It was an interesting night in the NBA last night. We grabbed a second consecutive NBA win at thesportsgeek going against the Nets in back-to-back nights. But another team is on an even more surprising streak; the Washington Wizards. It became fashionable to knock the Wiz, but recently they have been playing like, GASP, one of the better teams in the East… it sounds crazy, but it’s true. They have won seven of their last ten games and have wins over Chicago (last night by 13), Minnesota, @ Portland, @ Denver, Atlanta and Oklahoma City. That sounds like the last ten games of a serious playoff team, not a ping-pong ball destined loser.
Emeka Okafor is playing well, Bradley Beal is developing into a legit NBA starter and John Wall is back healthy. Washington is going to be an interesting play over the next few weeks as Vegas (and more importantly, the bettors swinging the lines) are slow to adjust.
On to todays free pick.
Oklahoma City Thunder -3 at Los Angeles Lakers (Total: 206)
Speaking of slow to adjust, how about the Lakers and the betting populous? They are near the bottom of the league at 17-25-2 ATS, and lines like this afternoon’s are a big reason why. We have seen this movie before folks, lots of times… It is the “Kobe won’t let his team get blown out at home” and the “look how much talent is there, it is starting to come together” and all the other story lines from Hollywood (both figuratively, and literally…). But the simple truth is, OKC dominates this team. They have won seven of the last meetings, including last season 4-1 series in the Playoffs.
The Thunder have also won four in a row against the Lakers, including two in Los Angeles. The margin of victory has been right around ten points per game, and they have scored an average of 108 points in those games. The Lakers can’t defend Durant, Westbrook and Ibaka, and can’t score enough to keep up with them.
OKC is 8-2 over their last ten games, which is impressive considering eight of those ten games were on the road and their only two losses were an overtime loss at Portland, and a five-point loss at Golden State. The Thunder is emerging as the best team in all of basketball and I don’t think they’ll pass up an opportunity on national television versus the Lakers to show everyone exactly that. I like OKC to pour it on offensively and get the win and cover on the road today.
Free Pick: Oklahoma City Thunder -3