NBA Picks: Thunder vs. Nuggets

Jordan Sharp

Sunday, January 20, 2013 4:01 PM GMT

After pushing my pick from last night, I’m coming back strong in my quest for 60% winners, and I have three NBA Picks for you today. Sunday is still not a big NBA day, but will be soon enough.

NBA Picks: Thunder vs. Nuggets

Season Straight Picks record: 61-42-4 ATS

Once the NFL is finished for the season, basketball on Sunday becomes a big deal. Big teams playing each other on national television spark up your Sundays when football is over, and tonight, a couple of big time Western Conference foes face off in Denver.

NBA Odds for this one favor the Thunder by just -1 on the road, with a total of 209 points. With both teams in need of wins to keep pace in the Western Conference, who will prevail in this very close game?

Thunder storm, 83 times

It did take an overtime in Dallas a few nights ago, but at the end of the night, the Thunder got the victory against Dirk Nowitzki’s Mavericks, and the two Oklahoma City stars put on a show.

Kevin Durant had 52 points, including going 21-21 from the free throw line. Russell Westbrook also chipped in an efficient 31 points in the 117-114 win. Obviously Dallas plays little to no defense, but games like these from these from Durant and Westbrook should remind everyone why a lot of people were high on this team last season. Some of us (and I won’t name names) picked them to win the NBA title last season.

Now the Thunder go into Denver, where only a little more defense will be played. However, a lot more offense will be had. The Thunder will have to work hard tonight to stop the likes of Ty Lawson, Andre Iguodala and Danilo Gallanari, but they are built to do it. Oklahoma City matches up well with the Nuggets, as they have won four of their last five meetings with the Nuggets overall.

Denver trying to separate themselves

After last Tuesday night’s game against the Blazers in Portland, the Nuggets had capped a six game winning streak and were looking like they were headed to challenge the Grizzlies and Warriors for their current seed in the West.

Alas, their dreams were shattered, as all the work they did in that streak is history after losing two straight games. They got blown out by this same Thunder team in Oklahoma on Wednesday, and then lost an unexplainable game at home to the Wizards on Friday.

The Nuggets are 6th right now in the West, a game and a half back of idle Golden State, and they would love to pick up some ground on a Sunday night, as well as get some revenge for this past Wednesday.

The key will be if someone can stop Russell Westbrook, and if Iguodala still has some of that elite defensive ability left in the tank to throw at Durant. Although I like and still admire the soon to be 29 year-old Iguodala, (we are from the same state originally) I’m not sure if his defensive fortes match up well with Durant.

 Iggy plays well against guards and smaller forwards, and Durant towers over him at 6’9. Gallanari will have to try as well, but on Wednesday, Durant had 20 points in 29 minutes with Gallo guarding him for most of the game. Expect some cross matching with those two positions tonight.

[gameodds]5/134449/43/us[/gameodds]

The Sharp Pick

One of the more basic rules of betting is it’s a good idea on some days to bet the lowest total on the under, and the highest total on the over. This should not be a basic rule, but it is one that you can use on occasion. That occasion is tonight, and at 209, this game has the highest total for the day.

I see both teams getting into the 100-point range with plenty of time to spare in the 4th, and according to Vegas, this game has a good shot at going into overtime, as the spread is small. Take the over for your NBA Picks, as I think both teams will eclipse 105 points tonight.

My NBA Pick: OVER 209 at 5Dimes 

See how I think the Los Angeles Lakers vs. Toronto Raptors game will go down.