2016-NBA-Thursday night-OKC look to strike back in Oakland
Phoenix (15-45 SU, 23-37 ATS) at Miami (34-26 SU, 32-27-1 ATS) The Heat are laying close to two touchdowns (-13 ½) in this game and it’s hard to make a case for the underdog. The Suns have gone 2-9 both SU and ATS on the road versus the Eastern Conference this season and they’re coming off an embarrassing 126-92 loss at Charlotte on Tuesday. The Suns have issues on offense due to injuries and they’re even worse on defense, allowing 107.9 points per game plus opponents have connected on 47.2 percent of their shots. They’ve dropped 16 straight on the road and more importantly, they’ve only covered one of those games. Miami hasn’t been a dominant team (19-12 SU, 16-14-1 ATS) at home by any means, especially as a double-digit favorite. The clubs is 3-0 SU but 1-2 ATS and the three victories came by 13, 5 and 5 points. The total is hovering around 211 and that’s a high number for Miami, who continues to be a great ‘under’ bet (38-22). However, the Suns have decided to go up tempo lately and that’s helped the ‘over’ go 5-1 since the All-Stark break. San Antonio (51-9 SU, 37-22-1 ATS) at New Orleans (23-36 SU, 25-34 ATS) The TNT opener features the Spurs and Pelicans squaring off in the “Big Easy” and both face back-to-back spots in this game. San Antonio (11-0 SU, 7-4 ATS) has been much better than New Orleans (3-9 SU, 6-6 ATS) on zero days rest this season and that’s one of the many reasons that it’s laying points on the road tonight. Surprisingly, New Orleans has won four of its last six meetings against San Antonio and it’s covered five of those games as well. The Pelicans dropped the Spurs 104-90 on Nov. 20 as 7 ½-point home underdogs but that’s when the club was somewhat healthy and actually had playoff aspirations. Including that setback, San Antonio has dropped three straight to New Orleans at the Smoothie King Center. A lot has changed in a four months and San Antonio got the better of New Orleans in early February with a 110-97 win at home as a 12 ½-point favorite. Since opening the All-Star break with an embarrassing 105-86 loss at the Clippers, the Spurs have ripped off six straight wins and covered four of those games. The defense has stepped up recently with no opponents breaking more than 94 points and that’s helped the ‘under’ cash in four consecutive games. New Orleans has gone 3-3 in the second-half of the season and has shown flashes of brilliance with a big win over Oklahoma City. Unfortunately, the club fell back into reality in a home loss to Minnesota. The Pelicans only hope to compete in this game against the Spurs is if they shoot a very high percentage because the defense has allowed 110 PPG since the All-Star break. The Spurs opened as eight-point road favorites with a total of 208 ½. Sacramento (24-35 SU, 25-33-1 ATS) at Dallas (33-28 SU, 33-27-1 ATS) This isn’t an easy game to handicap, especially if you look at the recent meetings. Dallas has won eight of the last 10 but Sacramento has gone 7-2 versus the number during that span with one push. The Kings knocked off the Mavericks 112-98 on Nov. 30 as two-point home favorites. In the second go ‘round, the pair played to a 117-116 shootout in early January that Dallas won at home but failed to cover (-7). Despite that game easily going ‘over’ the number, the ‘under’ had cashed in seven straight encounters. Dallas enters this game on a 9-0 run to the ‘over’ and that effort has been helped with a combination of great offense and poor defense. Coincidentally, Sacramento fits into that category at times when it makes shots and expecting a low-scoring game tonight is probably foolish. The Mavericks have posted 122, 128 and 121 points in their last three games, all wins, and now face the worst defensive team in the league in the Kings (109.5 PPG). Should we expect anything less than 120 tonight? After sweeping a home-and-home against the Nuggets right after the All-Star break, the Kings have gone 0-4 both SU and ATS in their last four which includes last night’s 104-98 loss at Memphis. George Karl’s team has gone 2-12 SU and 7-7 ATS on zero days rest this season. Even though the Kings like to run, the club has only mustered up 91, 97, 100 and 92 points in their last four games when facing back-to-back spots. Dallas opened as a 5 ½-point home favorite and the total is 220. Oklahoma City (42-19 SU, 25-35-1 ATS) at Golden State (54-5 SU, 31-25-3 ATS) Quick rematch between this pair and it’s tough to expect another back-and-forth effort that we saw last Saturday when the Warriors dropped the Thunder 121-118 in overtime. Including that win, Golden State has won two straight and five of the last six encounters against Oklahoma City. Since Saturday’s affair, Golden State beat Atlanta 109-105 on Tuesday but failed to cover as a 5 ½-point home favorite. It was the second straight overtime game for the Warriors, who were playing without Stephen Curry (ankle) and Andre Iguodala (hamstring) versus the Hawks. As of this morning, Curry is listed as ‘probable’ while Iguodala is ‘questionable.’ Despite the record-breaking pace for wins in a season, the Warriors have stung bettors with a 2-7-1 ATS run over their last 10 games. However, Golden State still remains perfect at home with a 25-0 record. Versus the number at Oracle Arena, the club is just 11-12-2 ATS but they’ve been favored by double digits in 18 of those games. In games where the spread is nine or less at home, the Warriors are 4-3 ATS while the ‘under’ has gone 5-2. Golden State opened as an 8 ½-point favorite over OKC and the total is 233. The ‘over/under’ has gone 1-1 in the first two meetings between the pair this season. Oklahoma City hasn’t been a great ATS team all season and last night’s 103-98 collapse to the Clippers watched them blow a 17-point lead in the fourth quarter. I still believe the Thunder are nothing short of a bully and backing them against quality opponents is a big reach. On zero days rest, OKC has gone 5-4 SU and 4-5 ATS this season which includes a 3-1 run in its last four back-to-back spots.