Oklahoma City Thunder vs. Golden State Warriors – NBA, May 6, 2021

By Dean McHugh in NBA
| May 6, 2021 7:53 am PDT

Fourth in the Northwest, takes on fourth in the Pacific, as the Thunder meets with the Warriors this evening. The Warriors currently occupy the ninth spot in the Western Conference.

The remainder of the season will be all about securing their playoff berth and, if possible, catching the Grizzlies in eighth so they can get home-court advantage in the playoffs.

All the the Thunder have left to play for is pride. They also want to fend off the Timberwolves and avoid finishing last in the Division.

The Warriors beat the Thunder when they met three weeks ago, which ended a run of three straight defeats. Well, they didn’t only beat them; they annihilated them by 38-points, scoring 147 points themselves in the process.

However, the Thunder have won on their previous two visits to the sunshine state, and as such, the Warriors shouldn’t take them too lightly.

Here are the game odds, my team analysis, and betting prediction.

Thunder vs. Warriors Odds

Thunder +14-110
Warriors -14-110
Thunder To Win+810
Warriors To Win-1200
Over 228.5 Points-110
Under 228.5 Points-110

Although things have been relatively close between these two in recent years, the spread perhaps reflects the scoreline when they last met, and the bookmakers aren’t taking any chances here. However, in saying that when they met three weeks ago, the handicap was 12 points, and given the margin of victory that night, one might have expected the spread to be slightly more significant than it is here.

The Warriors have an excellent record of 19-9 as the betting favorites this season.

When they last met, they combined for a score of 256-points. However, this certainly does not follow the trend of games between them over the years. In the previous ten meetings, they have combined for a total of 214-points, and their combined averages this season equal 217-points.

Only 11 of the Thunders 32 games on the road this season have gone over the betting total.

Thoughts on the Thunder

The Thunder are the worst team in the NBA at present; it is as simple as that. They have lost their last four in a row and have only picked up one win from their previous 19 matches. That solitary win came against the Celtics last week, in a surprising four-point victory.

They have a terrible record on the road of 12 wins and 20 losses from their 32 away fixtures. However, that is still better than their record at home. The win over the Celtics was their last game on the road, and therefore they will perhaps be relishing the chance to return to their travels. However, they had lost their previous eight games before that win. Here they are getting ready to embark on another road trip.

Here are the latest betting trends for Oklahoma City:

Bet Type Trend
ATS Oklahoma City is 6-13 in their last 19 matches.
ATS They have only won one of their last five games against the Warriors.
SU The Thunder have lost two-thirds of their last 18 matches against Golden State.
Total All of their previous eight visits to the Golden State have seen the betting total go under.
Total Four of their last six matches against Western Conference opposition have gone under the points total.
ATS They have only lost two of their previous eight matches against teams from the Pacific Division.

The most important information here is that there is a clear indication that the Thunders’ games tend to go under the betting total.

The Thunder have a dreadful offense that is ranked amongst the bottom three in the NBA this season. Where do I start? Well, I guess their shooting is the best place to begin. Some college teams would better the figures they are shooting at this season. Whether it’s from the field goal area, three-point range, or the free-throw line, they simply cannot shoot.

They can’t seem to pass the ball either, meaning driving to the basket is their primary source of scoring. However, this becomes predictable to play against. When this happens, they try to revert to a passing game, but it’s clear they lack ability in this area by the ridiculously high number of turnovers they are averaging per game.

Their defense is marginally better but is still appalling. They play a high-pressing game that reduces the risk of conceding three-pointers considerably, but it comes at a price as they often get caught out in behind as they are left wide open.

Oddly, for a team that presses so high, they make many defensive rebounds, which is one of or if not their biggest strength. What strikes me as strange also is for a team that does press, they don’t make many steals either.

The good news is they have defended a hell of a lot better on the road this season, and they are conceding on average four fewer points per game, which is a massive improvement.

The Thunder will miss trio Muscala, Gilgeous-Alexander, and Pokusevski all through injury.

Thoughts on the Warriors

Before their defeat against the Pelicans last time out, the Warriors had alternated back-to-back wins with back-to-back losses over a six-game period. The failure against the Pelicans suggests this trend is continuing, which will delight the Thunder.

However, the Warriors have been fantastic at home this season and should be confident of adding to their 19 wins this evening. They lost their last home fixture against the Mavericks, but they had won the previous four. Golden State will want to put that performance behind them as quickly as possible as they went down by 30-points to a team missing quite a few players.

Here are the latest betting trends for Golden State:

Bet Type Trend
ATS The Warriors have only won two of their previous six matches.
Total Seven of their last nine games have gone under the betting total.
Total Only two of their previous 12 matches against the Thunder have failed to go under the points total.
SU Golden State is 7-3 in their last ten games against teams in the Western Conference.
ATS The Warriors have only lost one of their previous five matches against teams based in the Northwest Division.
ATS They have lost six of their last seven games played on a Thursday.

These stats confirm that we could see a low-scoring game here tonight.

The Warriors have an average offense this season which is led by their excellent three-point shooting. I find that hard to say, given they have Stephen Curry in their ranks. A player who leads the points average per game standings and has made the most three-pointer is in the league this season.

But it’s not only his ability that sets him apart. His commitment to the team and loyalty are also attributes that get forgotten. Speaking of commitment to the team, they also have Draymond Green on their roster. Green often sacrifices scoring points for the team’s good by selflessly making assists and rebounds each night.

They have attacked much better at home this season, averaging three more points per game.

Golden State’s biggest weakness is their offensive rebounding. Given how good the Thunder have been at making defensive rebounds, this will undoubtedly be an area they could struggle in again tonight.

However, unlike their opponents tonight, they can pass the ball tremendously well. They have made the most assists in the NBA this season. But that does come at the cost of making a high number of turnovers also.

Their defense is below par despite them holding their opponents to a field goal average of 45%, the third-best record in the league.

They have also defended better at home, conceding a couple of points fewer per game. This means they are five points better off at home this season, and therefore it’s easy to see why they have been so good at the Chase Center.

Discipline has been an issue for them throughout the season, but given how poorly the Thunder are shooting from the free-throw line, it shouldn’t matter tonight as long as they don’t foul out.

The Warriors have a few out tonight, and they will miss Thompson, Lee, Paschall, and Wiseman. Oubre Junior is also questionable to feature as he recovers from a wrist injury.

Thunder vs. Warriors Pick

Pick
  • Under 228.5 Points
    -110

There is no doubt that the Warriors will win this match. There will be no shock-like there was against the Celtics recently. The Warriors are too seasoned to take their eye off the ball as Boston did that night.

However, 14-points is a lot to cover, and if the Warriors go up early, which there is every chance of happening, they could see this as an opportunity to test a few of the senior members of the team. This could affect their points total, and therefore I will take under the betting total tonight.

History favors this pick as apart from their last meeting, the previous eight all fell under the total set tonight.

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