Thunder Strikes In New York: Add OKC To Your NBA Picks vs. Knicks

Swinging Johnson

Tuesday, January 26, 2016 4:04 PM GMT

The Thunder saw their seven game winning streak snapped, while the Knicks have dropped their last pair of games. Let’s review the NBA odds in this one and cash a ticket.

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NBA Pick: Thunder -6.5
Best Line Offered: at Heritage

 

Oklahoma City Thunder (33-13 SU, 18-27-1)
The Thunder began their four game road trip on an uptick when they defeated the Mavericks 109-106 but reality set in with a resounding thud after their stunning 116-106 loss to the Knicks in Madison Square Garden. The NBA odds makers installed the visitors as 13½ point favorites but Oklahoma City played as though they were the decisive underdogs on Sunday night. Kevin Durant poured in 32 points and hauled in 10 rebounds coupled with seven assists while teammate Russell Westbrook had similar numbers, finishing with 27 points, 11 boards and seven assists but it was not enough in a game that was delayed by over four hours due to the blizzard conditions in New York City and the surrounding areas. Amazingly the Thunder never led in a game in which they were installed as prohibitive money line favorites.

Oklahoma City lost for the first time this season in which both Durant and Westbrook notched double-doubles. The Thunder was without their big man in the middle Steven Adams who was sidelined with a sprained elbow injury incurred in pregame warmups on Friday night in Dallas. He is ruled out for tonight’s action and his return is uncertain at this time though coach Billy Donovan believes surgery will not be necessary. Shooting guard Andre Roberson suffered a knee sprain in the team’s loss to Brooklyn and along with Adams will be out of this one as well. The Thunder enters this contest with the second highest scoring offense averaging 108.5 points per game while their defense ranks 12th allowing 100.4 PPG.

 

New York Knicks (22-24 SU, 26-20)
The Knicks crushed both the 76’ers and the Jazz with a high-octane offense that averaged 118.5 points in those contests but when they stepped up in class against the Clippers and Hornets the results were markedly different. The offense morphed from prolific to paltry as they averaged 86 points per game in those two losses and failed to cover the number for all those who backed them in their NBA picks.

After suffering a 116-88 lambasting by the visiting Clippers the Knicks flew to Charlotte as 1½ point road favorites and were summarily dispatched by the Hornets 97-84. It was a disappointing loss seeing as the Hornets were without five players including three starters. It was also the Knicks’ fifth consecutive defeat in Charlotte as Derrick Williams led New York with 19 points and 14 rebounds while teammate Kristaps Porzingis bucketed 13 points. The oft-injured and ever fragile Carmelo Anthony experienced soreness in his left knee leaving the game after the third quarter with only nine points.

 

Betting Analysis
The Knicks won their previous meeting this season over the Thunder by the score of 93-90 in Oklahoma City back in November. Last season the Knicks defeated OKC in Madison Square Garden 100-92 as seven-point home dogs. But it should be noted that Kevin Durant missed both those games and that left a gaping hole in the Thunder’s offense. When Durant does play the Knicks he plays well – very well. Durant averages 29.4 PPG when he suits up against New York and that is his second highest scoring average against any Eastern Conference opponent.

Carmelo Anthony should be going tonight and has had great success in the past when playing against fellow superstars Durant and Westbrook. However, his knee has been acting up and I don’t see Melo being even close to one-hundred percent in this one. As a matter of fact he hasn’t been himself over the last four games shooting just 39.4 percent from the field.

So here are the ugly numbers. OKC is 0-6 ATS in their last six road games, 2-6 ATS in their last eight games when playing on one day’s rest and 1-5 ATS in their last six visits to New York. New York is 1-5 ATS and 2-4 straight up over their last six contests. This is a pick your poison kind of play but if I am betting on which superstar is going to have a big night I will choose Durant and Westbrook over the ailing Carmelo Anthony. Not having center Steven Adams down low will hurt the Thunder but not enough to dissuade me from backing the visitors in this one.