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NBA Free Pick 1/20/2018

Thunder and Cavs Throw Down in Cleveland

Oddsmakers have made Cleveland slight -3 favorites as they host the Oklahoma City Thunder in the 1/20 NBA free pick. The Cavs have had some struggles lately, dropping four of the past five games but they are a very solid team at home this year, going 16-5. OKC is building momentum in the opposite direction, posting a three game winning streak coming into Saturday afternoon’s tilt. Are the Thunder in a great spot for an outright win (+125 ML) in this tilt?

Thunder Beating Up on Inferior Competition Lately

1/20 NBA free pick
Anthony always enjoys meeting up with his good friend Lebron.

It should be noted that the three game winning streak that OKC is on came against Sacramento, the Lakers, and Charlotte which are nowhere near playoff teams. The Thunder lost by 16 to Minnesota and 11 to Portland in the two games prior. OKC is just 5-5 over their last 10 and they sport a 9-12 road record on the season. The 1/20 NBA free pick is the first meeting of the season between these two teams.

If OKC is going to get the win on the road, their defense will need to continue to be stellar. The Thunder have a top 10 defense in opponents points scored (3rd), field goal percentage against (9th), 3 point shooting versus (8th), and defensive rebounds (3rd). That ‘D’ is really clamping down lately too, holding three straight opponents to under 92 points scored. That defense will need to be sound against a Cleveland offense that is 5th in points scored and 6th in shooting percentage from the field.

Cavs Looking for a Home Blowout

1/20 NBA free pick
Thomas is coming into his own with 21 and 19 points the last two games.

Cleveland is just 3-7 over their last 10 games, but it’s important to note that they’ve also only played three home games over that span. The Cavs have won 14 of 15 contests at home and prior to a loss to Golden State on Monday they hadn’t been beaten at the Quicken Loans Arena since a November 5th loss to Atlanta. Cleveland was able to get back in the win column on Thursday in a 104-103 win over Orlando, but they were -11.5 favorites in that tilt. Lebron James had just 16 points in that game as well.

Overall Cleveland’s offense is struggling lately, failing to break the 105 point barrier in 7 of the last 10. OKC has scored 106 or less in six of the last 10 so the 1/20 NBA free pick could give a lean to the ‘under’ 219.5 on the total as that number seems exceptionally high. The Cavs have also gone 5-0 ATS the last five meetings in Cleveland, but of course that was against a Thunder team that didn’t have Paul George or Carmelo Anthony.

1/20 NBA Free Pick Betting

The public bettors like OKC slightly in this contest with 52% of the wagers going the Thunder’s way. Oklahoma City does have an extra day of rest, and they are 11-4 ATS in their last 15 with two days off between games. Cleveland played Thursday night against Orlando, and the veteran Cavs team is 5-15-1 ATS with one day off. Despite Cleveland’s solid home record, taking the points is looking good in the 1/20 NBA free pick. The Cavs are 0-4 ATS the last four following a SU win, and are 0-5 ATS their last five vs a team with a winning SU record. These are the games that Carmelo and Russell Westbrook get a little extra ‘up’ for.

Pick: Oklahoma City Thunder +3

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Carl Taylor

Every loss is a chance to learn a lesson. That being said, wins are so much more enjoyable. Follow along to tap into the wisdom I've learned from 20 years as a sports bettor.

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