Today's Free Picks for
Posted at 3:30 PM EST odds are subject to change.
Oklahoma City +110 over Atlanta
8:10 PM EST. The Hawks bring star power and with that, the pedigree in the market that comes when a franchise fields the likes of Trae Young every night. Tonight is a big night for Young, as he returns to his home state of Oklahoma. When a player the caliber of Young comes home, it’s a big deal, and it adds a bunch of variables that a star player normally doesn’t have to deal with. Arranging accommodation, visiting family, and getting tickets, it’s all a part of that human element we cannot predict. Never forget, these players are not robots. They are human just like the rest of us. Give or take a few hundred million dollars.
Fair or unfair, there is a perception in the media and the market that the Eastern Conference is superior to the West. We’re not going to weigh in on such matters, but we bring it up because perception is reality. The local papers in Oklahoma City are talking about the Thunders’ potential playoff run (which is aided by the weaker West) and comparing teams past to the current day NBA. The Thunder went 50-32 in 2010-11, which was good for eighth in the West. A similar record this season would have one likely finishing with home court advantage in the first round of the playoffs. Those games played in a league that doesn’t even resemble the one we see today could not matter less. However, this “reality” presents us with an opportunity tonight.
It’s been a long while since Oklahoma City was relevant, and at one game under .500, one could argue the Thunder still are not relevant, but this is a damn good team that is not getting the attention it deserves, especially at home, where the Thunder have one four straight by double-digits, including decisions over the Pacers (126-106), Mavericks (120-109), Wizards (127-110), and Celtics (150-117). A win tonight would bring OKC to the .500 mark for the first time since the beginning of November, which is a nice cherry on top for a team that is being disrespected on its home court and a team that has some serious swag right now. Wrong side favored.
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Oklahoma City +110 (Risking 2 units - To Win: 2.20)