NBA Picks: Thunder vs. Kings

Steven Suarez

Friday, January 25, 2013 3:29 PM GMT

It's never too fun playing the Thunder, especially when they're steaming mad after a loss. Are the Kings about to find that out the hard way?

Thunder vs. Kings

Let's run down the NBA odds and find the best course of action.

Odds Overview

Though the Thunder are the road team, they're still favored by quite a hefty margin for tonight's encounter. They're giving away nine points at most books, but 8.5 can be located at a couple different outlets.

Since the Kings are one of the worst defensive teams in the league, it's widely expected that there will be a lot of points scored tonight. That's why the total (209) is as high as it is.

Oklahoma City Thunder

The Thunder are at the tail-end of their lengthy road trip, with just tonight's game in Sacramento and Sunday's visit of the L.A. Lakers remaining.

Considering the competition they've faced, the results haven't been all that disheartening. They lost to two good teams in Denver and Golden State (both of which came down to the wire) but were able to beat Dallas (117-114) and the L.A. Clippers (109-97).

Two nights ago, Oklahoma City gave the Warriors a great fight on the backend of a back-to-back, but fell just short in a 104-99 loss. Kevin Durant had 33 points, nine assists, five rebounds and three blocks, but it was a total off night for Russell Westbrook, who hit just 3-of-16 shots and finished with six turnovers.

We find it hard to believe the Thunder won't bounce back tonight though. They're 14-7 SU and 11-8-2 ATS on the road this season

The Thunder have done well in response to losses, going 7-2 ATS over their last nine games following a straight up defeat. They're also 18-7-1 ATS in their past 26 matchups when playing on one day of rest.

Sacramento Kings

The troubles have continued for the Kings, who have dropped two straight and three of their last four coming in to tonight.

On Wednesday Sacramento played host to Phoenix and lost by seven as three-point favorites. DeMarcus Cousins was making things happen in the post, scoring 15 points to go along with 15 rebounds and five assists. Thomas Robinson (12 points and 14 boards) also had a good game.

However, despite shooting a tidy 48.1 percent overall and completely bossing the glass, the Kings turned the rock over 25 times. You're never putting yourself in a good spot to win when you're losing possessions at that high of a rate.

With the SU and ATS losses, Sacramento moved to 3-7 SU and a horrific 1-8-1 ATS over their last 10 contests. They're also just 0-5-1 ATS in their previous six encounters at home.

However you spin it, it's been excruciating if you've been a Kings fan over the last decade, and nothing has changed this season, especially with the organization set to move to Seattle.

Don't forget to check out our Value Picks for Friday night's betting action~!

[gameodds]5/134753/43/us[/gameodds]

NBA Pick

We tend to be wary about laying so many points on the road, especially in the NBA, but we expect the Thunder to give the Kings a pretty bad beating tonight.

For one, you rarely see Westbrook putting up two duds in a row. He came into the game against Golden State averaging 32.2 PPG, 5.0 APG and 4.7 RPG over his previous six contests, so we think he'll be just fine. We believe he'll have no trouble bullying the much smaller Isaiah Thomas (and Aaron Brooks) out on the perimeter.

However, in the grand scheme of things is where we see the biggest edge. Sacramento is dead last in defensive efficiency, while Oklahoma City is tops in the NBA in offensive efficiency. Not a good formula for the hosts here.

The Kings are much harder to beat at home, we'll give you that, but they're still just 8-13-2 ATS on their own floor. We look for Durant and Westbrook to come out and set the tone early, paving the way for a cover for the visitors. 

Good luck! 

Free NBA Picks: Oklahoma City Thunder -8.5 at Heritage