Oklahoma City Thunder at Atlanta Hawks – NBA March 18

7:30 p.m. Oklahoma City at Atlanta (-7½) O/U: 224.5

Teams Spread Money Line Total Points
Oklahoma City Thunder +7½ (-110) +235 O 224½ (-110)
Atlanta Hawks -7½ (-110) -290 U 224½ (-110)

The 17-23 Thunder travel to Atlanta on Thursday night to take on the 20-20 Hawks. Oklahoma City was last in action Tuesday night falling to the Bulls in Chicago 123-102. Atlanta picked up a 119-107 in Houston on Tuesday night.

Oklahoma City won the first matchup between these two on Feb. 26 at home 118-109.

Oklahoma City Thunder Logo 101x101The Thunder are depleted at the moment, playing without centers Meyers Leonard and Al Horford, as well as without guard George Hill and forwards Darius Bazley and Josh Hall. All of them will be sidelined Thursday night. Forward Lu Dort has been a key piece for Oklahoma City this season, averaging 12.4 points on 30 minutes per game.

Please Note:
Even he is going to be a game-time decision against the Hawks. This means a lot of the weight will be placed on guard Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, who leads the team with 23.6 points per game. Gilgeous-Alexander led the Thunder with 24 points in the previous matchup vs. the Hawks and will need to do even more this time around.

Atlanta Hawks LogoThe Hawks will be forced to play without forwards DeAndre Hunter and Cam Reddish, but they will have star guard Trae Young, who leads the team with 26 points and 9.4 assists per game. Atlanta’s leading scorer in the first matchup was John Collins, who tallied 25 points and  also added eight rebounds.

The Hawks have won six games in a row and are playing their best basketball of the season to get back to the .500 mark.

Oklahoma City, on the other hand, has officially adopted the look of a team tanking. With Atlanta now in the mix for the playoffs, the Hawks not only are playing well but also have something for which to play. The line will move to nine or 10 by tipoff if Dort is unable to go because he is the anchor for the Thunder’s defense. Do not hesitate to take the Hawks and lay the seven points in a game that they should win easily by double figures.

The Bets
Hawks 7½

*Odds courtesy of MyBookie

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Joe Menzer / Author

Joe is an award-winning writer and editor who has covered the NBA, NFL, NASCAR, golf, various collegiate athletics and other sports for newspapers, Turner Sports, Fox Sports and ESPN. He has been on the beat for seven Super Bowls, six Daytona 500s and numerous NBA playoff series and All-Star Games. He once was dispatched to Rome, Italy to spend time with an NBA draft choice who opted to play overseas, after which he produced an award-winning series of stories. He also is passionate about fantasy sports and breaking down games in ways that even novice gamblers can use to make their most intelligent wagering decisions.