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Thunder Mavericks Betting – OKC Storm Past Dallas Into NBA Finals

Posted by Craig Parsons on 2/6/2014 9:40:45 PM

Online betting players will get to see a matchup of two of the NBA’s best in the Western Conference finals as Kevin Durant and Oklahoma City will take on Dirk Nowitzki and Dallas. These two will put up a ton of points, but the Thunder’s active defense will prevail overall.

  • What: NBA Betting
  • When: Game 1 is on Tuesday, May 17th
  • Where: Games 1,2,5,7 (American Airlines Arena, Dallas); Games 3,4,6 (Oklahoma City Arena, Oklahoma City)
  • Pick: Oklahoma City

Why Bet On Oklahoma City Thunder

The Thunder are powered by the duo of Durant and Russell Westbrook, and largely because of them Oklahoma City lead the postseason in scoring. Durant’s 28.9 points is tops among players, and he has been brilliant when the Thunder had a chance to put teams away (41 points in Game 5 against Denver, 39 against Memphis in Game 7). Westbrook is eighth with 23.9 points, and there may not be a faster player from end line to end line. Another big factor in their prowess is their activity on the glass as the Thunder are fourth in the playoffs in offensive rebounds, as Kendrick Perkins, Serge Ibaka, Nick Collison and Westbrook all go to the glass hard. But it’s not just offense where the Thunder will wear you down: despite giving up a boatload of points, Oklahoma City is first in opposition field-goal defense. The Thunder are always going to give up a lot of points just because they play a fast game, but they don’t make it easy on the other team.

Oklahoma City’s biggest concern is the ability of Westbrook to run the team effectively, as he leads the playoffs in turnovers and against the Grizzlies, he often took more shots than Durant, who is shooting a better percentage from the floor. That is taking nothing away from Memphis’ perimeter defense, as they made it tough for Durant to get open, but Westbrook was impatient and when Durant couldn’t get open in the first half of the possession, he would just go to the hoop. It’s just fortunate that he’s so quick and can get to the hoop most of the time.

Why Bet On Dallas Mavericks

No NBA betting player could have foreseen the Mavericks’ destruction of the two-time defending champions from Los Angeles, and as soon as they came back from a 16-point deficit in Game 1 at the Staples Center, you could see the team’s confidence rise. Nowitzki is fourth in the playoffs with 26.5 points, and he is playing out of his mind right now, shooting 49.7% from the floor, but an outlandish 60% from beyond the arc. The Mavericks’ offense is running like a well-oiled machine, shooting 47%, which leads the postseason, and they’re second from the three-point line, hitting 41.9% of their shots. We’re also getting to see the good Jason Terry, who is second on the team with 18.3 points, and he is also shooting the basketball very well (52.4% from the floor, 50% from three-point land). Defensively, the Mavericks are no slouches as they’re third in points allowed, and they’re stingy from the outside, allowing teams to hit only 25.6% of their three-pointers. Having Tyson Chandler at the back really lets the Mavericks’ perimeter defenders get out and challenge, because he has their back.

The Mavericks have been getting huge contributions from their bench, specifically J.J. Barea and Peja Stojakovic, and they’ll need that pair to continue to power the second unit. But the key to this series may be Terry, who was phenomenal against the Lakers, and when he has it going, it takes a lot of pressure off Nowitzki. The Thunder have their one-two punch in Durant and Westbrook; the Mavericks have to match them with Nowitzki and Terry.

How The Series Will Play Out

The Mavericks come into this series as -215 NBA betting favorites, while the Thunder are listed at +185. The two met three times this year, with the Mavericks going 2-1 SU and ATS, and two of the games went over the posted total. However, the three meetings all took place before February, so the Thunder didn’t have Perkins yet. The road team won all three games between these two during the regular season, so homecourt advantage may not be a big difference.

Ibaka will likely be given the task of guarding Nowitzki, and he’ll be aiming to make the German work as hard as possible for his points. On the other end, Shawn Marion will probably guard Durant for most of the time, but Durant dropped 29.3 points on the Mavericks during the regular season. Dallas should put Terry on Westbrook, because Barea nor Jason Kidd will be able to stay with him.

However, the Dallas offense has to prove they can continue to be as efficient as they have been, and they’re going up a young and athletic team that more similar to the Portland group that took them to six teams, than the Lakers. Also, rust could be a factor for the Mavericks in the opening game as they had nine days off after the demolition of the Lakers, so that could deal a blow to their homecourt advantage. We’ve probably seen the best of the Mavericks already; Oklahoma City hasn’t played their best basketball yet, and that’s why they should be your sports betting pick in this series.

Thunder Mavericks Betting Pick: Oklahoma City Thunder +185

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