The favorites to come out of the Western Conference, the Oklahoma City Thunder are going to be engaged in NBA betting action on Sunday night when they take on the Portland Trail Blazers.
As is usually the case, the Blazers have played well since getting rid of Head Coach Nate McMillan. They came out like gangbusters against the Chicago Bulls on the road and picked up a 100-89 victory in a game that they really seemed to have no business winning, and an upset in this one might put them right back in the fight as one of the potential contenders in the Western Conference. This should be the day that both Hasheem Thabeet and Jonny Flynn make their debut for Portland, as they are both coming over in the deal that sent Gerald Wallace to the New Jersey Nets. That is at least going to add some depth to a team that has been quite thin for the last few nights, though we do have to say that we were definitely impressed with the way that the starters played against the Bulls on Friday. Four of the five knocked down at least six shots, and all four of those players had at least 15 points.
If there were any worries about the health of Russell Westbrook and Kevin Durant, they were squashed relatively easily. The Thunder might have lost to the San Antonio Spurs at home on Friday night, but they did get huge games out of both of their stars. Westbrook shot 13-of-29 from the field and scored 36 points to go with six assists. Durant didn’t have a great shooting night, going 8-of-19, but he did finish with 25 points and seven rebounds. Both players were in the lineup for at least 43 minutes. Oklahoma City is still one of the best offensive teams in the league, averaging 102.5 points per game, and it is a squad that shoots the ball generally very well at 47.2 percent. Portland’s defense has given some great teams fits this year though, and if the defense for the Thunder doesn’t end up doing better than it did two nights ago, it could be another bad game at home for a team that many thought was indestructible in the West.
The Final Word: We’re going to give the Trail Blazers the benefit of the doubt in this one. They are still going to be playing on momentum, and they should get those reinforcements into the lineup as well. Oklahoma City is showing some signs of wearing down as we continue down the stretch of the season, and that might come back to bite it in the backside on Sunday night.
Portland Trail Blazers @ Oklahoma City Thunder Pick: Portland Trail Blazers +10
is a staff writer living in the Orlando area. He has covered NFL, MLB, college football, CFL, AFL, NBA, college basketball, NASCAR, golf, tennis, and the NHL for a number of various outlets in his career, and he has been published by a number of different media outlets, including the Orlando Sentinel and the Wall Street Journal.