NBA Picks: Thunder vs. Warriors

Jeff Grant

Thursday, April 11, 2013 11:38 AM GMT

Thursday, Apr. 11, 2013 11:38 AM GMT

The Oklahoma City Thunder are tied with the San Antonio Spurs for the top spot in the Western Conference standings, as they prepare to take on the Golden State Warriors Thursday night.

Let’s take a closer look at the NBA betting odds for this high-profile affair, with the opening tip scheduled for 10:30 p.m. ET on TNT.

Take a look at our predictions for the First Round Playoff Matchups.

Getting after it defensively

Oklahoma City has held six of its last nine opponents to fewer than 90 points, as it comes off a 90-80 victory over the Utah Jazz as three-point road favorites Tuesday, while going UNDER the total for the eighth time in 10 contests. 

The Thunder are 22-12 straight up (SU) and 15-18-1 against the spread (ATS) in the month of April, with the UNDER going 21-13 in that situation. 

Clinched 

Golden State secured its first playoff appearance since the 2006-07 campaign, as it comes off a 105-89 triumph over the Minnesota Timberwolves as seven-point home favorites Tuesday, while going UNDER the total for a second consecutive contest. 

The Warriors are 5-4 SU and 3-6 ATS after a blowout win by 15 points or more this season, with the OVER going 6-3 in those nine opportunities.

Playoff positioning at stake

Motivation is one of the key angles to handicapping the NBA down the stretch, as the betting odds often reflect what’s at stake for a particular team.  

Oklahoma City is currently tied with San Antonio for the No. 1 seed out West, with only four games remaining on its schedule 

On the other side, Golden State is holding onto the No. 6 spot, but sits just a game ahead of the Houston Rockets.  The Warriors would be matched up with the Denver Nuggets if the playoffs started Thursday. 

Situational spot 

The Thunder have won and covered the number in two of three meetings with the Warriors this season, but they did drop a 104-99 decision as 1.5-point road favorites in their only trip to Oracle Arena on Jan. 23, while going UNDER the betting total of 208. 

It’s interesting to see that the number is two points higher in this spot, but it’s important to note that Oklahoma City is 10-2 SU and 8-3-1 ATS as road favorites of 3.5 to 6 points.

Golden State is going to attract some money in the market, but it’s also 0-4 ATS in its four SU losses as home underdogs this year.

[gameodds]5/224524/43/us[/gameodds]

Prediction 

I’m going to recommend that readers back the Thunder as one of their NBA picks, as they’ve covered five of the last six meetings in this series, while the Warriors may come out a bit flat after securing a spot in the upcoming playoffs. 

NBA Pick:  Oklahoma City Thunder -3.5 at 5Dimes

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