NBA Betting: Thunder to strike in Boston?



After a stuttering start, the Oklahoma City Thunder have looked ever more like the side that went to last season's NBA Finals, steadily building a 9-3 record as Kevin Martin settles into their roster. They head to Boston on Friday night fresh from a day's rest following a gritty overtime defeat of the Clippers, where Kevin Durant hit a season-high 35 points.

The Celtics (6-6) failed to defeat OKC last season and their defence is a pale shadow of what it was then, conceding over 100 points in successive games. That's why they're 2.45 to pull off an upset. Instead, look at going over 198 total points at 1.91.

The Celtics' old rivals, the Los Angeles Lakers, are having a few problems of their own after falling to a shocking 113-97 defeat to lowly Sacramento in Mike D'Antoni's second game on the bench. They might struggle to bounce back when they visit the Memphis Grizzlies, who have the best record in the Western Conference at 8-2.

The Grizzlies are coming off a surprise loss to Denver but the interior power of Marc Gasol and Zach Randolph should be able to neutralise Dwight Howard, forcing other Lakers into play. LA, who are still waiting on Steve Nash to regain fitness, have yet to win on the road this season and although they're a tempting 2.57, it's hard to see them coming out on top. But backing the Lakers on the handicap of +4.5 at 1.91 could pay off if Kobe Bryant maintains his own scoring form.

Kevin Love's early return from injury has injected some optimism for the Minnesota Timberwolves, who went 4-5 without their All Star. His 34-point effort still couldn't get the Wolves past Denver two days ago but he will hope for better returns against a Portland Trailblazers team which is giving up almost 103 points per night, mainly because of their inability to defend inside. Taking Minnesota at 2.20 is a great bet.

Bet of the day: Take Minnesota over Portland at 2.20.