December 20, 2012

Oklahoma City Thunder vs. Minnesota Timberwolves Pick

NBA Picks

Preview


Oklahoma City Thunder
vs.
Minnesota Timberwolves

Date/Time: December 20, 7:00 pm EST

Television: TNT

Basketball Odds from Bookmaker

Point Spread: Thunder -3.5

Total: 198

 

NBA Betting Trends

Oklahoma City Thunder

  • Oklahoma City is 5-0 SU in its last 5 games
  • The total has gone OVER in 4 of Oklahoma City’s last 6 games on the road
  • Oklahoma City is 7-1 SU in its last 8 games on the road
  • Oklahoma City is 0-5 ATS in its last 5 games when playing Minnesota

Minnesota Timberwolves

  • The total has gone OVER in 4 of Minnesota’s last 6 games at home
  • Minnesota is 0-5 SU in its last 5 games when playing Oklahoma City
  • Minnesota is 0-5 SU in its last 5 games when playing at home against Oklahoma City
  • The total has gone OVER in 4 of Minnesota’s last 5 games when playing Oklahoma City

 

NBA Pick/Preview

The Oklahoma City Thunder haven’t skipped a beat this year. Oklahoma City now has the best record in the NBA. Oklahoma City has won 12 straight games, and they have won several major matchups in the past few days. Minnesota has had injury problems this year, but the Timberwolves have managed to stay just above .500. The Timberwolves have a chance to pick up a marquee win on national television Thursday night.

Game Overview:

The Thunder made a big move right before the beginning of the season by sending James Harden to Houston. Kevin Martin has turned out to be a very nice asset to the team as well. Martin is averaging 16 points per game, and he is shooting 46% from beyond the arc this season. Oklahoma City has four guys averaging at least 14.2 points per game. Kevin Durant, Russell Westbrook, Kevin Martin, and Serge Ibaka are all capable of carrying the team for long stretches of time. Oklahoma City leads the NBA in scoring at 105.6 points per game.

What is even better about Oklahoma City this year? The Thunder are clamping down on the defensive end. Oklahoma City is holding opponents to 42.5 percent shooting from the floor. They are also improving as a group at defensive rebounding. Serge Ibaka is one of the best shot blockers in the league, and his improvement on the offensive end has really helped make this team a lot better. It is important to remember that the Thunder are still a very young team, and this group should continue to improve.

Minnesota has Kevin Love back in the lineup, and they are slowly trying to work Ricky Rubio back into the fold. Rubio did not play in Minnesota’s loss to Miami, and he is listed as questionable for this one. Josh Howard, Chase Budinger, Brandon Roy, and Malcolm Lee are all on the injury list now. It really is quite impressive that Minnesota is staying in the mix despite their injury issues. Kevin Love’s shooting percentage is only 35.5% this year, and his three-point shooting percentage is 21.9%.

Andrei Kirilenko and Nikola Pekovic are both having very good seasons, and that has really helped the team hold its own. Alexey Shved is also putting together a very good rookie season. Minnesota is one of the best rebounding teams in the NBA. They will need to win the battle on the boards in this one if they are going to pull off the upset.

Prediction:

Oklahoma City is on the second end of a back-to-back here, while Minnesota had a day off yesterday. The Timberwolves should be extremely motivated here, but I don’t think they’ll have quite enough talent to hold off the supremely talented Thunder.

Oklahoma City 102 Minnesota 97

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Kyle Hunter

is full-timesports writer and sports handicapper. You simply won’t find someone who loves sports more than Kyle. Kyle considers college football and college basketball his two favorite sports. Kyle has earned many accolades for his highly successful handicapping, and he writes full-time for many top sports websites. Keep an eye out for high quality free sports analysis from Kyle!

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