NBA Game Preview: Oklahoma City Thunder at Phoenix Suns

Feb 24, 2023

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Game: Oklahoma City Thunder @ Phoenix Suns

Time: 10:00 p.m.

Odds: Thunder +7.5, Suns -7.5

Total: 231.5

Oklahoma City let one slip away last night in Salt Lake City. The Thunder got 39 points from Shia Gilgeous-Alexander, but OKC ended up losing in overtime 120-119 to Utah. The Jazz were led by Lauri Markkanen who had 43 points. It was a rough start to the season’s second half as now the Thunder have to travel to Phoenix to take on the Suns on zero rest.

This will be the first of four games against the Suns over the second half of the season. The Thunder are just 3-4 this season in the second game of a back-to-back. OKC has just one victory in its previous five trips to the Footprint Center and has a 1-5 SU record in their last six meetings with the Suns. One bright spot for bettors – the Thunder has a history of covering the spread in away games this year. OKC is 19-10 ATS on the road, one of the better records in the NBA.

Kevin Durant wearing a Phoenix Suns uniform appears to be something we’ll have to wait a little longer for. While he heals from his knee injury, KD was ruled out of tonight’s game. He is likely to make his debut next week.

The Suns are now in fifth place in the West.  They are only four games out of second place. A strong run could get Phoenix back into the top three. In addition to winning 11 of their past 15 games, the Suns have covered the spread in 6 of their last 9 home games. After giving up a number of assets to acquire Durant, Phoenix might see Cameron Payne return from his foot injury. He would add to their depth.

The Thunder did beat Phoenix in their most recent matchup. However, Phoenix had the upper hand in the five games that came before that, winning by 20, 18, 12, 3, and 37 points. OKC has been strong against the number though, covering nine of the last 13 games against the Suns. The Thunder are also 9-2 ATS in their last 11 games on the road.

Oklahoma City has the best ATS record (37-21) in the NBA. The Thunder are the only team in the league that covers more than 60 percent of their games, covering 63.8 percent of the time. OKC is 4-1 ATS in its last five games. Phoenix covers 53 percent of the time (32-28) and is 10-5 ATS in its last 15 games.

The three most recent encounters between these teams have averaged just 217.6 points per game. The Under, not surprisingly, hit in two of those games.  With Oklahoma City having played an overtime game yesterday, they may be tired heading into tonight. Phoenix ranks seventh in the NBA in defensive efficiency and allows 109.8 points per 100 possessions. The Under is 5-2 in the Suns’ previous seven games.

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