The San Antonio Spurs open their home-and-away series with the Oklahoma City Thunder tonight as 1.5-point underdogs. Only two games separate the third-place Thunder from the seventh-place Spurs in the highly competitive Western Conference. Both teams are looking to bounce back from losses, with the Spurs losing by 10 points to Memphis last night while the Thunder have dropped two in a row. We break down the best ways to wager on the first game of this two game series.
Both teams should be fired up for this one, especially coming off disappointing losses. San Antonio scored a pathetic 31 points in the first half last night against Memphis, just four days after putting up 64 points in the first half against the Grizz. Expect Spurs coach Gregg Popovich to make the necessary adjustments in this game and take them to go Over on their 1Q points.
Prediction: First Quarter San Antonio Points - Over 28.5 (-115)
First Half Bet
Oklahoma City forces the most turnovers in the league at 18 per game, but San Antonio turns the ball over the least in the league at just 12.3 per contest. Expect the Spurs to play their typical brand of smart basketball and limit their own mistakes, allowing them to use their superior ball-movement to find holes in the agressive Thunder D. Count on the Spurs going into halftime with the lead or a tie game.
Prediction: First Half Spread - San Antonio +0.5 (-110)
Coming off a tough shooting night against Memphis, San Antonio's DeMar DeRozan will be looking to turn things around and the game script tonight looks to be in his favor.
OKC allows 24 point per game to shooting guards, the fourth-highest mark in the league. DeRozan has played very well with 0 days of rest this season, averaging 28.4 points per game in those seven contests.
With LaMarcus Aldridge in for a physical matchup with Steven Adams inside, DeRozan should be in position to take a good volume of shot attempts. Take the Over on his points.
Prediction: DeMar DeRozan Points - Over 22.5 (-111)
Full Game Total
The Spurs have a highly efficient offense averaging 109.6 points per 100 possessions, which ranks fourth in the league. They also shoot at a 47.7 percent clip (fifth in the league) and that figure jumps up to 48.6 percent at home.
That being said, the Spurs play at a slower tempo than other teams in the league (sixth-fewest possessions per game) and even with their high shooting percentage at home they average an ordinary 112.4 points per game. OKC has been 15-5-1 to the Under on the road this season, while San Antonio is 7-3 to the Under in their last ten games at AT&T Center. We're leaning towards the Under here.
Prediction: Under 223 (-110)
Full Game Side
On games without a day of rest San Antonio is 3-4 ATS and 1-6 overall this season. But this is a Spurs team that has really picked up its play over the last month and a half, and always brings its A-game at home. San Antonio has gone 25-16-1 ATS this season, the most ATS wins in the league, and is an incredible 13-2 ATS over its last 15 games. The Spurs have also been a dominant 17-5 at home, including 16-6 ATS.
In the head-to-head between these two sides the home team is 6-2 ATS in the previous eight contests, while SA is 4-1 ATS over the last five meetings. Expect those trends to continue here and take the Spurs as road pups.
Prediction: San Antonio +1.5 (-110)