Current NBA odds list the Thunder as a large nine-point favorites for this home tilt against the Nuggets. Oklahoma City is 6-3 SU and 4-5 ATS on the year, with Denver at 4-5 SU and 4-5 ATS.
Both teams can score the rock, which is why the total is right around 211. The OVER has hit in six of nine matchups for both teams so far this season. SHould this trend alone make the OVER an easy choice for our NBA picks, or are bettors smart to look elsewhere?
After a rough 0-3 start, the Nuggets have responded by winning four of six, which has included a road win over Utah and home triumphs against Atlanta, Minnesota and the LA Lakers.
Denver has been off since Saturday night's 122-11 loss in Houston. The Nuggets were eight-point dogs coming in, but were dreadful defensively, allowing the Rockets to shoot 50.6 percent from the floor.
Despite the loss, Ty Lawson was outstanding. He had 28 points on 11-of-19 shooting and added a career-high 17 assists to go along with two rebounds, two steals and a block. J.J. Hickson, Wilson Chandler and Evan Fournier were the three other Nuggets to reach double figures in scoring.
While Denver has turned the corner somewhat as of late, there are still issues that need addressing. The Nuggets are ranked #13 in offensive efficiency and are all the way down at #23 on the defensive side of the ball.
New coach Brian Shaw is trying to figure out his best rotation and it does look like his players are starting to buy into the new system. Still, will they be good enough to beat the mighty Thunder on the road?
Oklahoma City Thunder
Returning home from a three-game road trip, the Oklahoma City Thunder play their first home game in over a week tonight.
It wasn't the most successful of trips, as Oklahoma City fell to Golden State (116-115) and the LA Clippers (111-103), with that loss to the Warriors coming on a last-second shot from Andre Iguodala. However, the Thunder did bounce back on Saturday, beating Milwaukee 92-79 on the road.
It was OKC's second straight cover against the spread and Kevin Durant, Russell Westbrook and Serge Ibaka were all terrific in the win.
Durant had a 24/5/4 line while connecting on 7-of-15 from the floor (3-of-5 from three), Westbrook went for 26 points on 10-of-20 shooting, and Ibaka had a monster double-double of 15 points and 20 rebounds while also blocking four shots.
It was a great response from the Thunder on both ends of the court, and that's been a common theme so far this season. Though they haven't been quite as dominant as last year's numbers, Oklahoma City is still ranked in the top ten in both offensive and defensive efficiency. We'll find out soon enough if they can carry that over and send Denver away with a loss.
Dating back to last season, the Nuggets have won three straight head-to-head meetings both SU and ATS.
Much has changed for Denver since then though and we're just not sure they'll be able to stay close with Oklahoma City for the entire 48 minutes. Westbrook has the athleticism to stay with Lawson and the Nuggets don't have anyone that can really keep Durant in check.
The Thunder have still yet to lose at home, having beaten Dallas, Phoenix and Washington. We look for them to eventually pull away from the Nuggets, improving their record to 7-3 SU (and 5-5 ATS) in the process.
Pick: Oklahoma City Thunder -9