Thunder at Hawks Pick and Betting Preview
The Oklahoma City Thunder (17-23) are headed to Atlanta to face the Hawks (20-20) on Thursday night for a tipoff at 7:30 p.m. ET. Below, I will be sharing with you my picks and predictions for when these two young teams come across one another on Thursday evening.
Odds, Spreads, and Lines
Last updated: 10:05 a.m.
- Moneyline: Thunder (+225), Hawks (-275)
- Against the spread: Thunder +7 (-110), Hawks -7 (-110)
- Over/Under: O 226.5 (-110), U 226.5 (-105)
- Darius Bazley (Shoulder) – listed as day to day, did not play Tuesday against the Bulls
- Luguentz Dort (Toe) – listed as day to day, did not play Tuesday against the Bulls
- George Hill (Thumb) – listed as out, expected to miss another week
- Clint Capela (Heel) – listed as day to day, did not play Tuesday against the Rockets
- Kris Dunn (Ankle/Knee) – listed as out
- De’Andre Hunter (Knee) – listed as out
- Cam Reddish (Achilles) – listed as out
The Oklahoma City Thunder have shown that they can hang with the best teams in the NBA. However, they have also shown that when things aren’t going their way, they fall behind in a matter of seconds. This inconsistency makes it extremely difficult for gamblers to bet behind the Thunder simply because we don’t know which version of the Thunder we will be witnessing on Thursday night.
Let’s look at some of the great wins the Thunder have been able to pull off, as well as some of the defeats they’ve taken, and make us question their ability to compete night after night.
2/14 – vs. Bucks (25-14) 114-109 Win
2/24 – vs. Spurs (20-16) 102-99 Win
2/26 – vs. Hawks (20-20) 118-109 Win
2/27 – vs Nuggets (23-16) 126-96 Loss
3/3 – vs. Mavericks (20-18) 87-78 Loss
3/13 – vs. Knicks (20-21) 119-97 Loss
3/14 – vs. Grizzlies (17-19) 128-122 Win
3/16 – vs. Bulls (18-20) 123-102 Loss
As you can see, it’s pretty uncertain which brand of basketball to expect from the Thunder on Thursday evening. Will we see the team that beat the Bucks or the team that got scraped by the Nuggets and Knicks?
Thunder Top Player
There isn’t a debate when discussing who the Thunder’s all-star has been throughout this season. Averaging 23.6 points and 6 assists per game, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander has exploded in just his second season in the NBA. While the team has lacked consistency, he has been able to stay the one consistent part of the organization.
Prior to taking the loss to the Bulls Tuesday night, Gilgeous-Alexander put up 33 points against the Spurs on 3/4, 32 points against the Mavericks on 3/11, and 30 points against the Grizzlies on 3/14. Guess what? The Thunder were able to win all 3 of those games where Gilgeous-Alexander racked in over 30 points.
Hawks on the Rise?
The Atlanta Hawks have now won 6 games in a row and have put themselves in the Eastern Conference playoff race as the 7th seed with an overall record of 20-20 (.500 winning percentage). Suppose the Hawks played a top team like the Bucks, Jazz, Nets, Lakers, etc. I would be posing the question are the Hawks legit enough to keep up with them. The answer would probably be no, but we don’t have to know that answer for now as they are facing the Thunder.
Let’s look at the Hawks 6-game winning streak and the quality of teams that they have defeated.
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6-game win streak:
3/2 – vs Heat (22-18) 94-80 Win
3/3 – vs Magic (13-26) 115-112 Win
3/11 – vs Raptors (17-22) 121-120 Win
3/13 – vs Kings (15-24) 121-106 Win
3/14 – vs Cavaliers (14-25) 100-82 Win
3/16 – vs Rockets (11-27) 119-107 Win
The only team with a winning record and spot in the top 8 of their conference is the Miami Heat, who the Hawks lost to 109-99 just a few days prior to beating them. They have been able to handle the teams well below .500%, but will they be able to handle the Thunder who have showcased their ability to beat dominant teams?
I anticipate for this to be a pretty tight game with it coming down to the wire and being a relatively low-scoring game. Both teams play a similar type of game by crashing the boards and launching up 3-pointers.
This will be just the second meeting between the 2 teams as the Thunder were the ones who got the best of the Hawks with a 118-109 win in their last meeting on 2/26. Since then, a lot has changed with the Hawks starting to roll and capitalize on teams below .500%.
Prepare for the Hawks to win, but not by much.
Free Pick: Oklahoma City Thunder +7
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