Place NBA Pick on Single-Digit Road Favorites: Thunder/Kings

Joe Gavazzi

Wednesday, January 7, 2015 4:31 PM GMT

The Oklahoma City Thunder's Straight-Up record is 17-18 SU, while the Sacramento Kings is 14-20 SU. How will you place your NBA pick on tonight's battle between the two?

OKC Thunder (-7-) vs. Sacramento Kings 10:05 ET
OKC visits the Sacramento Kings for a 10:05 pm ET start in this battle of teams who would not qualify for the playoffs, were they to begin tomorrow! These are teams clearly headed in opposite directions. 

At the beginning of the season, the Kings appeared to be a far superior team to last year’s cellar dwellers, who posted a 28-54 SU record.  They began the year 5-1 SU ATS, playing good ball on both sides of the court.  Since that time, Sacramento has gone 9-19 SU, 8-19 ATS.  In these 28 games, the Kings have been playing without their best player, Cousins (viral meningitis), for a period of time and went through a coaching change with HC Corbin replacing HC Malone.  Yet, the downward trend continues.  In fact, the Kings enter tonight on a 0-11-1 ATS slide.  The fact they are playing their 1st of 6 consecutive home games is not necessarily a positive.  Sacramento is 5-12 ATS on their home court this season.  Recently, they have gone 2-5 SU at home, allowing 109 PPG, while committing an average of 18 TOs per game. Since HC Corbin took over for Malone, Sacramento is 3-7 SU.  Problems continue on the defensive end of the court, wherein their last 20 games, they have allowed 108 PPG in going 5-15 SU.  Things do not figure to improve tonight vs. the visiting Thunder. 

OKC has struggled with their own issues this season.  The Thunder began the year without their 2 best players, Durant and Westbrook.  Their lack of leadership has resulted in poor play on the road at 7-11 SU, 6-11 ATS.  But when Westbrook and Durant have played together this season, OKC is 9-3 SU, a record that is far more reminiscent of their excellence in recent seasons and 59-23 SU mark of last year.  Trailing Phoenix by 3 games for the final playoff spot is a motivating factor.  And the fact a team is 1 game below .500 is a further motivating force.  But, the Thunder has not been satisfied with the return to health of their 2 stars.  On Monday, in a trade with Cleveland, they added Dion Waiters.  He is expected to be the scoring force off the bench that OKC has missed since the trade of James Harden to Houston.

These are clearly teams headed opposite directions.  As if OKC needed further motivation, consider that the Thunder was just beaten by the top team in the league 117-91 on Monday night.  Winning teams, in the NBA off a loss, are a perennially strong play.  That includes an OKC team who is a consistent 60% winner following a defeat in recent seasons.  Yet, there will be plenty of confidence by the Thunder this evening, as following victories of 12 and 8 points earlier this year vs. the Kings, they have now won 12 consecutive times against Sacramento.  With NBA single digit road favorites (90-57 ATS), place your NBA pick expecting a double digit victory by OKC tonight.

Free NBA Pick: Take OKC Thunder -7.5 (-101) at Pinnacle