Free NBA Picks: Los Angeles Clippers at Oklahoma City Thunder Odds and Predictions
by Chad Matthews - 2/22/2014
Chris Paul and Russell Westbrook, both recently returned from injury, will face off against each other during the Sunday matinee as the Oklahoma City Thunder host the Los Angeles Clippers at the Chesapeake Energy Arena. Each player returned to his respective lineup this week after missing a god amount of time due to injuries, and as expected it will take time for the teams to adjust to these players back into their offense. This will be a matchup between two teams expected to lead the Western Conference. Oklahoma City still holds the No. 1 seed in the West, with the Clippers sitting in the No. 4 spot. The Thunder are coming off a no-show effort against the Miami Heat at home on Thursday night as the they easily handled OKC 103-81. The Clippers are coming off a disappointing loss as well as they fell just short against Memphis on the road as the Grizzlies rallied late to take the win.
Clippers at Thunder Betting Story Lines
The Oklahoma City Thunder enter this game with a 43-13 record on the season. The Clippers, who have been without Paul since December, are 37-20 on the season and at many times have shown inconsistency on defense throughout the season. The Thunder are an impressive 23-4 at home this year and have had no problems protecting their home court. The Clippers have played well at home but have had difficulties playing on the road this year as they are a game below .500 at 14-15 away from home. With guards Westbrook and Paul back I do expect it to take a little time for the offenses to adjust. The Thunder, previously to Thursday's game against Miami, were on a tear heading into the all-star break. Kevin Durant leads all scorers in the league , averaging 31.4 points per game this season. The return of Westbrook will only make this Thunder squad stronger as they were already playing well without him. Many expect the Thunder to capture the West this season. The Clippers have relied on Blake Griffin this season in the absence of Paul, and he has stepped up his game in a big way averaging a team-best 24.4 points per game.
Los Angeles Clippers at Oklahoma City Thunder NBA Odds and Key Trends
At BetOnline the Thunder are listed as five-point home favorites, with the total set at 209.
The Clippers come in to today's game with an impressive 17-12 record ATS on the road. The Thunder are in a similar scenario at home holding a 15-12 record ATS at home. The Clippers are 0-6 ATS in their last six games vs. a team with a winning percentage above .600, and the Thunder are 5-1 ATS in their last six games vs. a team with a winning percentage above .600. The Thunder are 4-1 ATS the past five matchups between these two teams, and the Thunder are 4-0 ATS in their last four Sunday games.
Free NBA Picks: Los Angeles Clippers at Oklahoma City Thunder Betting Predictions
The last time the Thunder faced top-flight competition, on Thursday against Miami, they had a letdown, getting squashed as the offense had difficulty adjusting to Westbrook's first game back in the lineup. I expect this game to be a bounce-back effort for the Thunder. The Clippers are a better team with the return of Paul, but they have been inconsistent and road-weary throughout the season. I expect a close exchange in the first half, but look for the Thunder to pull away in the second half and cover the spread.
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