A little over half the public bettors are loving the Oklahoma City Thunder in the 1/28 NBA free pick and with good reason. OKC has rattled off seven straight wins and is coming off a 121-108 win in Detroit last night. Therein lies the reason why the Thunder are posted as a seemingly low -3.5 favorite at home on Sunday night. The Thunder will be playing in back-to-back games and their third contest in four nights. The Sixers come in having won five of their last six and do have the benefit of an extra day of rest.
Remember the first time the Sixers and Thunder met this season? Both teams learned a lot from that triple-OT thriller, which makes for a great rematch tomorrow night.https://t.co/njp14mK53F
— NBC Sports Philadelphia (@NBCSPhilly) January 27, 2018
Can Philly Go Two for Two?
The Sixers just completed a 97-78 win over the Western Conference #3 seed San Antonio on Friday and now set their sights on the fifth seed in Oklahoma City. Philadelphia themselves have climbed into the postseason discussion as they currently sit in 7th place in the Eastern Conference. Philly has beaten both Boston and the Spurs on the road in the last 10 days and would love nothing more than to add OKC to that list in the 1/28 NBA free pick.
A major key to the Sixers recent success is most definitely their defense. OKC has held five of the last eight opponents to under 101 points scored. Philly in fact owns the second best defense in the league in terms of opponents shooting percentage while OKC ranks in the top 10 in that category. We could see a low scoring affair making the ‘under’ of 214 for tonight look very appealing. Of course that’s not what happened at all the last time these two teams met. OKC was able to squeeze out a 119-117 win in Philadelphia – although that did take 3 OT. Joel Embiid went for 34 points in the first contest but the Sixers defense wasn’t able to obtain OKC’s big three of Russell Westbrook, Paul George, and Carmelo Anthony who combined for 75 points.
How Will OKC Fare in a Back-to-Back?
Oklahoma City raced out to a 12 point first quarter lead last night against Detroit which was actually huge as it allowed the Thunder to limit the minutes for their starters the rest of the way. Westbrook, George, Anthony, and Steven Adams all logged less than 37 minutes in that game. Unfortunately another starter had a short night but not the way the Thunder would have hoped. Defensive stopper Andre Roberson is almost undoubtedly out for the rest of the season after a gruesome knee injury in the third quarter. OKC’s defense will definitely falter without Roberson – but ironically their offense could become even better.
Speaking of that offense, it has been rolling. The Thunder have scored 120+ points in three of the last four with each of those four games going ‘over’ the total. The Sixers defense presents a great test in the 1/28 NBA free pick however, especially as the Thunder are playing their second game in as many nights.
1/28 NBA Free Pick Betting
Lots of good things cooking for this one…
• 2 of highest-impact, highest-usage players in league (Embiid, Westbrook)
• 2 of best defensive teams in league (Sixers #3, OKC #5)
• 2 of best teams in Jan. (Sixers #2 at 7-2, OKC #3 9-3)
• OKC longest active winning streak (7) https://t.co/W9q36ftuqw
— Brian Seltzer (@brianseltzer) January 28, 2018
The line has actually dropped to OKC -3.5 from its OKC -4.5 open. The Thunder are 18-7 at home this season, but have gone just 2-5 ATS their last 7 on their own court. The 76ers meanwhile have gone 4-1 ATS in their last five road games. Playing in Detroit last night coupled with the emotional burden of dealing with that devastating injury to Roberson has to take its toll on the Thunder which means the Sixers are in a great position to avenge the 3OT loss from earlier in the year.
Pick: Philadelphia 76ers +3.5