Thunder vs. Rockets Pick NBA – April 4th

Nineteen game winning streak?  What nineteen game winning streak?  All the goodwill and media support the Spurs had gathered has evaporated quickly as once again the Oklahoma City Thunder easily vanquished their Western Conference rivals.

Will people consider the fact that it was the back-end of a back-to-back for the Spurs?  Or that is was their fifth game in seven days?  Nope.  All people know is that, once again, against top flight competition the Spurs looks average.

I’m not taking a side, and I’m not insinuating that I think San Antonio is the best team in the West.  I have the same doubts as most folks and probably lean OKC in a seven game series as well.  But I do find it interesting the perception and doubt that surrounds the most consistent team in the NBA over the last ten years and a team that was ONE REBOUND away from an NBA Championship.

Either way, we notched our second straight NBA win last night with the Thunder, and we will try to keep it going tonight with another NBA winner.

Let’s dig into to tonight’s free picks.

Oklahoma City Thunder at Houston Rockets -2.5 (Total: 212.5)

How quickly the fatigue factor turns.  Yesterday, the Thunder were a near gimme-win at home facing the Spurs on short rest.  Tonight, they head to Houston on the flip-side of that coin; the tired team on short rest coming off an emotional victory.

Can the Thunder rebound in time to muster a second straight A+ effort?

I’m not sure that they can.  This game is a weird one to handicap.  The Rockets are likely missing Dwight Howard again tonight and the Thunder are likely without Russell Westbrook.   Both are good defenders, but both are also integral parts of the offense and it’s hard to see this one getting into the 110’s without them in the lineup.

These two teams are known for the offenses, but have played surprisingly low-scoring games against each other.  The last five matchups have gone UNDER and eight of the last nine have settled in under the point total.  In accordance with that trend the total point number has contracted a bit down to 212.5 from its previous 215.5, but at 212.5 it is still the second-lowest Vegas total between these two teams in their last seven matchups.

My point is, they’ve been consistently under the total and tonight’s number is in line and even a little higher than most of the previous matchups.  I’ll take the sluggish play of the Thunder and the significant injuries on both sides to lead to some lower point outputs tonight.

Free Pick:  Total Points UNDER 212.5

Chris Scheeren / Author