The Oklahoma City Thunder are underdogs in NBA betting odds against the Boston Celtics tonight, and have yet to win on the road this season (0-5). Find out what this handicapper predicts'll happen.
The Oklahoma City Thunder Will Win Because…
Their supporting cast can’t play much worse than it did on Tuesday night in Milwaukee against the Bucks. Nick Collison didn’t score a point in 15 minutes. Jeremy Lamb hit just 2 of 13 shots. Steven Adams scored two points in 25 minutes. Sebastian Telfair scored two points in 16 minutes. So many players did virtually nothing on the court. The team shot only 33 percent against the Bucks and suffered through two quarters with no more than 16 points. Is that going to happen on back-to-back nights for a team that looked good on Sunday in a win over the surprisingly good Sacramento Kings? Probably not. One really good piece of news for the Thunder is that Anthony Morrow, a key offseason acquisition, scored 10 points on 4 of 7 shooting. That’s an encouraging development for OKC, one of the few bright spots from that 85-78 loss to the Bucks.
The other point to keep in mind as far as this game is concerned is that the Boston Celtics are still feeling their way through the season. The Celtics have actually been better than expected through the first six games of the new campaign, but is that something which should likely improve or worsen as the season goes along? There’s just as much an argument to be made that Boston will decline as the season settles in. Improvement should not be the default assumption or position.
The Boston Celtics Will Win Because…
They're flowing on offense this season and should therefore have a lot more firepower than the Thunder. Boston is second in the NBA in scoring this season with an average of just over 106 points per game. That might not be a statistic which will be maintained in the long run, but it does reflect that the Celtics are moving and sharing the ball with great awareness right now. Rajon Rondo, in the lineup and directing traffic on the floor, is the perfect guide for this offense and its getting everyone else involved. Rondo is seeing the game the way head coach Brad Stevens is, and this is how the Celtics are building continuity on the floor. Boston is first in the NBA in assists with 25 per game, and Rondo is at the heart of that. What’s certainly helping is that other guys are hitting shots when being given the ball in good positions on the court.
In comparison to Boston’s soaring offense, Oklahoma City is averaging 92 points per game and rates 28th in the NBA in that category. No Durant and no Westbrook have crippled the Thunder as much as you’d expect. Boston has its frontline players on the court. That should matter in the fourth quarter, and it should matter to you when placing your NBA picks.
What might also matter in the fourth quarter is that Boston had an off day on Tuesday while Oklahoma City played. The Thunder might run into fatigue on the second end of a back-to-back. With all the injuries on the roster, this is not a team that’s likely to handle a back-to-back set very well.
That last detail about a shorthanded OKC team having to deal with the second half of a back-to-back set should prove to be important. The Thunder ran out of steam in the fourth quarter against Milwaukee on Tuesday. Why should this be any different? Take Boston with your NBA picks.
Free NBA Pick: Boston -5.5 at The Greek