Oklahoma City-New York
The NBA’s two top scorers go head-to-head on Sunday so expect fireworks when the Oklahoma City Thunder host the New York Knicks.
Kevin Durant, notching 31.0 points per game, has a healthy cushion over Carmelo Anthony (27.4) in the race to be top gun but the Thunder forward will be more content with his team’s superior standing in the play-off race.
OKC – who are -9.5 on the handicap at 1.90 - continues to lead the West with their 22-3 home record a huge factor and although they dropped to a surprise defeat in Orlando on Friday, it should sound as a wakeup call that might see the Knicks suffer.
New York have won just three of their last four, and even with JR Smith’s revival, and an average of 33 points per game from Anthony over their last eight, they remain in the mire.
Of late, the Thunder have been squeezing opponents defensively but on their last two meetings with the Knicks, they’ve scored 125 and 120 points, which hints at this clash going over the total points line of 200.5, particularly if the two All Star shooters on show ignite.
But have a look at the Finals prospects while better value remains, with a re-match of the 2012 finale, between Oklahoma City and the Miami Heat currently well-priced at 5.50.
Chris Paul’s probable return to the Los Angeles Clippers could spell doom for the Philadelphia 76ers when two sides with very different ambitions square off on Sunday.
After a month out, the All Star will boost a side which remains in title contention but contention but that has dropped three out of five after going 12-6 during his stint on the sidelines.
Paul is averaging 19.6 points and 11.2 assists and while it might take a few games for the Clippers to re-assimilate, the Sixers will fear a repeat of their 94-83 home loss in December when Paul scored 25 and Blake Griffin 26.
Philly, who are +15 on the handicap at 1.90, have dropped five in a row and were losers by 14 when they took on the Lakers two days ago. They’re 7-18 on the road and giving up a league-high 110.0 points per game and with LA’s offense back together, expect scoring at a clip.
Best bet: Go over 200.5 total points in Oklahoma City-New York at 1.90