Free NBA Picks: Thunder at Nets Odds
by Aaron Smith - 1/30/2014
Coming off their most impressive win of the season, the Oklahoma City Thunder will be in Brooklyn to take on the Nets on Friday night. This game will be carried nationally by ESPN.
Brooklyn had extremely high hopes heading into the season, but the Nets got off to a brutally slow start. The Nets have been playing much better of late, but they are still just 20-23 a little more than halfway through the regular season.
Oklahoma City comes into this one with a 37-10 record. No other team in the NBA has as many wins as the Thunder. There’s no way you could be anything other than stunned with the way Oklahoma City dismantled Miami on the road on Wednesday night in the spotlight. This team is absolutely rolling right now.
Thunder at Nets Betting Story Lines
If you aren’t living under a rock, you’ve heard about Kevin Durant’s amazing stretch over the last few weeks. Durant is dominating more in the past month than any other player in the league has at any time so far this season. Durant has scored at least 30 points in each of the team’s last 12 games. He is now averaging 31 points per game for the season. Durant is shooting 51 percent from the floor and 42 percent from beyond the arc. It isn’t just the way he has been scoring but when he has been scoring those points. Durant is taking this team and carrying them on his back right now.
I’ll be the first to admit I was pretty shocked to see Oklahoma City put it on Miami the way they did Wednesday night. After the Heat jumped out to a 20-4 lead, it looked like Oklahoma City was in for a long night. Instead, Oklahoma City went on the attack and ended up coasting to a 112-95 win. Oklahoma City forced Miami to turn the ball over 20 times, and that led to a bunch of easy baskets in transition for the Thunder. The Thunder made 16 shots from three-point range compared to just three from Miami.
The fact that Oklahoma City is doing all this without Russell Westbrook is truly amazing. Westbrook is one of the Top-10 players in the league, and he certainly makes this team much better. The NBA has been served notice that this Oklahoma City team is for real this season!
The Brooklyn Nets are fortunate that they are in the NBA Atlantic Division. If they were in a lot of other divisions, they would be completely out of the race at this point. Since they are in the weakest division in basketball, the Nets are just three games behind the surprising Toronto Raptors for the top spot in the division.
Brooklyn has won five of their last six games overall, but they lost a heart breaker to Toronto at home in their last game. The Nets led by three in the final seconds only to see that lead slip away with a couple costly gaffes. How will the team respond after such a difficult loss? The way they come out in this game will tell us a lot about the Nets moving forward.
Opponents have been torching the Nets from long range. Brooklyn is allowing opponents to shoot 38.4 percent from the 3-point line, which is dead last in the NBA. It’s clear that Kevin Garnett is very near the end of his career, and his production has been way down so far this season. Paul Pierce is still scoring, but he’s shooting just 41 percent from the floor. Deron Williams is the team’s most talented player, but he’s had some chemistry issues once again this season.
Thunder at Nets NBA Betting Odds and Key Trends
According to odds from 5Dimes, the Oklahoma City Thunder are listed as three-point favorites in this one. The posted total is set at 199 points. Oklahoma City is 5-0 ATS in their last five road games. The Thunder are 8-1 ATS in their last nine games overall. Brooklyn is 6-2 ATS in their last eight games. The Nets are 4-1 ATS in their last five following an ATS loss. The road team is 4-0 ATS in the last four meetings between these two. The “over” is 5-2 in the last seven meetings between these teams.
Free NBA Picks: Thunder at Nets Betting Predictions
This is a complex game to analyze. Oklahoma City could have a letdown after a huge win at Miami on Wednesday, and Brooklyn could come out focused after a disappointing fourth quarter last time out. Still, with the number sitting at just three points, I can’t go against the Thunder. The Nets have been playing much better of late, but they haven’t been playing top competition. I won’t get in the way of the Oklahoma City train right now. Look for Oklahoma City to cover the short number.
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