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Nuggets Thunder Betting – Thunder Rolls Into Second Round Of The Playoffs

Posted by Craig Parsons on 2/6/2014 2:59:06 AM

Sports betting players wagered on Oklahoma City prior to the season, but the Thunder never really looked like title contenders until they pulled the trigger on a big trade to give them some size and experience. The Thunder will meet another team that made a massive move in Denver, but the Nuggets are a bit banged up, and Oklahoma City will take advantage of that.

  • What: NBA Betting
  • When: Game 1 is Sunday, April 17th, 9:30 PM ET in Oklahoma City
  • Where: Games 1,2,5,7 (Oklahoma City Arena, Oklahoma City); Games 3,4,6 (Pepsi Center , Denver)
  • Pick: Oklahoma City Thunder

Why Bet On Denver Nuggets

When you talk about the Nuggets, you have to break it down into Pre-Melo and Post-Melo, and Denver are definitely a better team Post-Melo, for now anyway. The Nuggets were 18-7 after the trade that sent Carmelo Anthony and Chauncey Billups to New York, Danilo Gallinari, Wilson Chandler and Ray Felton have all played big roles with the Nuggets since coming to Denver, and the acquisition of Felton was especially huge because now, the Nuggets have a point-guard duo of Felton and Ty Lawson (Lawson took over for Felton at North Carolina) that helps Denver compete with teams at arguably the most loaded position in basketball. Gallinari’s 14.7 points leads the team, which means they’re passing the ball more and not just getting dominated by Anthony, and it seems like a different person is stepping up every night. George Karl has to get some Coach of the Year consideration for the job he’s done in Denver, because the Nuggets are better offensively (or at least more efficient and unpredictable), and they’re also much better defensively, especially on the perimeter.

The big worry for the Nuggets concerns injuries, as Lawson (ankle), Gallinari (ankle), Chandler (ankle), Arron Afflalo (hamstring) and Nene (adductor) all sat out time during the stretch run, so you have to wonder just how healthy they are at this time. You also have to wonder if the Nuggets are really and truly an improved team without one of the best players in the league in Anthony, although we’re leaning towards yes because of his influence in the locker room and his tendency to dominate the ball. Still, it’s a small sample size and the Nuggets won’t get the full effect of this trade until they go through a full season next year.

Why Bet On Oklahoma City Thunder

The Thunder set out to improve their NBA betting odds with a trade of their own at the deadline as they picked up Kendrick Perkins and Nate Robinson from Boston, and Perkins gives them the toughness they need in the paint to deal with the big men in the West, while Robinson will be great to bring off the bench once he gets into game shape after missing time with a bad knee. When it comes to scoring, the Thunder have no problem as the duo of Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook is as good as you’ll find in the NBA, with Durant snagging his second straight scoring title while Westbrook was 13th (only Miami’s LeBron James and Dwayne Wade, and New York’s Anthony and Amare Stoudemire score more), and Serge Ibaka has been getting into the offense more with Jeff Green now in Boston. James Harden has been very good since the All-Star break, so he’ll have to continue that to take the pressure off of Durant and Westbrook.

Oklahoma City’s defense has taken a slide from last year, but it has been slowly improving with Perkins in the mix, and remember, he had to get used to a completely different system than the one he played in Boston, and Perkins was injured when he came over in the trade. He definitely stepped up down the stretch, especially on the boards. But maybe the Thunder don’t even have to focus on defense; they’re 44-10 when scoring 100 points or more this season.

How The Series Will Play Out

The Thunder are the NBA betting favorites in this series, coming in at -210, while the Nuggets are rated at +175, and Oklahoma City was 3-1 SU and ATS in their four meetings with Denver this season, including a pair of decisive wins after both teams completed their trades. The Thunder actually played defense in those last two meetings, holding the Nuggets to an average of 91 points, and they’re going to have to continue that in this series of high-scoring teams. Perkins brings some championship experience to the Thunder, who will be boosted by their performance against the Los Angeles Lakers in last year’s playoffs, and Oklahoma City is also rolling into the playoffs with some momentum while staying healthy. The Nuggets had to switch players in and out of the lineup to get them healthy, and while it’s been a nice story, the run stops here for Denver. Bet on Oklahoma City in your online betting picks.

Nuggets Thunder Betting Pick: Oklahoma City Thunder

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