Free NBA Picks: Spurs at Thunder Odds
by Aaron Smith - 11/26/2013
Two years ago, the Oklahoma City Thunder took down the San Antonio Spurs in the Western Conference Finals. It was assumed by many experts at the time to be the end of the Spurs run. Oklahoma City was a team on the rise, and they had jumped a big hurdle. The Thunder went on to get stomped by the Heat in the NBA Finals that year.
The Thunder came into last season as the favorites to get back to the finals once again. They might have gotten there if it weren’t for Russell Westbrook’s injury. After Westbrook was injured, the Thunder fell to the Memphis Grizzlies in the postseason. San Antonio went on to win the West before falling in the toughest way possible to Miami in seven games in the finals.
These two teams may well be on track to meet each other again this year for a chance to play for an NBA title. Anytime these two teams meet, it’s a game you won’t want to miss!
Spurs vs. Thunder Betting Story Lines
The Spurs won the West last year, but oddsmakers still made Oklahoma City the favorite to win the Western Conference this year. Why is that? Oklahoma City matches up pretty well with the Spurs. While San Antonio is able to score consistently in the paint against most teams, the Thunder play solid defense in the paint and make life difficult for slashers as well as the Spurs big men. Westbrook is a tough matchup for Tony Parker, and he has effectively slowed down the Spurs attack over the past couple years.
San Antonio is 13-1 so far this year. It’s pretty amazing that a team that endured such a heart-breaking series loss at the end of last season has been able to bounce back so well. The Spurs have done it with amazing depth. Gregg Poppovich has 11 guys on this roster who average at least 12 minutes of playing time per game. Tony Parker leads the team in minutes played, but he is still slightly below 30 minutes per game this year. The Spurs have been coasting to big victories, which have allowed the reserves to get more playing time while the veteran starters rest.
Tony Parker and Kawhi Leonard have both started out the season red hot for Spurs. Tim Duncan and Manu Ginobili’s shooting numbers are down, and those two guys will have to pull it together in the long run if the Spurs are going to make another deep playoff run.
Oklahoma City is 9-3 so far this year, but they are a perfect 6-0 at home. After starting the year a bit slowly against the number, the Thunder are 4-1 ATS in their last five games. I think that improved play should be attributed to Westbrook being back in the lineup and at full speed. There may still be people that doubt Westbrook’s shot selection, but there is no longer any doubt how much this Thunder team needs him in the game.
Serge Ibaka is turning into a top-notch rebounder for the Thunder. He is averaging 10.1 boards per game so far this year, which is 2.5 more than he has averaged in any other season. Youngster Steven Adams is giving the team good minutes in the paint as well, and the Thunder have really improved their depth in the frontcourt.
Spurs at Thunder NBA Betting Odds and Key Trends
The Spurs aren’t underdogs very often, but Oklahoma City is a 2.5-point favorite in this contest, according to odds from 5Dimes. The posted total is set at 199 points. This is the first time in the past 10 meetings between these two teams that the posted total is set below 200. Both teams have been playing better defense this year, and they aren’t pushing the pace as much as they did last season. The Thunder are just 4-11 ATS in their last 15 home games. The Spurs are 0-5 ATS in their last five games at Oklahoma City. The ‘under’ is 4-0 in the last four meetings between these two.
Free NBA Picks: Spurs at Thunder Betting Predictions
Oklahoma City made a statement by winning 105-91 against the Clippers at home last week. The Spurs have the best record in the NBA right now, so there would be no better team to make a statement against than the Spurs. San Antonio is an elite team that I don’t like going against, but the Thunder do generally play well against the Spurs. In the past, the Thunder have mostly been favored by five or more at home against the Spurs. The line value here is on the home team. Look for Oklahoma City to come out playing inspired basketball. The Thunder should cover the spread.
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