NBA Picks: Thunder vs. Warriors

Steven Suarez

Wednesday, January 23, 2013 3:36 PM GMT

Wednesday, Jan. 23, 2013 3:36 PM GMT

One night after creaming the L.A. Clippers, the Thunder will aim to inflict similar damage to the Golden State Warriors. Check inside to see where we think the NBA betting value lies.

Odds Overview

Oklahoma City enters tonight's game favored by a basket, and the fact they've covered the spread in four straight meetings with Golden State will entice a lot of bettors.

There always seems to be a lot of points when these teams battle it out, with the OVER having hit in four of the previous five matchups. The total for tonight is at 205.5, though 206 is also available. While history would lead many to jump on the Over, I believe that past betting trends have only inflated the line, leaving the door open for us bettors.

[gameodds]5/134687/43/us[/gameodds]

Oklahoma City Thunder

In last night's showdown between the two teams with the best records in the NBA, the Thunder brought their A game in an eventual 109-97 win over the Clippers.

It took a while for Kevin Durant to get going, but he was out of this world in the second half, hitting numerous big shots down the stretch to put the game out of reach. In total he finished with 32 points on 12-of-19 shooting and chipped in seven assists and six rebounds as well.

Elsewhere, Russell Westbrook ended up with 26 points, six dimes and four boards, while Serge Ibaka logged 17 points and nine boards before fouling out late. As a team Oklahoma City shot 52.6 percent from the field.

The win makes the Thunder an excellent 7-1 SU (5-2-1 ATS) over their previous eight contests, six of which were on the road. On the season they're 14-6 straight up and 11-7-2 ATS outside of Oklahoma City.

Perhaps the only issue for the Thunder could be tired legs, as they'll be playing their third game in four nights. That said, in eight games on zero days rest this season, they've gone 6-2 SU and 4-4 ATS, and they currently lead the Western Conference playoff charge.

Golden State Warriors

The Warriors have recovered after a rough period earlier this month in which they lost five of six. They've since gone on to beat New Orleans (116-112) on the road and the Clippers (106-99) at home.

No one can question the fact Golden State was helped out by Chris Paul's injury. He didn't look like himself all game long and finished with just four points in 33 minutes. Stephen Curry gladly took advantage, nailing five threes en route to 28 points. David Lee, battling a banged up ankle, contributed 12 points, 11 rebounds and six assists, while Jarrett Jack (18 points, 10 assists, six boards) was spectacular off the bench.

It was Golden State's third consecutive ATS cover and Mark Jackson's crew will look to protect that streak tonight against the league's best team.

At least the Warriors have been successful when getting some necessary recovery time in. They're an impressive 8-3 ATS over their last 11 games played on one day of rest and have surely come up with some wrinkles to try and throw the Thunder off tonight.

That's (much) easier said than done however.

NBA Pick

We aren't touching the spread with our NBA picks here. As downright dominant as the Thunder have been, they may have heavy legs tonight and that's not a good thing against a similarly young and athletic team like the Warriors. 

Instead we will make our play on the UNDER, in spite of the fact there were 228 points scored in the earlier meetings between these teams.

Why the UNDER? Well, we expect this to be a hard-fought battle and a lot of times that results in a cashed ticket for the UNDER. It helps that the Thunder are #6 in defensive efficiency and the Warriors are #12.

It just seems like the NBA odds makers are begging us to take the OVER here considering the amount of scoring ability will be on the court. However, we're not going to bite and will be looking for a lower-scoring game than most expect. Good luck!

NBA Picks: UNDER 206
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