The big guns in the Wild West have a duel on Thursday night as the San Antonio Spurs visit the Oklahoma City Thunder. The clash is set to have a huge influence on who comes out on the top of the Conference standings when the regular season ends in two weeks time.
Thunder currently trail their rivals by 1½ games, even after winning four of their last five. But they’ve been able to rest up a few weary legs, including Kevin Martin, in preparation for a match that will decide the season series between these two.
It’s been three years since the Spurs last won in OKC, where their hosts are 32-5 this season. But even with Manu Ginobili out indefinitely, their offense should get a boost with Tony Parker and Kawhi Leonard returning after sitting out Tuesday’s win over Orlando that broke a two-game skid.
This one could be decided by Parker and Russell Westbrook’s scoring joust with the former at 1.85 to score over 21.5 and the latter at 1.85 to go over 23. But although the Thunder’s homecourt advantage should bring them victory, a generous handicap of +7.5 on the Spurs is worth a punt.
There’s plenty at stake for Denver and Dallas when they square off in Colorado with the Nuggets bidding to secure homecourt in the first round of the post-season and the Mavericks trying to make sure they survive that far.
Dallas, who sit 2½ games outside the play-off berths, sustained a huge blow when they lost to the Lakers on Tuesday and with just eight games remaining, another reverse will make their quest all the harder.
Upsetting the Nuggets won’t be easy with Denver’s 33-3 record at home and an 8-2 mark over their last ten. They beat Dallas 106-85 in December but even though this is a much-improved Mavs, back the hosts on the handicap of -6.5 in a game that should stay under 208.0 points, available at 1.91.
Best Bet: Take San Antonio + 7.5 on the handicap over Oklahoma City at 1.91
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