December 17th, 2015 (2:42 PM ET)
Two college football picks are being released in advance for Saturday's bowl games!
Take OKC Thunder at +3 spread against Cleveland Cavaliers for 3% of the bankroll.
This is a marquee matchup between two of the best teams in their respective conferences as the Oklahoma City Thunder take on the Cleveland Cavaliers. The Oklahoma Thunder have been rolling this season and come into this contest having won 6 straight games. They have fully bought into and are adapting to the coaching philosophies of head coach Billy Donovan and that has made them an incredibly dangerous team.
The Thunder have always been a talented shooting team getting quality play from both Russell Westbrook and Kevin Durant, but this season even the role players have stepped up their games with guys like Serge Ibaka and Steven Adams logging quality minutes. They are also much improved on the defensive side of the ball and rebounding has been a major focus for this team. With a plethora of big men on their roster, they no doubt should have the advantage on the glass tonight.
While injuries had plagued the Thunder last season, they are finally at full strength and have a healthy roster and it has been paying dividends. The same cannot be said for the Cavs at this point. They are missing a number of key players with Kyrie Irving still sidelined while they will also be missing guys like Iman Shumpert and Mo Williams for this contest. Timofey Mozgov has also taken a step back this season. After having a breakout year last season with the Cavs, he has seemingly regressed in his performance and has been almost a non-factor for the Cavs this year. He will no doubt have his hands full in this contest with a number of big men crowding the paint for the Thunder.
These are two quality teams likely to make a deep playoff run this season, but at this point the Thunder are the healthier and better balanced team. Their superior guard play will likely be the difference in this contest as it will be tough for the Cavs to stop all of the weapons that OKC brings to the table. Both Durant and Westbrook are capable of taking a game over at a moment's notice and Lebron James can only do so much on the defensive end himself.
The Thunder pose a serious threat to win this game outright. If the referees don't blow their whistles too often to put the Cavaliers at the charity stripe as we have seen happen in many home games this season, we don't see Cleveland being able to outplay the Thunder for a full 48 mins. There would certainly have to be some "home cooking" involved for the Cavs to beat the Thunder in this contest given their numerous injuries and overall lesser talent on the floor. This will be an entertaining game to watch, but the Thunder should walk off the court the winners. Even if they fail to secure the outright victory and the Cavs happen to win this game, we don't anticipate it will be by more than a single possession and the points will come into play.
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