We're going to take a look at some of the top matchups in the NBA where the betting odds total is concerned keeping in mind the blowout effect and the pending snow storm in the Northeast of the United States.
Denver Nuggets (18-26) vs. Los Angeles Clippers (30-14)
Defense is Secondary
You have the highest betting total of the night in this game and it's definitely justified. You have a Clippers team that can rack up the points. The Clippers have scored 120 points or more in each of their last 2 games, which were blowouts.
Players such as Blake Griffin are a major reason why totals are so high. Griffin leads the Clippers in scoring at 23 points, 7.5 rebounds, and 5 assists on 50 % shooting from the field. He's really starting to reach that MVP candidate status. The one Achilles heel to Griffin's game is his defense as he's a below average defensive player for a player of his status.
Griffin and the Clippers go up against a tired team in the Denver Nuggets. While the Nuggets are more than used to the altitude level at the Pepsi Center, they're coming off of a 117-115 loss in overtime to the Washington Wizards last night. There's no rest for a defense that ranks 27th in the NBA, allowing 104.5 points per game. Ty Lawson came back with a bang from his DUI yesterday with 31 points and I expect this game to be just what the betting total indicates; a high scoring affair.
NBA Pick: Over 214.5 at 5 Dimes
Minnesota Timberwolves (7-36) vs. Oklahoma City Thunder (22-22)
Inexperience Equals Losses
The Wolves are a prime example of this as they faced the best team in the league in the Atlanta Hawks last night. Minnesota held their own for the most part in a 112-100 loss to the Hawks, but the one thing holding the T-Wolves back aside from inexperience as a group is their lack of defense. They rank 30th in the NBA in defense, allowing 107.5 points per game and when you match up against the best one-two punch in the game in Russell Westbrook and Kevin Durant, this is a problem.
Veterans such as Thaddeus Young and Mo Williams had huge games against the Hawks, but the Wolves defense couldn't contain Paul Millsap and Al Horford. I expect the same thing to happen in this matchup.
Don't Judge OKC By the Record
This is far from a .500 team, but this is a team that has endured injuries all season and it will take time for the Thunder to get back in full form.
This is a great matchup for the tandem of Westbrook and Durant as this is an opportunity to shoot the basketball often. Both players have never seen a shot that they don't like and this is an opportunity to hoist up a ton of shots.
The Thunder are coming off of a 108-98 loss to Lebron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers, but the level of competition takes a major drop in the form of the Wolves. I like the over in this game as it's placed slightly low by the NBA odds makers and add in the fact that Russell Westbrook is an offensive-minded player that can't play a lick of defense and KD, who is not much better defensively, is starting to regain his offensive touch.
In the month of January, Kevin Durant is shooting over 50% and is averaging 26.5 points while being more of a rebounder than he has in the past.
Where the total is concerned, this game will come down to "will we see the starters in the 4th quarter?" Oklahoma City is a massive 16 point betting favorite and if guys like Mo Williams and Anthony Wiggins don't have solid efforts, we won't see the starters in the 4th quarter. I'm expecting a full out effort from 2 teams who played yesterday and we should see this game eclipse the total of 206.
NBA Pick: Over 206 at 5 Dimes