Oklahoma City Thunder at Phoenix Suns Pro Basketball Picks & Predictions

Oklahoma City Thunder at Phoenix Suns
Friday, 2/4/11, 9:00 PM EDT
Opening Point Spread:  Oklahoma City -1
Current Betting Line:  Oklahoma City -2
Opening Total:  216
Current Total:  216

Kevin Durant
The Oklahoma City Thunder are road favorites on Friday night due to the recent play of forward Kevin Durant

Oklahoma City is making a midseason push up the Western Conference standings and face off against a Phoenix team that is playing its best basketball of the 2010-11 campaign tonight inside the US Airways Center.  The Thunder’s recent play has been spurred by the scoring of All-Star forward Kevin Durant, who has lifted his league-leading average to 29.3 points after managing to score 40 or more points in three of the last four contests.  “That’s why he’s probably the MVP of the league right now,” said coach Monty Williams.  “You’re putting a string of games together like that, you put yourself in a different class.”  He will now be focused on helping the squad try and gain revenge from a 113-110 home loss to Phoenix on December 19.  Oklahoma City is 24-23 ATS on the season and currently a slight road favorite on the NBA lines page.

The Thunder have posted a respectable 13-10 road record, including an even 7-7 mark versus Western Conference competition.  Oklahoma City’s scoring tandem of Durant and point guard Russell Westbrook are managing to average 51.7 points a game, which trails the Miami Heat duo of LeBron James and Dwyane Wade by three tenths of a point.  The team has also taken full advantage of its time from the charity stripe, shooting a league-best 82.8 percent from the free throw line.

Phoenix is playing great basketball as well and looks to win four straight at home for the first time this season Friday night.  The Suns recent play has been jumpstarted by backup center Marcin Gortat, who is averaging 15.1 points and 10.9 rebounds over the last eight games.  “I already said many times, my confidence is pretty big right now,” Gortat stated.  “I have a lot of fun from playing basketball, my mind is really free right now.  It’s just fun.”  The Suns are 14-10 at home this season, including a 7-5 mark when hosting Western Conference foes.  Phoenix is 12-11 ATS as an underdog this season and 21-25 ATS overall.

The Suns have won 17 of the last 23 regular season meetings in the series, but dropped the only contest at tonight’s venue last year, which happened to end a nine-game winning streak in that situation.  Phoenix has won eight of its last 11 games overall and six of its last seven home games.  Even more impressive is the team’s recent run of winning four in a row against teams with winning records, the longest such streak of the season.  It wouldn’t be shocking for the club to pick up a home underdog victory this evening, especially when considering its 60-22 home record under coach Alvin Gentry.

Bettors will be interested in backing the Suns due to their 8-3 ATS mark the last 11 games, while the Thunder are 1-4 ATS as a favorite.

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