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NBA Predictions: Nuggets vs. Thunder Free Betting Preview

NBA Gambling Online: Denver Nuggets vs Oklahoma City Thunder NBA Lines Preview

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Date/Time: Sunday, April 17, 9:30 PM ET
Venue: Oklahoma City Arena in Oklahoma City, OK.
Broadcast: TNT
Denver Nuggets at Oklahoma City Thunder Betting Lines from Bookmaker
Money Line: N/A
Spread: OFF
Over/Under: N/A
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Two rivals from the Northwest Division of the National Basketball Association will be looking to establish an early advantage when the Denver Nuggets visit the Oklahoma City Thunder in Game 1 of their 2011 NBA Western Conference quarterfinals series.

Oklahoma City is looking to build upon last season’s playoff performance. While they lost in the first round to the eventual world champion Los Angeles Lakers in six games, it was agreed by most experts and even the Lakers themselves that the Thunder were going to become a force that the league would need to reckon with in years to come. The Thunder went 55-27 to win the division title.

Kevin Durant is once again the focal point of the Thunder, leading the league in scoring for a second straight season while playing 39.4 minutes per game. Russell Westbrook led the team in assists and finished in scoring, giving the Thunder a powerful one-two scoring combination.

At the trade deadline, the Thunder addressed some interior issues by acquiring power forward Kendrick Perkins from Boston and Nazr Mohammad from Charlotte. Doing so allowed Oklahoma City to improve their rebounding and defensive statistics with an eye on the post-season. The Thunder enters this series having defeated the Nuggets three out of four games during the season, including two solid wins earlier this month.

As for the Nuggets, they were the loudest on trade deadline day as they sent disgruntled forward Carmelo Anthony to the New York Knicks in a blockbuster trade. The benefit was a spreading of the wealth, as more players got involved in the offense. Nine different players would led the Nuggets in scoring in game over the final 25 games of the season, and Denver went 19-6 in those games.

Denver also had eight players finish the season averaging double digits in scoring per game, most in the NBA for a team that led the league in scoring as a team. The Nuggets also saw their team defense improve as a result of the Anthony trade. After allowing an average of 105.2 PPG before the deal, the Nuggets allowed opponents to score just 97.1 PPG in the final 25 contests.

Recent Trends:
Under is 9-1-2 in DEN last 12 road games.
DEN are 12-2 ATS in their last 14 road games.
DEN are 2-8-2 ATS in their last 12 Sun. games.
OKC are 7-22 ATS in their last 29 Sun. games.
OKC are 2-5-1 ATS in their last 8 home games.
DEN are 3-10 ATS in the last 13 meetings.

Matt’s Free Prediction: Thunder – Oklahoma City has been outstanding at home this season, and easily won both contests in Oklahoma against the Nuggets during the season. This will be a long and exciting series with two great scoring teams that rebound well. It’ll be the team that controls the boards, especially at the defensive end, which will be the key to victory. We like the home team in Game 1.

Matt Martz is a sports writer for the Bakersfield Californian, the Oregonian, the Springfield Republican, and the Utah Spectrum. Blessed is the gambler who expects nothing, for ye shall not be disappointed.

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