King’s vs Thunder – Free NBA Pick for March 12th
A solid recent stretch has me walking into a new week with a 55-46-2 NBA picks record on the year. Unfortunately, there is not much to work with on Monday’s NBA betting slate.
All four games on tonight’s schedule boast a point spread of -7.5 or worse, while two games have spreads at -12.5. With the pickings undeniably slim, I honestly think you’re taking on some risk no matter which way you go on this slate.
Personally, this feels like a great night to refrain from pro basketball betting. However, if you’re looking for a fun bet, I think tonight’s showdown in Oklahoma City between the Thunder and Sacramento Kings could potentially return solid value.
The Thunder are almost certainly winning this game and offer no betting upside as a straight up play (-850 at 5Dimes). They’re probably the safest bet on this board, having already opened up a 2-1 season series lead over the visiting Sacramento Kings.
OKC has also been at their best on their home floor (23-11 there), while the Kings (21-46 overall, 3-7 over their last 10 games) aren’t exactly a team to fear.
So, why am I wasting my time with this game? Largely because I don’t trust OKC to deliver on such a big spread. Let’s break this matchup down a little further and see why backing the Kings to beat tonight’s -12 spread makes a lot of sense:
The Kings are clearly not an easy team to trust and not one you should be finding yourself backing very often. That being said, they’ve actually been a lot more competitive than people might think (29-34-4 ATS) and have somehow battled OKC very hard this year, specifically.
In fact, in all three meetings between these two teams this year, nobody has won by more than eight points. Sacramento is the one that did that, too, while OKC snagged a three-point win in one showdown and a seven-point victory in the other.
This shouldn’t be all that surprising for bettors tracking OKC this year. The Thunder have been underachieving all year long and it’s pretty evident when you glance at their awful ATS record (28-40).
That is not a mark of an elite team, while the Thunder seem to constantly find themselves playing down to the level of their competition. Unsurprisingly, OKC is just 14-18 against the spread when favored at home this year.
That’d be shocking for most other teams, but the Thunder start fast and struggle to put teams away for some reason. They have an elite trio with Russell Westbrook, Paul George and Carmelo Anthony leading the way, but they really have little else to hang their hat on.
A lack of reliable depth has hurt this team with regularity, while Westbrook tends to take a look of shots and has never been a particularly efficient shooter.
Suffice to say, the Thunder still have a lot to play for and are the superior team at home, but they also aren’t the easiest favorite in the world to trust.
There is not a whole lot to say about Sacramento that is positive. However, they’ve played the Thunder extremely well and are getting healthy just in time to be annoying for anyone favoring OKC in this spot.
De’Aaron Fox returned on Sunday from an injury, while Willie Cauley-Stein has also returned to the lineup. The kicker for the Kings, really, could be the availability of their veterans – namely big man Zach Randolph.
If Z-Bo is on hand, the Kings could be a tough out here. Even if he’s not, Sacramento is loaded with a lot of interesting young talent and they’ve previously given the Thunder all they can handle.
This isn’t about trusting the Kings, though.
The Thunder have to win by 13 right now to cover (hunt for a bigger spread, by all means) and given their history, I doubt they will. Let’s cheer on the Kings tonight and see if OKC can once again fail to blow out a team they should.
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