NBA Picks: Thunder vs. Clippers

Jeff Grant

Tuesday, January 22, 2013 2:57 PM GMT

The Oklahoma City Thunder are one of the better teams in the NBA in bouncing back from a loss, but they’ll face a revenge-minded Los Angeles Clippers squad Tuesday night at the Staples Center.


Let’s take a closer look at the NBA odds for this high-profile affair that tips off at 10:30 p.m. ET on NBA TV. 

All good things come to an end 

Oklahoma City had its six-game win streak snapped in a 121-118 overtime loss to the Denver Nuggets as one-point road favorites Sunday, while going OVER the total for the third consecutive contest. The Thunder still possess a 13-6 overall record on the road, including a 7-3 mark versus Western Conference opponents. The franchise is 5-1 straight up and against the spread (ATS) off an upset loss as a favorite this year. 

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Los Angeles was unable to hold onto a seven-point lead with 11 minutes left Monday afternoon, as it dropped a 106-99 decision to the Golden State Warriors as 4.5-point road favorites, while going OVER the posted total of 197.5. The Clippers didn’t receive much production from All-Star point guard Chris Paul, who was held to a season-low four points on 1-of-7 shooting from the floor.

Paul is currently listed as questionable on the injury report with the same knee injury that caused him to miss the team’s previous three-game road trip. I believe the early line movement in the betting market suggests that he’ll watch this one from the bench with the team playing the back end of a back-to-back situation. 

Quite a combination

Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook are the highest scoring teammates in the NBA, as they’ve combined for 52.5 points per game on the season, but they’ve played at an even higher level recently. Oklahoma City’s star duo has managed to score 71.3 points per game over the last four contests, with Durant going for 30 or more in each of those. The team enters Tuesday night’s game leading the league in scoring 106.0 points per game.

Revenge 

Sports bettors need to respect the fact that the Clippers are 8-2 ATS when revenging a loss against an opponent this year, as they may jump at the opportunity of backing the Thunder at such a short price with Paul’s status in doubt. Los Angeles has also won both of its games in straight-up fashion when tipping off as a home underdog of three points or less during the 2012-13 campaign.

[gameodds]5/134664/43/us[/gameodds]

Prediction

I’m going to recommend that readers back the Clippers as one of their NBA picks, as they’ve won eight of their nine home games where the total is between 200 and 204.5 points, while the Thunder are 7-15 ATS on the road when playing with a betting total in that particular range over the last two-plus seasons.

NBA Pick: Los Angeles Clippers +1