Raptors vs. Thunder Pick NBA – March 8th

Here we go. The Hawks beat the Cavs, making a statement that they are the team to beat in the East and flexing some serious muscle in the process. A night later, the drop a game to the lowly 76’ers by eight points.

And again, sports world, make like Aaron Rodgers and R-E-L-A-X. They sat Korver, Milsap and Carroll. They did this because they have a TEN game lead in the East with twenty games to play, and frankly don’t give a crap if they drop a few games. Add in that Coach Budenholzer is a disciple of… yup, Coach Pop, and you can wager confidently this isn’t the last time the Hawks will fail to throw out a full squad down the stretch. Why this matters to US, is that the Hawks are now officially a risky wager in the regular season as it is going to be very important to keep an eye on lineups and roster activation/deactivation down the stretch. I’m not a big fan of this “resting players” movement, but it is the reality of today’s NBA, so we need to be cognizant of the change to avoid some annoying beats…

Meanwhile, the best team in the NBA over the last ten games?? The Indiana Pacers at 8-2. And Paul George is en route. It’s getting interesting before these sure to be epic NBA Playoffs….

We notched another winner last night, thanks to Milwaukee withdrawing from the Washington Wizards wagering ATM. Let’s keep at it today on a good Sunday of NBA action.

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Today’s Free Pick:

Toronto Raptors at Oklahoma City Thunder -6

The popular narrative for this game is that Kyle Lowry’s tough defense could give Westbrook some problems tonight.   I would contend the popular narrative should be that the Raptors have lost five of their last six road games by an average margin of 11.3 points and the only win is over the Sixers. Meanwhile, the Thunder, with all their injuries woes and issues, have gone 20-8 SU at home this season and have won five straight at home, covering four of them.

I don’t think any mere mortal can guard Russell at this point in time. Kyle Lowry is a very good defender, but still mortal. Westbrook is going to get his today. And the underrated part of the Thunder is that they’ve added some quality pieces around him. DJ Augustine is a very good backup point guard, and Enis Kanter gives them a better defensive presence and alleviates some of the pressure on Serge Ibaka. Even without Durant, this is a pretty talented basketball team, though the perception is that is all Russ.

Six points is a pretty reasonable price to pay. Aside from their recent home sleeper against Philly (who is actually playing pretty competitively these days), they have dispatched some pretty tough foes in OKC, handing the Pacers a rare recent loss and beating Memphis and Dallas.

Look for OKC to handle the road-adverse Raps this evening as well.

Free Pick: Oklahoma City Thunder -6