Bettors love the Oklahoma City Thunder. And with Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook running the show, what's not to love? The team has superstar appeal, it plays a fun and up-tempo style of basketball, and most importantly, the Thunder remain one of the few teams with enough talent to challenge the Golden State Warriors for the 2016 NBA title. Yet with all that being said, Oklahoma City clocks in as one of the worst ATS teams in the entire NBA. Yes, the powerhouse Thunder, who are pace to grab another 60-win season, are a bad bet for NBA gamblers.
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Sometimes sports are tricky that way, and the best teams do not necessary make the best wagers. Let's take a closer look at Oklahoma City's betting record and hand out a few grades in this edition of ATS report card.
Overall ATS Record : 24-35-1
Grade : D
Oklahoma City has a margin of victory of 7.3 points, but the team still fails to cover spreads by -0.4 points, which means the Thunder give up an average of 7.7 points per night. Oklahoma is an excellent team, but eight points per spread is too much for nearly anyone. The Thunder are 3-3 ATS over their last six matchups and have covered two straights games. If we are making comparisons, the San Antonio Spurs, who own the best ATS record in the league, face average spreads of 9.2 points per game and have a nine-game lead on Oklahoma City.
As a Favorite : 23-31
Grade : D
Oklahoma City continues to cover games as a favorite at a 42.6 percent rate, which is slightly better than its overall ATS record. The team owns an average margin of victory of 8.3 points per game but faces spreads on an average of 8.9 points as a favorite. Oklahoma City has struggled since the all-star break, going 3-4 SU and 2-3 ATS as a favorite. Overall, the squad has been a favorite in 90 percent of its games, which is the third most in the NBA following Golden State and San Antonio.
As an Underdog : 1-4-1
Oklahoma City is rarely an underdog, but those six instances have come against the top teams in the league-Golden State (twice), Cleveland, Chicago, Memphis-and a random road game against Utah. At first glance, the Thunder plus the points might seem like a great idea, but those situations typically come on the road against a very good team, so they might not have as much value as we initially assume. The team still has road matchups against the Warriors, Spurs and Clippers on the docket, so expect to see the Thunder receive points in three or four more matchups before the season ends.
On the Road : 8-18
Grade : F
Oklahoma City owns the second-worst road ATS record in the league with a slightly better record than the Phoenix Suns. The team is 2-3 ATS over its last five on the road and faces an average spread of -6.2 points per game in those situations. The Thunder only have 15 more home games left on the schedule, and if they continue to cover at the same rate, there are 10 situations where the team will not cover a game on the road. If you are looking to find some value toward the end of the season, look to fade Oklahoma City on the road.
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Read more articles by George Monroy
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