. The Thunder were listed as 11-point chalk and had no trouble cashing thanks to an offensive blitz in the first half which saw them outscore Golden State 67-49.

Kevin Durant had 25 points, seven boards and four assists and Russell Westbrook came through with 22 points, five assists, three rebounds and four steals. Lethal shooter Kevin Martin hit 8-of-16 shots for 21 points off the bench, as Oklahoma City shot 50.5 percent from the field overall.

The Thunder have now cashed in six consecutive games at home, further padding their 17-8 ATS season mark at Chesapeake Energy Arena. That insanely productive offense has been the catalyst, with the Thunder averaging 108.6 PPG on 49.3 percent shooting over their previous five games. 

This team has also had major success as a heavy favorite. Oklahoma City has gone 17-8 ATS when favored by eight points or more thus far in 2012/13.

Be sure to check out our NBA Picks: Friday Night Plays for more free betting tips. 

NBA Pick 

Though the OVER looks rather enticing – after all, the Thunder are the NBA's most efficient offensive team – we're not convinced the Suns will be able to keep up on the scoreboard.

So, we are going to take Oklahoma City on the spread to cover the huge number. 

The statistics speak for themselves here. The Thunder are #1 in offensive efficiency and #7 in defensive efficiency, while the Suns are #24 and #26 respectively. Scott Brooks has been preaching for his team to keep improving defensively, and we think they'll get the job done against a Phoenix squad averaging only 92.8 PPG over their last five.

Phoenix has some talent and we wouldn't be shocked if they manage to hang around early, but in the end Oklahoma City is the far more explosive team and they're near impossible to contain for the full 48 minutes at home. We'll lay the points and back the Thunder.

NBA Pick: Oklahoma City Thunder -12
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