Pick Thunder -6 Over Suns for Tonight's NBA Betting

Darin Zank

Sunday, December 14, 2014 5:57 PM UTC

Sunday, Dec. 14, 2014 5:57 PM UTC

Phoenix was a hot item not too long ago, with its 9-5 start, but is cold at the moment, with four losses in a row, and just three covers in its last eight games. Oklahoma City, on the other hand, now at full strength, is just getting rolling. The Suns take on the Thunder in the OKC Sunday night.


Suns-Thunder Betting Odds
Most of the NBA odds opened Oklahoma City as a seven-point favorite over Phoenix, with a total of 209. Many books then dropped that spread to 6.5 in the early betting.

Bettors thinking Phoenix might pull the upset in this spot could get a price of +230 on the moneyline at 5Dimes.


Suns-Thunder: The Match-Up
Oklahoma City Thunder went off this season with a wins betting OVER/UNDER of 58. But of course the Thunder has played most of this season without both Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook, so they're running behind schedule.

What happened with the Thunder before Nov. 26 doesn't matter now; all we know is that since that date OKC is 7-1 SU, 5-3 ATS, after winning at Minnesota Friday night 111-92.

The Thunder jumped out to an 18-point lead after one quarter Friday and cruised from there, never allowing the Timberwolves to get closer than 16 points. For the game OKC shot 51 percent from the field and outrebounded the T'Wolves 60-40, on its way to covering the spread as an eight-point favorite.

Thursday night the Thunder beat Cleveland 103-94, covering as eight-point favorites, and Tuesday they beat Milwaukee 114-101, covering as 10-point favorites.

So at 10-13 OKC is now within a game and a half of the eight spot in the Western Conference standings.

Phoenix, meanwhile, began this season with a betting OVER/UNDER of 44 wins. At 12-12 the Suns have lost ground in that chase recently.

Phoenix started well, and got to 12-8 a couple weeks ago, with a win at Dallas. But the Suns then lost at Houston 100-95, fell in gut-wrenching fashion in overtime at the Clippers 121-120, then came home and lost to Miami 103-97, and Friday night lost to Detroit 105-103.

Those first two losses in this current streak can be forgiven, playing quality opponents on the road. But the Suns were favored by five points over the Heat, and by 10 points over the Pistons, who had lost their previous 13 games in a row. And defeats like that concern us, when trying to handicap this team.

The Suns shot 47 percent from the field Friday night, but allowed Detroit to shoot 48 percent, and got outrebounded 57-41.

So Phoenix has fallen into a tie for the eight spot in the West with New Orleans, and sits just a game and a half ahead of 12th-place Denver. So even though its still very early in this season, every game counts already.


Suns-Thunder, Statistically Speaking
Phoenix ranks 15th in the league in FG shooting at 46 percent, sixth in 3-point shooting at 37 percent and No. 1 in FT shooting at 81 percent. And making free-throws always comes in handy when trying to win games and cover spreads in the NBA.

The Suns also rank 15th in FG defense, allowing opponents to shoot 45 percent, 28th in rebounding at -3 per game and own a per-game assist-to-turnover ratio of 21/15, which is nothing special.

Oklahoma City ranks 24th in FG shooting at 44 percent, 28th in 3-point shooting at 32 percent and 19th in FT shooting at 74 percent. But those figures should improve, as long as Durant and Westbrook remain healthy.

The Thunder also rank second in FG defense, holding foes to just 42 percent shooting, fourth in rebounding at +3 per game and own a 20/15 A/TO ratio.


Suns-Thunder Recent History
This is the first meeting this season between these two teams. Last year Phoenix took the season series from OKC two games to one, and went 3-0 ATS. The Thunder won the one game played on their home court, a 103-96 decision in November, but the Suns won in Phoenix 128-122 in March, and 122-115 in April.

Phoenix shot 50 percent from the field in those three games combined, while OKC shot 47 percent.

Also, all three of those games played OVER on the totals.


Suns-Thunder Betting Trends
Phoenix is 15-9 on the OVER/UNDERS this season, as Suns games have averaged 209 points.

Oklahoma City is 6-17 on the totals, as Thunder game have averaged 189 points. But since Durant came back OKC games have averaged 202 points.

Phoenix is 6-6 SU, 6-5-1 ATS on the road this season.

OKC is 6-5 SU and 9-2 ATS at home.


Injury Update
Phoenix PG Isaiah Thomas missed recent action with a bad ankle, but returned to score 10 points in 28 minutes Friday night.


Suns-Thunder Free Pick
This one comes down to hot vs. cold, and we're a little surprised OKC isn't favored by more. For your NBA picks, the Thunder should win this game, with room enough for the cover.

Free NBA Pick: Oklahoma City -6 at 5Dimes

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