NBA Picks: Thunder vs. Knicks

Joe Freda

Thursday, March 7, 2013 2:17 PM GMT

The New York Knicks went 2-0 ATS in the club’s pair of road games this week, holding the Detroit Pistons and Cleveland Cavaliers to 87 PPG. Will the Knicks keep cashing here or is the ‘total’ better?

Thursday’s NBA betting has Mike Woodson’s squad returning home against the Oklahoma City Thunder, who have put up 110.4 PPG in their last nine contests en route to the OVER going 6-3.

Knicks, Felton surge past Pistons

New York’s latest win came in Wednesday’s 87-77 victory as a 5 ½-point NBA odds favorite in Detroit. Knicks guard Raymond Felton notched a team-high 26 points, with mate Carmelo Anthony unable to play due to a knee injury.

New York’s Amar’e Stoudemire and J.R. Smith united for 42 points off the bench, with Smith draining 4-of-11 shots from three-point land. Knicks big man Tyson Chandler grabbed 11 boards, while veteran Jason Kidd logged six assists and three steals.

The battle’s combined 164 points plunged beneath the ‘total’ of 195, making the UNDER 4-0 in the Knicks’ four matchups since the start of March. New York trailed by as many as 10 points, while outrebounding the Pistons, 48-36.

Thunder, Westbrook top Lakers

Oklahoma City notched its fifth win in six games with Tuesday’s 122-105 triumph over the Los Angeles Lakers, cashing as 9 ½-point home ‘chalk.’ The Thunder hit 47.9 percent of their field buckets, while sinking 22-of-24 free throws.

Thunder guard Russell Westbrook notched his second straight double-double, finishing with 37 points and 10 rebounds. Oklahoma City’s Kevin Durant and Serge Ibaka united for 39 points and five blocks, with Durant adding three of his side’s 10 steals.

The duel’s combined 227 points leaped OVER the ‘total’ of 215, with the Thunder outscoring Los Angeles in paint points, 52-22. Oklahoma City never trailed, while holding the Lakers to a 40.3 percent night from the floor.

Back the OVER in MSG

NBA oddsmakers were slow to put up numbers for this matchup, with Carmelo Anthony (28.2 PPG) listed as “questionable” to return in this spot for the Knicks. Oklahoma City is playing the front end of a back-to-back spot, heading south to meet the Charlotte Bobcats as part of Friday’s card. New York will have one day of rest before resuming action with Saturday’s hosting of the Utah Jazz.

I am going with the OVER here, looking for both sides to put up their share of points on Madison Square Garden’s stage in this TNT primetime affair. The OVER is 3-1 in Oklahoma City’s last four road games, with the Thunder allowing 110 PPG, while New York’s octane should pick up with a return to its floor.

[gameodds]5/220417/43/us[/gameodds]

The Knicks and Thunder both rank among the league’s top seven three-point shooting squads, connecting at 37 and 39 percent clips, respectively. Oklahoma City remains the NBA’s top club for free throws (83.2 percent), while New York’s Tyson Chandler has connected from the floor at a league-high 64.8 percent.

The last six meetings between these foes in New York have seen the OVER cash at a 5-1 clip. Durant and Westbrook have not played at Madison Square Garden since 2010, when the pair combined for 58 PPG in two matchups. Look for the octane to be there again here, with OVER backers collecting on their NBA picks.

NBA Picks: take the score to go OVER the total @ Bodog