February 6, 2015 (Posted at 5:00 PM ET)
After 7 straight lucrative weeks of profiting at least 6 units, it would be completely normal to finally have a losing week.
Nonetheless, we plan on making it 8 consecutive winning weeks with a good weekend ahead!
Take OKC Thunder at -6 spread against New Orleans Pelicans risking 3%
The Pelicans travel to Chesapeake Energy Arena to take on the Thunder in the second game of a home and home set and what is the 4th and final meeting between the two clubs this season. Oklahoma City managed to win the first game of this home and home set by defeating the Pelicans 102-91 on the road just two nights ago! Even without Kevin Durant on the floor, the Thunder managed to shoot a blistering 52.9% from the field and the Pelicans had absolutely no answer for Russell Westbrook who had a triple double and scored 45 points! Despite having an 11-point lead, Westbrook was not to be denied as he willed his team to a crucial victory! He was one of four players in double figures for the Thunder in that contest. Former Pelican, Anthony Morrow chipped in 14 off the bench and is a deadly 3-pointer shooter if not closed down. Serge Ibaka added 13 points and new acquisition Dion Waiters had 12. OKC had a ton of success down low and in the lane as they went just 5 of 15 from three point range and 7 of 11 from the line which means they got the vast majority of their points from drives in the lane and jump shots.
The Thunder will have MVP Kevin Durant back in the lineup and that adds a whole new dimension to what the poor Pelicans defense has to contend with. Their game plan would have likely been to shut down Westbrook prior to the announcement that KD will start tonight. Now they have to pick their poison and there's really no easy way to do so. It has thrown a wrench in their plans and we feel that this is simply a bad matchup for the Pelicans with not much having changed since Wednesday night.
Oklahoma City clawed their way back to an above .500 record with that important win on Wednesday. After missing their two All-Stars for much of the early part of the season, the Thunder are now firmly in the playoff hunt, with their sights set on that 8th and final spot in the Western Conference standings. The Phoenix Suns who lead them by 2 games currently occupy that spot but standing in their way is not just the team from Arizona but the one from New Orleans! The Pelicans have been above OKC for some time now and sit in the 9th spot in the loaded West standings. This matchup is a chance for the Thunder to not only split the series meetings with New Orleans, but to also tie them for that 9th spot. The Thunder has spent a lot of time, energy and focus on getting back to a winning record and we believe both teams will be sporting 26-24 records when this game is over tonight.
These two clubs have been night and day when playing away from home which gives the hosts the advantage tonight! The Pelicans average nearly 5 point less on the road and have shown their struggles on the highway this season. New Orleans is just 9-16 away from Smoothie King Arena while the Thunder have one of the biggest home court advantages in the league with a 91-28 record over the last 3 seasons! There is no doubt that Oklahoma City holds a distinct advantage in front of their passionate crowd. It's worth mentioning that their early season struggles which was due to injuries have somewhat skewed the public's perception this season. The Thunder are still one of the most statistically impressive teams in the league. They score an average of 99.2 points per game but the team ranks 1st in the league in rebounding, pulling down 46.5 boards per contest! They have also been elite on the defensive end as they rank 9th in the league in scoring defense, limiting opponents to just 98.1 points per night. They are 2nd in field goal percentage defense holding teams to just 42.7% shooting from the floor. This team is also 5th in three point percentage limiting opposing offenses to just 33.5% shooting from long range. They managed to hold the Pelicans to just 91 points in New Orleans two days ago and should be able to hold them to a similar total tonight.
The Pelicans have a MVP candidate of their own in Anthony Davis and while he is continuously improving and has been great this season, he is still only one player. Jrue Holiday continues to miss out and even though Tyreke Evans has done a nice job at the PG position, his defensive skills are lacking. A majority of the Pelicans' success has been due to their outstanding rebounding efforts. They typically own an advantage over most opponents in that category but that likely won't be the case tonight. The Thunder are the best rebounding team in the NBA and the better overall team. That is somewhat forgotten because of their slow start and recent ATS struggles. New Orleans came into this arena and stole a win over Oklahoma City back on Dec. 21st. We believe the players remember that game well and we can't see them dropping two straight to them at home. Monty Williams has not been able to fix this poor defense while Scott Brooks has built a team that can be downright stifling defensively especially when playing at home. That should be the key difference in this matchup as OKC gets what is essentially a must-win victory for them!
Other notable facts to consider:
- Thunder are 8-3 ATS in their last 11 after covering the spread!
- Pelicans are 7-13 ATS in its last 20 games against Oklahoma City.
- Thunder are 4-1 ATS in their last five after scoring 100 or more points.
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