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Oklahoma City Thunder vs. Atlanta Hawks Free NBA Picks | Spread

Oklahoma City Thunder vs Atlanta Hawks Preview & Pick

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Oklahoma City vs. Atlanta
Tonight, 7:30 p.m. ET
NBA betting favorite: Atlanta -3.5
Total: 191 (-110)

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The huge question on bettors’ minds for the Thunder/Hawks matchup tonight is whether or not Kevin Durant will play. He’s doubtful after spraining his ankle against the Pacers earlier this week. Because the books don’t know for sure that Durant won’t play, however, all the lines are currently off. It’s worth checking back throughout the day, however.

For handicapping this game, I think we’re better off assuming Durant doesn’t play tonight. While he did take shots without a protective boot on during Thursday’s practice, Thunder coach Scott Brooks said Durant remains doubtful.

Having lost three of four, the Thunder are squandering their lead in the Southwest division. The Nuggets, soldiering on without Carmelo Anthony, have caught them in wins (but have played four more games). So losing Durant comes at a bad time. Oklahoma City is also without Kendrick Perkins (knee), who hasn’t played a game since coming over in the Jeff Green trade.

We can’t underestimate how much Green’s absence combined with Perkins not playing hurts Oklahoma City. Green was the Thunder’s third-leading scorer and would’ve been very useful tonight to help out Russell Westbrook offensively with no Durant.

The Hawks, who are the NBA’s seventh-best defensive team, can key on Westbrook tonight. They’re won three of four, holding the Warriors, Blazers and Bulls to 83 points or fewer. The Hawks may be without Josh Smith, their top shot blocker, but Al Horford can hold the fort under the basket without him.

Bettors still have to be careful with the spread when it’s released, as Atlanta is 10-17 ATS at home this season. Still, I like the Hawks’ chances to at least win outright tonight. The Thunder weren’t playing great over their last few games even with Durant and look like they’ll be without him, so things should theoretically get worse. Meanwhile, the Hawks are playing fine defensive ball of late and even managed to bottle up the mighty Bulls without Josh Smith. They should get the job done versus O.C.

Trends:

OKC are 16-7 ATS in their last 23 Fri. games.
ATL are 2-7 ATS in their last 9 Fri. games.
OKC are 16-5 ATS in the last 21 meetings.

Prediction: Hawks 99, Thunder 90

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About Shea Matthews

Shea Matthews the Senior Writer at CP. Lives and breathes sports. He made the transition from athlete to sports journalist at a young age, writing in TV & national papers. Shea applies his knowledge to sports betting + handicapping daily, and shares winning picks with the world.


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