Pro Basketball Picks: Brooklyn Nets vs. Oklahoma City Thunder

Brooklyn Nets vs. Oklahoma City Thunder
Thursday, 1/2/14, 8:00 PM EST
Opening Point Spread:  Oklahoma City -12
Current Betting Line:  Oklahoma City -12
Opening Total:  205.5
Current Total:  202
Odds Courtesy of Bookmaker

The Brooklyn Nets will need a big performance from Joe Johnson Thursday night
The Brooklyn Nets will need a big performance from Joe Johnson Thursday night

Brooklyn has dropped back-to-back games, including a 113-92 setback to the San Antonio Spurs as 12-point road underdogs last time out, while pushing up against the betting total of 205.  The Nets are led by the backcourt duo of Joe Johnson and Deron Williams, who are averaging a combined 27.7 points per game, which can’t be ignored when making your pro basketball picks Thursday night.  Brooklyn is 0-2 SUATS as road underdogs of 9.5 to 12 points this season.

The Nets handed the Thunder their most lopsided defeat of the entire 2012-13 season last year, with Johnson scoring a game-high 33 points and Williams contributing 19.  Brooklyn has dropped six of the last seven meetings in this non-conference series, which is important to consider when looking over the pro basketball odds.  Former Boston Celtics forward Paul Pierce needs to get things going, as he was limited to six points Tuesday.

Oklahoma City had its three-game winning streak snapped last time out, as it suffered a 98-94 setback to the Portland Trail Blazers as six-point home favorites, while going UNDER the betting total for a third consecutive contest.  The Thunder are a dominating 14-2 SU at Chesapeake Energy Arena, including a 4-1 mark versus Eastern Conference foes.  Oklahoma City is 30-9 SU and 28-11 ATS off a upset loss as a favorite, with the UNDER going 25-14 in that situation.

The Thunder have tallied an impressive 35-8 record in bounce-back games since the 2011-12 campaign.  Oklahoma City will need a major performance from forward Kevin Durant, who has scored 30-plus points and grabbed 10-plus rebounds in each of the last three games, which is more important than ever due to the recent injury to point guard Russell Westbrook.  On the defensive end, the team is limited opponents to just 41.5 percent from the field—posting a 53-3 SU record when holding opponents below 42 percent in that all-important category.

Sports bettors will likely play the total, as the OVER is 5-1 in the last six meetings in this series.

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