NBA Tuesday Night Spread Picks
Below odds brought to you by our friends over at Bovada.
Oklahoma City Thunder at Golden State Warriors (-10)
Russell Westbrook 1, Kevin Durant 0 (this season at least).
If you remember, Westbrook’s Thunder routed the Warriors 108-91 in Oklahoma City back on the eve of Thanksgiving. As much as the two played the “it’s just another game” card, on-court antics proved otherwise as the former teammates teed off against each other with trash talk (resulting in a double-technical foul). Tuesday marks chapter two in the four-part season series.
Neither enters the matchup playing particularly good. Golden State (41-12) is back from a three-game road trip where they went 1-2, while Oklahoma City (30-24) is riding a four-game losing skid.
While both are slumping, neither’s offense is out of rhythm. During January, the Warriors and Thunder ranked one and two, respectively, in average points per game.
Defense is where the struggles have been, especially for the Thunder. They’ve allowed opponents to top 100 points in nine consecutive outings. That’s not a good trend facing the most potent offense in the league on their home floor.
The Dubs have defensive woes of their own. In their last two losses — against mediocre Denver and Utah teams — they’ve allowed 122 points on average. Oklahoma City, with their three superstar lineup, certainly has the firepower to do the same, if not more, damage.
On Tuesday, we sense a breakout performance coming from Durant. For all the hoopla about facing his former team, he’s averaging just 21 points against them dating to last season. Durant — after posting back-to-back games with at least 30 points — will come out more aggressive this time out.
Behind a fiery performance from Durant, the Dubs should roll. Golden State has yet to lose consecutive games this year, a streak that continues against the Thunder — a team they’ve beat seven straight at Oracle Arena.
Pick: Warriors (-10)
Over/under 222 points: Cleveland Cavaliers at Orlando Magic
Anyone catch Orlando’s thrilling 111-109 against Miami last night? The Magic (16-36) withstood a late rally from the Heat and were saved from overtime by a late review on a would-be Bismack Biyombo goaltend. After all that, they have turn right around and host the three-time reigning Eastern Conference champions.
But to be fair, Cleveland (30-21) has looked like anything but champions as of late. After another ugly home loss, this time by 32 points to Houston, they’re once again shutting down rumors that head coach Tyronn Lue’s job is in jeopardy.
It appears Lue is losing grip of the team. James (11 points against the Rockets) is playing as lackadaisical as ever, probably already looking ahead to his free agency. Iman Shumpert and Channing Frye are openly being shopped. Isaiah Thomas isn’t close to 100 percent healthy. Kevin Love is out for two months. This spiraling season appears to be the end of an era.
This game pits two teams that’ve gone completely off the rails. Expect a trainwreck on Tuesday, which will be reflected most on the scoreboard.
Houston Rockets (-10.5) at Brooklyn Nets
Simply put, the Rockets (38-13) are really, really good. They’ve won 11 of their past 13. Better yet, with Chris Paul and James Harden in the lineup this season, they are a whopping 23-3. There’s not a bigger threat to the Warriors in all of the NBA, not just the Western Conference, than Houston.
However, this one has all the makings for a trap game. It’s the first in a double-header (they’ll face Miami the following night) and well, the lowly Nets (19-35) are easy to overlook.
Brooklyn will be playing their first game without big man Tyler Zeller. He started 33 games this season before being benched and barely racking up any minutes as of late. Zeller was averaging 7.1 points and 4.6 rebounds this season.
Nets lost by 14 points on the road the first time these two met. At home, they should be able to slice that deficit. Brooklyn head coach Kenny Atkins is slowly ridding the franchise of its losing culture, and should have his young team ready to compete against the Rockets.
Pick: Brooklyn (+)
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