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NBA Free Pick 1/30/2018

Can Washington Stop the Surging Thunder Without John Wall?

There’s no hotter team in the NBA right now than the Oklahoma City Thunder, winners of eight straight games. All the talent on OKC finally seems to be gelling as the team has risen to the 5th seed in the Western Conference. On the quest to 9 straight wins for the 1/30 NBA free pick the Thunder travel to Washington. Normally this game would present a great point guard matchup, but the Wizards will now be without John Wall until late March after he underwent arthroscopic knee surgery.

When Does the Thunder Streak End?

1/30 NBA free pick
Paul George has stepped up his game lately and it’s powering the Thunders.

OKC was in a prime upset spot on Sunday against Philadelphia after it was their third game in four nights – but that was until Russell Westbrook went scorched Earth on the Sixers Joel Embiid in what is becoming one of the league’s best rivalries. Westbrook had 37 points, 14 assists, and 9 rebounds to power the 122-112 OKC home win which was their eighth in a row. It was an emotional weekend for OKC, not only because of the big win against the 76ers but also because they lost starting G Andre Roberson to a season-ending knee injury the night before. The Thunder have had only Monday night to recharge their batteries – does that leave the Wiz in a prime upset spot tonight?

Roberson’s loss will mainly be felt on the defensive end and it was somewhat evident on day one as Philadelphia shot 50% from the field with Ben Simmons tallying 22 points and 7 assists. Terrance Ferguson steps in the starting rotation for Roberson and will have a tough challenge in the 1/30 NBA free pick against Washington’s Bradley Beal. What gets lost in all the hype around OKC’s talented offense however is that their defense ranks 4th in the league in points per game allowed and is top 10 in opponents field goal and three point percentages. The Wizards did score 129 in their first game without Beal – but that was also against Atlanta’s bottom tier defense.

Second Meeting Between the Teams in Five Days

1/30 NBA free pick
Bradley Beal has a bigger workload with John Wall out – maybe he likes it.

There shouldn’t be much game planning involved for the 1/30 NBA free pick as the two teams matched up against each other on January 25th. Oklahoma City got the 121-112 win at home as -5 favorites with Westbrook leading the way with 46. Beal had a huge night for Washington in that contest with 41, but how much will the Wizards miss Wall who had 21 in that game? Overall the Wizards have lost four of six games and their top 10 offense is going to be much different without their star point guard running the show.

Another area of concern could be the Washington defense which has allowed 110+ points in five of the last eight. OKC shot over 50% from the field in the matchup five days ago and the Thunder attack is clicking on all cylinders with 120+ points in four of the last five. Westbrook seems to be ramping up his MVP campaign with 30+ in four straight while Paul George has come alive with 25+ points in four of five. Washington goes pretty deep off their bench – but is it deep enough?

1/30 NBA Free Pick Betting

At this point it’s pretty enticing to ride the Thunder train and in the 1/30 NBA free pick oddsmakers have set the line at OKC -3.5. The public is liking that pick to the tune of 78%, which isn’t ideal especially when the line hasn’t moved. That being said, it’s hard to bet against Westbrook, George, and the rest of the Thunder crew…so why start now?

Pick: Oklahoma City Thunder -3.5

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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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