OKC has been on a nice stretch recently, and in their winning streak they have beaten the Clippers, Spurs, Warriors and Wolves. Heading into Sacramento should be no problem for the Thunder, however -6 ½ seems right on point for this game. Either team could easily cover the number, and the total in the NBA odds seems like the better option at this point.
The Kings will present some mismatches for the Thunder, most notably DeMarcus Cousins and Isaiah Thomas. Thomas should provide some park off the bench for the Kings, and so far at home their scoring has been solid. The have slumped a little at points, but this team has a lot of talent, and even the newly acquired Derrick Williams should make a splash in this game. The former #2 overall pick should provide some nice depth at both forward positions, and even though I doubt he has much success at it tonight, he will likely be called upon to guard Kevin Durant some in this game.
Both of these teams like to move the ball, and even with Sacramento being in the lower third of the league in pace, the Thunder rank 6th so far this season with nearly 100 possessions per game. They will force the Kings’ hand in this game and make them get up and down the floor. What will be even better is if the Thunder get out to an early lead, forcing the Kings to speed up their tempo.
The Sharp Pick
It seems as if every time these two teams meet, the score is higher, especially on the side of Oklahoma City. 15 of the last 23 matchups these two teams played in Sacramento have gone over the total, and in their last ten games overall against the Kings, the Thunder have averaged 110 points per game.
The Kings’ defense has gotten better this season under Mike Malone, but it still isn’t there outside of Cousins. Cousins should have a big night guarding the paint if he stays out of foul trouble, but more importantly, his offense should be huge tonight. No one on the Thunder is qualified to stop Cousins, and as long as he can stay out of foul trouble, I expect a big game from Boogie. Either way, he was in foul trouble in the Kings’ last game against the Warriors, and he still put up 24 points on 10/13 shooting.
On the flip side, no one on the Kings is going to do anything resembling slowing down Durant or Russell Westbrook. Both should have stellar games tonight on the road. The Thunder are giving up over 102 points per game on the road so far this season, and the Kings give up that much against Western Conference opponents as well. I see 203 as a bargain for our NBA pick.
My Pick: ‘Over’ 203