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Can OKC beat Nola to extend its winning streak to five games

   Can OKC beat Nola to extend its winning streak to five games

February 14, 2019

NBA: Thursday, February 14, 2019, Smoothie King Center, New Orleans, Louisiana, 8:00 PM ET
Before we all take a break for the All-Star weekend, the Oklahoma City Thunder will face off against the New Orleans Pelicans in the Western Conference showdown at the Smoothie King Center in New Orleans, Louisiana. These two foes will close down the series, and the Thunder leads 2-1 with a couple of home wins, while the Pelicans have beaten OKC 118-114 in Louisiana. While New Orleans’ season seems ruined, Oklahoma City is the No. 3 seed in the West at the moment.  

The Thunder are looking for their fifth straight victory

The Oklahoma City Thunder (37-19; 33-23 ATS) is riding a four-game winning streak following a 120-111 home victory over the Portland Trail Blazers this past Monday, covering the spread on all these four occasions. It was a big night for Russell Westbrook who became the first player ever to record 10 straight triple-doubles, as he posted 21 points, 14 rebounds, and 11 assists. Paul George has put on another terrific performance, tallying a triple-double with 47 points on 15-of-26 shooting from the field to go with 12 rebounds and 10 assists. OKC has won 11 of its last 12 games overall and is 5-1 straight up and ATS in its last six games away from home.

Paul George is leading the way for the Thunder this season, averaging 28.7 points, 8.0 rebounds, and 4.1 assists per game while making 45.4% of his field goals and 41.3% of his 3-point attempts. George is tallying 37.0 points on 50.0% shooting over his last ten appearances. Russell Westbrook is averaging a triple-double with 21.2 points, 11.1 rebounds, and 11.2 assists per contest, while Steven Adams is adding 14.9 points and 9.6 rebounds a night. The Thunder is scoring 110.3 points per 100 possessions (13th in the league) on 52.1 effective field goal percentage (20th), allowing 104.9 points in a return (3rd)

The Pelicans struggles continue

The New Orleans Pelicans (25-33; 27-30-1 ATS) have dropped two games in a row, losing at the Memphis Grizzlies 99-90 and to the Orlando Magic 118-88. They had an awful night against the Magic this past Tuesday, shooting just 38.3% from the field and making 21 assists while turning the ball over 14 times. Anthony Davis spent just 24 minutes on the floor to record just three points on 1-of-9 shooting along with six rebounds. It’s obvious that the Pelicans just want to buy some lottery picks until the end of the season and trade the Brow away. They are 3-8 straight up and 6-5 ATS in the last 11 games overall, while the Pelicans are 1-5 straight up and 2-4 ATS in their previous six showings on the home court.

In his return from injury last week, Anthony Davis has dropped 32 points on the Timberwolves, but he’s scored just 14 points against the Grizzlies before that awful performance versus Orlando. Jrue Holiday is leading the Pelicans at the moment, and the combo guard is averaging 20.2 points, 6.7 rebounds and 7.4 assists over his last ten apps. Julius Randle has missed some games lately due to an injury, but he’s returned last week and is tallying 19.8 points and 6.3 rebounds in his last four outings. The Pelicans are scoring 112.1 points per 100 possessions (7th in the league) on 53.1 effective field goal percentage (11th), surrendering 111.5 points in a return (23rd). 


Oklahoma City Thunder:

•   1-5 SU and ATS in six road meetings with the Southwest Division this season
•   4-3 SU and ATS in the last seven road encounters with New Orleans
•   Over is 7-4 in the last 11 games overall

New Orleans Pelicans:

•    4-2 SU and ATS in six home meetings with the Northwest Division this term
•    2-12 SU and 7-6-1 ATS in the last 14 games as underdogs
•    Under is 7-5 in the last 12 games overall

The Winner Prediction

Oklahoma City has been playing very well lately, still chasing the Nuggets at the No. 2 seed, so the Thunder shouldn’t have any problems to beat the spiritless Pelicans. Although Anthony Davis’ situation is pretty unclear, the Pelicans just don’t have the motive to play hard and try to win this game, so I’m backing the Thunder to grab a victory and cover the spread along the way. OKC is 10-2 ATS in its last 12 showings and there’s no reason to slow down.

The Pick: Oklahoma City Thunder -4.0 (-110)

The Total

The bookies set the chalk sky-high, as both these teams prefer to play at a fast pace as it can be seen with the current NBA betting odds at 888 Sport US. However, the Pelicans’ offense has been poor over the last two outings, and this trend could easily continue with indisposed Anthony Davis in the lineup. The Thunder can play some really tough defense, so I’m backing the under.

The Pick: Under 237.0 points (-109)

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