Take Rolling Thunder As Your NBA Pick Against Struggling Pistons

Jay Pryce

Tuesday, March 29, 2016 1:43 PM GMT

Expect end-to-end action when the high-flying Thunder travel to Detroit to take on the Pistons Tuesday night. Need an NBA pick? We have you covered.

Oklahoma City Thunder
The Thunder are playing magnificently. After toppling the Raptors 119-100 in Toronto last night, they own the NBA's longest winning streak (8 games) and are 9-3 ATS record in its last 12 contests; this makes them one of the big NBA Picks. Russell Westbrook, the catalyst behind the team's surge, posted his seventh triple-double of the month with 26 points, 11 rebounds, and 12 assists in the win, his league-leading 16th on the season.

Kevin Durant blasted Toronto with 34 points last night as well, astonishingly his 59th straight game with 20-plus points. He and Westbrook lead an offense scoring 110.4 points a night, second to the Warriors gaudy 115.5. The former MVP is 12-1 SU (8-5 ATS) against Detroit in his career, scoring 20 or more in each contest (28.9 ppg). The only blemish was his first outing back in 2008, losing 90-88 in the Motor City. On the road, OKC lights up poorer shot-defending teams like the Pistons. In 11 games versus opponents yielding 46 percent or more from the floor, it scores 116.5 points a night on 50.4 percent shooting, as opposed to 109.4 on 46.6 against better.

Defensively, the Thunders' best weapon is their offense. Allowing 87.7 field goal attempts per contest, they make teams have to try and outscore them; only the Warriors (89.5) and Bulls (90.0) give up more looks. Away from home, they run into trouble with this scheme against teams that live and die by the three. Facing opponents that generate 25 percent or more of their field goals per game from behind the arc, OKC is 5-8 SU (3-9-1 ATS). Versus teams with a lower rate, it is 17-5 SU (11-11 ATS). Detroit will run with the visitors, but it's more likely to pound the paint and get closer to the rim in transition. Only 23.3 percent of its field goals come from downtown, while its 44.4 points in the paint per game ranks 10th in the NBA.

 

Detroit Pistons
The Pistons are an impressive 24-13 straight up at the Palace of Auburn Hills this season. More compelling for bettors is their 61 percent cover rate in these games. Going 22-14-1 ATS, the Motor City boys are tied with the Spurs for the most wins against the number in the NBA. Can they notch another betting victory against the Thunder? They'll have to work extremely hard for it. When one analyzes the situation a little closer and checks the NBA odds boards, Detroit is guilty of beating up on lesser quality teams. Versus opponents with a losing record, it is 13-3 SU and 11-4-1 ATS at home, as opposed to a 10-10 SU and ATS record against foes with a .500 record or better.

As we mentioned earlier, the Pistons can, and will run with the Thunder, which may give them a shot for a mild upset. When the offense opens up, they usually shine. When scoring 106 points or more a night, Detroit is 22-2 SU and 21-1-1 ATS this season; 5-2 SU and 4-1 ATS as a dog in this situation. Point guard Reggie Jackson's production is instrumental for Pistons backers this year. Leading the team with 18.6 points per game, when he nets more than 20 points on a night, the team is 20-3 SU and ATS. Can we expect a lot of buckets tonight? Touch to call. Jackson is just 11-for-31 from the field against OKC's current roster.

 

Final Analysis
This should be a fun one to watch. There will be plenty of points scored with end-to-end action. Expect the OVER to cash and Thunder to cover the spread ; the 2.5-point is a tad light here.

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FreeNBA Pick: 'Over', Thunder -2.5 (-115)
Best Line Offered: at Bookmaker