NBA Predictions: Oklahoma City Thunder vs. Denver Nuggets

Oklahoma City Thunder vs. Denver Nuggets
Thursday, 1/9/14, 10:30 PM EST
Opening Point Spread:  N/A
Current Betting Line:  N/A
Opening Total:  N/A
Current Total:  N/A
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Denver Nuggets PG Ty Lawson has played great basketball over the last four games

Denver Nuggets PG Ty Lawson has played great basketball over the last four games

Oklahoma City had its eight-game road winning streak come to an end last time out, as it suffered a 112-101 setback to the Utah Jazz as six-point favorites Tuesday, while going OVER the betting total for a third consecutive affair.  The Thunder are 12-5 SU when playing away from Chesapeake Energy Arena, including a 7-5 mark versus Western Conference opponents, which is important to consider when making your NBA predictions.  The team is expecting forward Serge Ibaka to return to the lineup—after sitting out in Salt Lake City due to flu-like symptoms.  Oklahoma City is 31-10 SU and 29-12 ATS off a upset loss as a favorite the last two-plus seasons.

The Thunder have compiled a 36-9 SU record in bounce-back games since the start of the 2011-12 campaign—the best such mark in the NBA over that span.  Oklahoma City will need a major offensive performance from leading scorer Kevin Durant to pull off a victory in this spot, as he’s averaging 39 points to go along with 6.7 assists and 3.0 steals in his last three efforts.

Denver is averaging 125.7 points during its three-game winning streak, as it comes off a 129-98 victory over the Boston Celtics as 7.5-point home favorites last time out, while going OVER the betting total for the fifth time in six opportunities.  The Nuggets are being led by point guard Ty Lawson, who has tallied a season-best four consecutive double-doubles.  He has scored in double figures in 30 of 32 games this year.  Denver is 5-9 SU and 6-8 ATS versus teams with a winning record this season.

The Nuggets are 9-8 SU at the Pepsi Center, including a losing 5-6 mark versus conference rivals.  Denver has won nine of its last 12 home games in this series, but suffered a 105-93 setback as 2.5-point underdogs in that situation on Dec. 17.  The team’s bench is a major strength, as the unit ranks third in the league in scoring and first in rebounding.

Sports bettors will likely play the total, as the UNDER is 6-1-1 in the last eight meetings at this venue.

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