Phoenix Suns are the NBA Pick as Home Dogs vs. Thunder

LT Profits Sports Group

Thursday, February 26, 2015 6:54 PM GMT

Each day LT Profits Sports seeks an overlay side that has a better chance of cashing than its spread, offering long term value. Here is their Side Value Play for Thursday.

 



The hot team without its superstar may be overvalued as a decided road favorite Thursday night when those Oklahoma City Thunder (32-25, 13-17 away) pay a visit to the Phoenix Suns (30-28, 16-12 home) at the US Airways Center in Phoenix, AZ at 10:35 ET in a game televised nationally on TNT.

The point spread at Pinnacle Sports has Phoenix as a home underdog for this contest with the current line at +4½ with odds of -106.


Both Teams Fighting for Playoff Spot
The Thunder have won seven straight games to get to seven games over .500, a nice comeback after a poor start to the season while playing without both Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook, most recently beating the Indiana Pacers handily 105-92 Tuesday back home in Oklahoma City. The last three wins during this winning streak have come without Durant, who had a procedure tor replace the screw in his previously broken right foot.

The Suns were an impressive winning NBA pick by a 110-96 score on the road over the Nuggets in the altitude of Denver Wednesday for their first win since before the All-Star break. The new starting backcourt of Brandon Knight and Eric Bledsoe led the way as Knight has 19 points and six assists while Bledsoe had 18 points, six assists and also six rebounds from the guard spot.

The Thunder currently hold the eighth and final playoff spot in the Western Conference by two games over the ninth seeded New Orleans Pelicans with these Suns in 10th at 2½ games behind Oklahoma City.


Suns Snapped Five-Game Losing Streak
That victory in Denver snapped a five-game losing streak for the Suns, who were very active at the trading deadline while trading away two of their rotating point guards in Goran Dragic and Isaiah Thomas. In fact, Thomas got some measure of revenge when he and his new team the Boston Celtics beat the Suns here in the desert Monday night before Phoenix hit the road for that elusive victory.

Knight was a big acquisition as he is was averaging 17.8 points and 5.4 assists while guiding the Milwaukee Bucks into a playoff position after they had the worst record in the NBA last season, and that production has continued with his new team as he is averaging 17.3 points and 5.0 assists in three games with the Suns. And his backcourt mate Bledsoe can now stop looking over his shoulder with Dragic and Thomas gone, as Phoenix finally has a well defined backcourt.

And a more relaxed Bledsoe has now averaged 17.3 points, 8.0 assists and 6.7 rebounds in three games with Knight as his backcourt mate. Suns General Manager Ryan McDonough was quoted as sayings “We got rid of the selfish players” soon after the trades of Dragic and Thomas were announced, and if those deals were in fact addition by subtraction, then nice outings like the win in Denver may start to become more commonplace for Phoenix this season.


Durant Remains Out
Durant appeared to be in discomfort when he shot 4-for-12 from the floor the last time he played last week, so he and the team agreed to have the procedure on his foot done and he remains out until at least his re-evaluation a couple of days from now. And Oklahoma City has not missed him yet while winning thrice without him to extend the winning streak to seven games.

That may change here tonight though, as Phoenix has always been a tough place to play for the Thunder, such as when they lost both meetings with the Suns here in the desert last season. And those losses occurred despite Durant scoring 38 and 34 points respectively, so if the Thunder could not win in Phoenix with those kinds of productions from KD, they figure to have their hands full as road favorites tonight with nobody to replace that kind of scoring volume.


Underdog Series
And let us not forget that this has been an underdog’s series in general with the dogs going 4-1 ATS in the last five head-to-head meetings, and that includes Phoenix covering in a 137-134 overtime loss at Oklahoma City the last time these teams met this season.

Look for more of the same here with Phoenix at the very least covering the point spread as a home underdog with an outright upset of Oklahoma City far from impossible on Thursday.

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NBA Pick: Suns +4½ (-106)