Oklahoma City Thunder
(28-15, 22-21 ATS)
New Orleans Hornets
(29-16, 25-19-1 ATS)
One of the hottest teams in NBA betting action puts its eight game winning streak on the line on Monday night, as the New Orleans Hornets play host to the Oklahoma City Thunder in what should be a tremendous tussle of two of the best young teams in the league.
When you’re talking about the Thunder, the discussion really starts and ends with Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook. Durant has been a man child once again this year, and though he isn’t averaging over 30 points per game this season like he was last year, there is no shame in putting up a “mere” 28.3 points per game. He went off for 30 points and 12 boards against the New York Knicks on Saturday night, and for the first time in his career, he nailed a shot to beat the buzzer to win a game. Durant’s triple with zeroes on the clock lifted Oklahoma City to a 101-98 triumph to take a 1.5 game lead in the Northwest Division. Westbrook seems to be Durant’s trusty sidekick in crime. He had 28 against the Knicks over the weekend, and he is now averaging 22.7 points per game, the most for any second highest scorer on a team in the NBA, save for the Miami Heat. Still, Durant and Westbrook enter this week tied as the top scoring duo in the game with the Heat’s Dwyane Wade and LeBron James.
The Hornets are a slightly different squad, as they pride themselves on defense. They have kept foes down to just 91.0 points per game this year, easily the best mark in the league, and teams are only shooting 43.8 percent from the field and 33.2 percent from long range against them, both stats of which are ranked No. 3 in NBA betting action. New Orleans has held the San Antonio Spurs and Atlanta Hawks to just 131 points combined over the course of its last two games, and it has kept four of its last five foes to 81 points or fewer. David West is averaging 18.9 points and 7.4 rebounds per game this season, but he has three double-doubles in his last four games to lead the way on this winning streak. West would be nowhere though, without Chris Paul getting him the rock. Not only does Paul have 431 helpers on the year, but he also has 119 steals and is shooting 47.7 percent from the floor and 46.5 percent from downtown to average 16.2 points per game. There aren’t a ton of other offense weapons at the Hornets’ disposal, though Emeka Okafor, Trevor Ariza, and Marco Belinelli are all averaging double digits worth of points per game.
It’s really hard to go against the Hornets right now on this winning streak, but we just tend to believe that the Thunder have the mojo to get the job done in this one. Too much Durant. Too much Westbrook. Too much Thunder. New Orleans will be “thunderstruck” on Monday night.
NBA Free Pick: Oklahoma City Thunder