NBA Picks: Thunder vs. Clippers

Nila Amerova

Wednesday, November 13, 2013 6:32 PM GMT

Wednesday, Nov. 13, 2013 6:32 PM GMT

One of the top NBA games on the week’s schedule is the clash between Oklahoma City Thunder and LA Clippers. Find out what odds sportsbooks have released on this game and where we feel the value NBA picks are to be found.

Check out SBRs Wednesday NBA Picks & Predictions

OKC Thunder at the slight disadvantage

Oklahoma City Thunder (5-1, 2-1 away) descend on LA Clippers (5-3, 3-0 home) surprisingly at the slight disadvantage, listed at +160 to win outright, while the Clippers are listed as the solid favourites at -180 to win outright at Bet365. Unlike the NBA odds would suggest beating last season’s top seed in the Western Conference is not going to be easy at all.

Undoubtedly, both sides can claim to be heavyweights and that should make for an interesting clash that pits Chris Paul’s Clippers to Kevin Durant’s Thunder. It also means that this game could theoretically go either way and should be a close one as evinced by the NBA betting spread on offer that sits at 4.5.

Recently, the Clippers suffered back-to-back defeats to Orlando and Miami on the road. Though they quickly bounced back with a solid 107-94 win over Houston (on the road) and a narrow 109-107 win over Minnesota at home – two teams that are slated by pundits to challenge for the playoffs this season – that form will be tested by a Thunders side that has lost just one game this season, a 100-81 defeat to Minnesota, and takes a four-game winning streak to the Staples Centre in Los Angeles.

Turning around their form with two straight wins over quality teams bodes well for the Clippers as well as claiming the league’s No.1 offense this season that tallies an average of 109.9 points per game. Still somehow both Florida teams managed to hold this offense down to under 100 points. That said, in the recent wins Clippers were true to form, scoring 107 and 109, respectively.

Thunder rank 11th in offense, averaging 102.8 points per game; but, arguably, what is more important is the momentum on the back of a four-game winning streak, which includes wins over Phoenix, Dallas, Detroit and Washington.

Since Russell Westbrook returned to action against the Suns Thunder haven’t looked back, including their comeback from behind win over Washington, erasing a 12-point lead in the fourth quarter to win in overtime. Importantly, Kevin Durant was up to his lofty standards, scoring 33 points that had a large impact on the game going into overtime and its outcome. Currently, he leads the NBA charts in scoring with an average of 30.2 per game to date.

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NBA Betting Tips and Picks on Thunder +160 (+4.5) vs. Clippers -180 (-4.5)

As far as betting on the winner goes, there is much to recommend both sides. Clippers importantly haven’t lost at home this season and that lends their -180 NBA odds value. If there were a team to change that home record, it would have to be Thunder surely, a side that swept the Clippers 3-0 last season.

That a side of their quality and current form is listed as the underdogs just makes them an even better NBA pick than otherwise. Granted Clippers look a whole lot better than they did last season and have plenty to recommend them on the win, including intangibles that are hard to quantify such as motivation to turnaround last year’s abysmal form against Thunder.

But the more we think on it, the more attractive their basketball odds appear on Thunder. Key facts that encourage this play for and have us going against the sportsbooks: NBA leading scorer Kevin Durant is a game-changing player, Thunder have a four-game winning streak ahead of this clash, a favourable head-to-head record over the Clippers and, importantly, that Thunder arrive in LA on the back of a few days rest. The Clippers by comparison have had a jam-packed schedule with a three-game road trip East and a game against Minnesota just two nights ago.

NBA Picks: Thunder to win straight up at +160 and cover + 4.5

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