Date/Time: Thursday, December 11 – 8:05 PM ET
NBA Betting Lines from Vietbet
Spread: Thunder -2.5
Total: 204.5 points
This is the kind of matchup that the NBA and TNT were drooling over when they made the schedule at the beginning of the season. Of course, they were a little worried for a while because both Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook were missing from the Oklahoma City lineup with injuries. Westbrook hurt his hand after only a couple of games, and Durant suffered a stress fracture in his foot that kept him out of action until just recently.
In fact, Durant only came back to the lineup on December 2, as he scored 27 points in eight-point loss to New Orleans. Since then, the Thunder has won all three games and naturally there is a sense of urgency as this team is still five games under the .500 mark in a very highly-competitive Western Conference. Vietbet patrons will not see Durant going over 30 minutes tonight, because he is on a restriction in that regard. But that restriction is expected to be lifted as early as next week.
As for Westbrook, he knew that without Durant, he was going to have to pick up even more of the scoring burden, and he indeed did, in the season opener against Portland, when he scored 38 points in 33 minutes. However, he got injured in the next game against the Clippers, and sat out until November 28 against the Knicks, when he came back with a bang, scoring 32 points with eight assists in just 24 minutes, the only player in the shot-clock era to do that. It’s pretty clear to NBA bettors that without multiple scoring options, Oklahoma City is going to need both of these players healthy to make any kind of an impact in the playoff race. So you can call them the “Big Two.”
The Cavaliers got 35 points out of LeBron James a couple of nights ago as they beat the Toronto Raptors 105-101. He has averaged slightly under 25 points on the season, while the bigger concern has been how the other members of Cleveland’s new “Big Three” have been able to adapt to playing with him. At first, things seem to be very rocky, but the general consensus among NBA bettors, as well as many of the pundits were not producing snap judgments, was that this team would gradually develop its chemistry and start to make a move. This is apparently what has happened.
Cleveland is currently on eight-game winning streak, and Vietbet customers are seeing some things that were very familiar to what the Miami Heat looked like when LeBron was leading them to championships; namely very accurate shooting. Over the last eight games this team has hit at least 47.8% of its shots seven times. James is nearly 48% accurate for the season, and right now it looks like the guy who is some room to perform better is Kevin Love, who is making somewhat of a sacrifice on the scoring end with LeBron and Kyrie Irving around, averaging a little over 17 points per game, and he is pulling down ten rebounds per contest.
This is by far the biggest test for the Thunder since Westbrook and Durant came back into the picture. As far as the technical trends go, Oklahoma City has been pretty consistent at home, covering eight of their 10 games against the NBA betting odds. Meanwhile, Cleveland has won consecutive road games at New York, Toronto and Brooklyn, but is just 4-5 against the basketball pointspread as the visitor.
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CHARLES JAY, a contributor to BangTheBook.com, is one of the most experienced sports betting writers in America, as he has written more than 10,000 pieces specifically for the industry over the last seven years. At one time employed as an editorial consultant with USA Network, he is also a former syndicated radio talk show host (American Radio Networks) and has also done color commentary on boxing events in the past for Prime Network (now known as Fox SportsNet). He is a veteran of more than a decade and a half working within the professional sports industry, and has been handicapping sporting events for over 25 years. In addition to this, he has compiled specialty odds for a number of online sportsbook operations and media outlets.