NBA Picks: Thunder vs. Clippers

Jordan Sharp

Sunday, March 3, 2013 1:46 PM GMT

Sunday is a busy day in the NBA, and we have a steady stream of games happening all afternoon and evening. One of those early matchups tips off at 1 PM PST.

NBA Picks: Thunder vs. Clippers

That is the Clippers playing host to the Thunder this afternoon. The Clippers come into this game favored by -2 ½ on the NBA odds boards, with a total of 203 ½. This should be one of the best games of the day, so let’s see if we can extract some value out of it as the NBA regular season is less than 6 weeks from being over.

Wild West congestion

These two are virtually tied for second place out West right now in the playoff standings, and whomever wins this one will find themselves either 2 ½ or 3 games back of the Spurs heading into their game tonight. Of course the Spurs will be without Parker for some time now, and this is the time for the rest of the west to make a move.

Oklahoma City is coming off a tough loss in Denver the other night despite Russell Westbrook’s season high of 38 points. We have been looking at the Thunder cash all season, but they have started to slow WAY down at cashing on the road. OKC is only 13-13-2 ATS this season when playing on the road, and their numbers go down significantly from being at home to on the road.

Tonight OKC will have yet another tough test. However, already twice this season, the Thunder have won and cashed against the Clippers, once in LA and once in OKC. Will they do it once again, or will the Clippers show up and take sole control of 2nd place out West?

Clippers healthy

It’s amazing what having your full roster will do for your winning percentage. Tell that to the Knicks who haven’t had a full lineup since December. The Clippers finally have all of their guys available, and when you play a 12-man rotation, that is a big factor at this point of the season. Teams that only play eight or nine guys every night are feeling it, while the Clippers look fresh for a down the stretch run.

LA has won their last four games SU and ATS, and over that stretch of games, the Clippers are shooting a combined 51.5% from the field. After their bad loss to the Spurs back on the 21st, this team has turned things around, and this will be OKC’s toughest test since playing the Heat right before the All Star Break.

[gameodds]5/219959/43/us[/gameodds]

The Sharp Pick

As most of these late season lines go, I’m seeing much more value in the total than the spread. At this point of the season, either of these teams could win this game very easily, and at this point of the season, spreads are becoming sharper and less valuable.

However, the total in this one at 203 ½ is very nice. If you have followed me for most of the season, you’ll know that I love betting the under on these afternoon games on Sunday. Playing during the day is not something these guys do a lot, and bringing them out of their comfort zone has led to the under cashing a lot this season on Sunday afternoon.

However, since the start of the New Year, it has evened out, and the totals of games on Sunday afternoon have gone 6-6, evenly splitting between the over and under since January.

So, at 203 ½, I love the over in this one. Both of these teams will be able to shake off the early start out in Los Angeles, and six of the last seven times these two have gotten together, the total has gone over, including both games this season. I think we will see a very close game this afternoon, but I’m seeing a 109-105 type of score at the end, so add the over to your NBA picks for Sunday.

NBA Picks: OVER 203 ½ at Pinnacle

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