The Oklahoma City Thunder is a team playing better than anyone else in the NBA right now, and there is a very good reason for it. On Friday they will get a challenge from a well-rested team that hasn’t been playing too badly itself, when the they hook up with the Brooklyn Nets in NBA betting action that is set to begin at 8:05 PM ET at the Barclays Center.
After winning its ninth game in a row at Miami, Oklahoma City is 37-10 straight-up and sitting in first place in the West, three and a half games ahead of the San Antonio Spurs and Portland Trail Blazers. The Thunder is 28-19 against the basketball pointspread. Brooklyn is 20-23, which is good enough for seventh place in the Eastern Conference, and the Nets are 21-22 in the basketball odds.
Oklahoma City Thunder -3.5
Brooklyn Nets +3.5
Over 197.5 points -110
Under 197.5 points -110
This is a team that doesn’t flinch when it travels; in fact, Oklahoma City is 17-7 as a road club, and has been profitable for those investing in them in basketball betting (15-9 ATS). There probably was no more impressive performance on their part than Tuesday night, as they turned around an 11-point Miami lead at the end of the first quarter and outscored the Heat 91-65 the rest of the way to win 112-95. Kevin Durant had 33 points and the team shot 51% from the field, sinking 16 shots from three-point range. The Thunder also forced 20 Miami turnovers by, among other things, making thirteen steals.
The game was a very powerful statement on the part of the Thunder, which is priced at +500 at BetAnySports to go all the way and win the NBA championship. It was also their ninth win in a row, with eight of those wins covering the number in the NBA betting odds.
Durant would have to be considered front-and-center for the MVP award right now. The 6’9″ small forward has now scored at least 30 points in twelve consecutive games, with four efforts of 40 or more in that span. He has done this while stepping up in the absence of Russell Westbrook, who should become available to the Thunder some time in the second half of the season. He’s got his highest scoring average ever (31.3), and of course that is good enough to lead the league. And he is now shooting 51% from the field after a run of eight straight games in which he has made at least half his shots.
Brooklyn is not a slumping team by any means; in fact, considering the very slow start the Nets got off to, they have come back in remarkable fashion. And they have lost their own All-Star, center Brook Lopez, to a foot injury that has taken him out for the season and cast his future in some doubt. That forced Jason Kidd to go to a smaller lineup, and as BetAnySports customers have seen, it has helped make all the difference for this team. With Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce up front and essentially a three-guard lineup (Joe Johnson, Deron Williams, Shaun Livingston), the Nets have been on a run of ten wins in twelve games – nine of which have been covering efforts against the NBA betting lines. Both of the losses during this period have come against the Toronto Raptors, a finesse-oriented team that matches up pretty well with what the Nets can put out there.
But one of the wins for Brooklyn (+1900 in NBA futures to win the East) came at the Chesapeake Energy Center in Oklahoma City on January 2. In that game, the Nets were down eleven points at the start of the fourth quarter and came on very strong with a 29-16 rally in the last twelve minutes for a 95-93 win. They held the Thunder to just 34 points in the second half. Williams had 29 points in the game, while Durant was “held” to 24. Oklahoma City committed 21 turnovers, but story was that Brooklyn was able to get to the free throw line much more, especially when the Nets went to their second unit.
Perhaps this is something basketball bettors should take note of, since that is when Kidd gets “bigger” with his lineup. Somebody’s got to come up with the matchup advantage, and there aren’t many people in the league who can adjust better than OKC’s Scott Brooks.
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Cole started off as a part time handicapper and a full time computer programmer. After developing a computer program that consistently provided winners in NFL, NBA, MLB, and college sports Cole went into full time handicapping. The computer program and his knack for winners made him a rising star in the handicapping world. His complex computer program based on algorithms and analytical calculations have led to a 60% ATS rate.