Thunder Expected To Shock Pistons Out Of A Win & Cover Short -3.5 Spread

Joe Gavazzi

Tuesday, March 29, 2016 3:39 PM GMT

The OKC Thunder travel from Toronto, where they beat the Raptors (1119-100) last night, to Detroit to face the Pistons in this 7:35 ET tipoff. 

OKC Thunder vs. Detroit Pistons
The OKC Thunder travel from Toronto, where they beat the Raptors (1119-100) last night, to Detroit to face the Pistons in this 7:35 ET tipoff. 

Each of these teams is currently qualifying for the playoffs. Detroit has a 39-35 SU record, good enough for 8th place in the Eastern Conference, a ½ game behind Indiana and 2 ½ games ahead of Washington and Chicago (teams against whom they hold the tiebreaker). At 52-22 SU, OKC is virtually locked into 3rd place in the Western Conference, unable to catch the Spurs, but leading the Clippers by a comfortable 5 ½ games with 9 games remaining.

Detroit has surged to the 8th spot on the basis of a 5-1 SU recent record and a 7-2 SU recent home mark. But when they stepped up in class this weekend, they got smacked down by Atlanta (112-95). In OKC, Detroit will face a similarly red hot team.  

The Thunder continue to roll, building momentum for the playoffs. That is unlike other playoff teams, such as Cleveland and Toronto in the East and San Antonio and the LA Clippers in the West, who are more concerned with resting players than creating momentum for the playoffs. Not true for OKC, who enters on a 8-0 SU streak, covering 8 of their 11 recent contests. The offense has begun to flow smoothly with the Thunder connecting on 50% of their shots in the last 10 games. Supported by the strong interior play of Kanter and Ibaka, the OKC stars are shining brightly. Westbrook has averaged a triple/double in the last 5 games, while Durant is averaging 27 PPG on 53% shooting in the last 10 contests. Though this is a somewhat improved Detroit team, it must be noted that OKC is 12-1 SU in this series of late, including 5 consecutive wins on this court. 

 

Betting Analysis
This is a rare late-season situation in which the team with the lesser need is playing at the higher level of efficiency.  Against a team they have owned in recent seasons, we must feel comfortable backing OKC at this short road price as they continue to super-surge toward the playoffs. For Detroit, along with a 2 ½ game and tiebreaker advantage, there may actually be a bit of complacency once they become resigned to the dominance of their guest. I invite you to put the NBA odds in your favor and join me in my NBA picks on OKC Thunder tonight. 

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Free NBA Pick: OKC Thunder ?-3.5
Best Line Offered: at Pinnacle