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Thursday January 2nd NBA Free Betting Pick: Thunder at Spurs

San Antonio a Somewhat 'Off' -2.5 Favorite Here?

OKC and San Antonio have combined to win 5 straight games before their matchup in the January 2nd NBA free betting pick. Oddsmakers have made the Spurs a -2.5 favorite on Thursday, based mostly on the fact that the Thunder are 0-6 ATS the last six in San Antonio. Overall the Spurs have won 9 straight at the AT&T Center in this series.

Oklahoma City Begins a 4-Game Road Swing

January 2nd NBA free betting pick
Gilgeous-Alexander has shined brightly with the Thunder.

As it stands, the Thunder have a 3.5 game advantage on San Antonio for 7th place in the Western Conference. That padding will be put to the test in the next week though with OKC traveling to Cleveland, Philadelphia, and Brooklyn after the January 2nd NBA free betting pick. Not only have the Thunder lost 9 straight in San Antonio, they’ve dropped 4 of the last 5 to the Spurs overall. 

Of course past trends do not dictate future results. Oklahoma City comes into Thursday’s tilt with wins over Dallas and at Toronto both as underdogs, as well as squeaking out an OT win on Charlotte but on the back-half of consecutive games.

The biggest advantage for the Thunder in this game is also San Antonio’s major weakness and that’s the back court. Shai Gilgeous-Alexander has three 32+ point games in his last six. Chris Paul has scored 23+ in 2 of the last 4 and Dennis Shroder has gone for 20+ points in six straight off the bench. The Spurs rank 22nd and 15th defensively vs. the PG and SG respectively. OKC also gets a boost in the front court with the return of Danilo Gallinari on Tuesday after he missed the previous 4 with an ankle injury. 

Can Spurs Continue OKC Domination?

January 2nd NBA free betting pick
Can another big night from Aldridge lead the Spurs to a win.

Even when struggling at times over the past year plus, San Antonio always seems to find a way to put things together vs. OKC, especially in Texas. The Spurs went 3-1 vs. the Thunder in the 2019 calendar year, winning the last two by 14 and 9 points. One of those wins came earlier this season as Lamarcus Aldridge’s 39 points fueled a 121-112 Spurs victory in early November.

Aldridge will again be a key on Thursday as he has gone for 25+ in 2 of the last 4 and has grabbed a dozen rebounds in two straight. OKC does have a top 10 defense vs. the C position though. DeMar DeRozan has also found his scoring stroke lately, notching 24+ in 4 of the last 5.

The Spurs have climbed back into playoff consideration despite a very modest 10-8 record at home on the year. San Antonio has won 3 of the last 4 and has had great success against the Thunder. Oklahoma City just wrapped up an 11-4 December however and have been victorious in 7 of the last 8.

January 2nd NBA Free Betting Pick

The Thunder know about the losing streak in San Antonio and will be extra amped for Thursday’s tilt. The OKC back court should provide them a huge edge in this one vs. the Spurs shaky perimeter defense. As long as Steven Adams and Nerlens Noel can contain Aldridge on the inside, the Thunder should be able to end the string of losses in San Antonio.

Pick: OKC Thunder +2.5

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. Follow along on Twitter for more picks and DFS news @dailydogsports.

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