The Detroit Pistons looked like a great underdog to back last night. They were on the road and playing on the second night of a back-to-back set, but they got the Nets and offered awesome value at a +125 price tag. For a while it looked like they’d convert the bet, but Brooklyn forced overtime and ultimately won the game by one point.
Had you just taken Detroit to beat a +2.5 point spread, you’d have cashed. I didn’t and it dropped my season NBA picks mark to 8-3.
That was a pretty weak way to lose, but it’s onward and upward come Thursday night’s six-game basketball betting slate. I’m eyeing two games tonight, with the Thunder looking like really fun road dogs (+103 at GTbets) and Denver (-5, -115) looking like a solid road favorite.
Of the two, I trust OKC a little more. The Nuggets just have a bad history on the road and even though I definitely think they beat the Bulls, the spread just feels a little dicey. Oklahoma City is my top target tonight and I’m going for the +103 moneyline.
Let’s break down why that’s my top wager for tonight’s NBA betting action:
Oklahoma City Thunder (+1.5, -110) @ Charlotte Hornets (-1.5, -110) Total: 226.5 (-105/-115)
I won’t lie, last year’s ATS data doesn’t really help me here. Charlotte historically can be tough at home and when favored against the spread at the Spectrum Center last season they were a respectable 17-14. That’s not elite by any means, but it just goes to show you can’t just brush by the Hornets when they’re on their home floor.
Oklahoma City has a history of playing down to their competition, too. Not just that, but they were a middling 21-22 away from home last year and they were even worse (19-24) on the road against the spread. I’d agree all of that mildly favors Charlotte, but it’s not so dramatic that I’d let it sway my bet.
The Thunder are 2-4, but they’re not a bad team. They started off without Russell Westbrook for the first two games of the season and of their four losses, three have come against the Warriors, Clippers and Celtics. Those are all good to great teams and even a fourth loss against a seemingly rising Kings team isn’t that terrible.
The slow start is noted, but OKC has won their last two games and appears to be ready to start to dig themselves out of the hole they’ve put themselves in. Right now they’re at the bottom of the Northwest Division, but with Denver running hot at 6-1, they know they can’t afford to stay down for much longer.
I’m not a fan of betting against Westbrook in general, while this OKC squad is visibly better than last year’s version. Nerlens Noel and Dennis Schroder both give the Thunder meaningful minutes off the bench and obviously Paul George is a great sidekick for Russ.
Charlotte isn’t chopped liver, but they’re just 4-4 and haven’t really put up much of a fight defensively. They do have the third most efficient offense in the NBA, but they are really only going to go as far as Kemba Walker will take them. In welcoming the league’s 9th best defense to town, I wouldn’t at all be shocked if Walker ran into some trouble tonight.
OKC plays solid defense, yet they really push the pace offensively. That’s going to put the Over in play tonight, but I think the Thunder just keep the gas pedal down and go for that third straight win.