NBA Picks: The Value Lays On The Total In Thunder vs. Spurs Game

Nikki Adams

Saturday, April 30, 2016 6:00 PM GMT

On the NBA betting menu is the highly anticipated clash between Oklahoma City Thunder and San Antonio Spurs. Find out where we’re lining up our NBA picks for the totals.

Game 1 of the Western Conference Semi-finals
The NBA playoffs enters the second round, marking Conference Semi-finals. On the West side of the coin is the clash between third seed Oklahoma City Thunder and second seed San Antonio Spurs, what is a fitting billing between two the season’s best teams in the league. It should be a right dogfight between familiar foes.

Ironically, San Antonio Spurs opened the 2015-2016 season in Oklahoma City, where they succumbed to a 112-106 loss. Later in the term, they drew the series level behind a 93-85 win at home. That trend of each side winning at home continued through the remaining two games – Thunder winning the third meeting at home 111-92 and Spurs winning the fourth meeting at home 102-98 – resulting in a regular season series that finished all knotted up 2-2 SU.

Given those NBA betting trends, it’s no surprise the San Antonio Spurs open as the home favourites in Game of the Western Conference semi-finals. They are priced at firm -280 NBA odds to win outright with Pinnacle and William Hill, amongst several others. Although NBA bettors will find them priced even higher at -300 NBA odds at other sportsbooks.

Against the spread, the Spurs opened as the 6.5-point home chalk and that line has held up for the most part since opening doors, experiencing only the slightest move at Heritage Sportsbook, where they are up to 7-points (at the time of writing). Clearly, bookmakers got it right as the public appear to be split almost down the middle with 55.8% of bets going towards the Spurs and 44.2% of bets going towards the Thunder.

Total line was set to 200.5-points at opening doors and just as the spread line the total line looks to be holding firm at most sports betting shops, with only some sportsbooks such as Bookmaker, The Greek and BetOnline, amongst a few others, moving up to 201 on the NBA odds board.


 

Oklahoma City Thunder
The Thunder finished the season with a 55-27-0 SU record that included a healthy 32-9-0 record at home and a 23-18-0 record on the away. Against the spread, the Thunder were 40-46-1 ATS with a 7.9-point winning margin and a plus 0.7-point differential versus the spread. Against the total they went 41-45-1 over-under with a plus 0.8-point differential versus the total.

The Thunder advanced into the second round of the playoffs behind a 4-1 SU mark over Dallas Mavericks. After splitting the first two games 1-1, the Thunder reeled off three straight wins to clinch the series in game 5.

In the first round of the playoffs, Oklahoma City finished with a 4-1 SU and 3-2 ATS mark, underscored by an 18.2-point winning margin and a plus 6.4-point differential versus the spread. They went 3-2 in O/U betting with a plus 2.7-point differential versus the total.

 

San Antonio Spurs
The Spurs finished the season with a stellar 67-15-0 SU record, second behind the defending champions Golden State Warriors at 73-9-0. The Spurs were the best home team in the league when all was said and done, finishing with a stellar 40-1-0 record, bettering the Warriors who finished with a 39-2-0 record at home. On the road, the Spurs suffered most of their defeats with a 27-14-0 record.  Against the spread, they went 47-39-0 with an 11.2-point winning margin on average and a plus 2.3-point differential versus the spread. Indeed, they were the fourth best team in the league versus the spread. Against the total, the Spurs went 36-48-2 over-under with a negative 2.3-point differential against the total.

San Antonio advanced into the second round behind a series sweep of the Memphis Grizzlies, outscoring their opponents 412-324, which yields a 22-point winning margin on average.

San Antonio takes a 4-0 SU and 3-1-0 ATS record into the Western Conference semi-finals, underscored by the 22-point winning margin and a plus 7.1-point differential versus the spread. They went 1-3 in O/U betting in the first round with a negative 0.9-point differential versus the total.

 

NBA Betting Verdict
As the above stats indicate, the NBA betting lines trading for game 1 of this matchup fall in line with each side’s first round stats for the most part. That explains why the public is split down the middle to a certain extent. The regular season meetings between these two sides were also clearly closely contested with each side winning its home games and by relative margins, adding further to the difficulty of handicapping this clash for our NBA picks. For our money, considering Spurs were the best home side in the league it’s hard to look beyond a home win. So the Spurs to win outright has to be the choice bet for your NBA picks. If the Spurs dictate play as well, as they’ve done all season long at their stomping ground, we’re leaning towards the Under on our NBA picks, essentially going against the grain as consensus betting polls reveal a distinct slight lean towards the OVER with 52.2% of bets (at the time of writing).

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Free NBA Pick:  Under 201 -105
Best Line Offered:  at Heritage