The NBA Schedule slows down on the hardwood on Thursday Night with only a two game slate on tap for sports handicappers to take advantage of. One of those contests will take place in Los Angeles where the Clippers welcome the red hot Oklahoma City Thunder town. In the second matchup, the Golden State Warriors will make the trip to Houston to take on the Rockets.
As all fans waited patiently for the Rockets/Warriors matchup on Thursday Night as three of the top stars were expected to battle. Much of the anticipation is gone after James Harden is expected to miss the next few weeks with a hamstring injury. That injury and the chances to see them as a double digit underdog at home is just to much gamble for most sports handicappers.
With that said, the Thunder/Clippers matchup looks to be a solid one on paper now that the Clippers have Blake Griffin back on the court and have reeled off four straight wins. Meanwhile the Thunder enter this game winners of seven of their last ten overall matchups. This type of excitement should deliver everyone including the fans, players and even sports handicappers some solid basketball on Thursday Night.
Here are the keys to the Oklahoma City Thunder and Los Angeles Clippers matchup on Thursday January 4th, 2018.
Los Angeles Clippers – Win the Battle Behind the Arc
When you look at the Thunder lineup they have a ton of weapons that can beat you including Westbrook, Paul George and Carmelo Anthony. That said the team enters Wednesday Night riding back to back losses despite hitting more free throw shots and out rebounding both opponents. The deciding factor in the outcome is in both of those contests their opponents hit more three pointers leading to the Thunder losing by two and three points.
Oklahoma City Thunder – Shut Down Blake Griffin
For the Thunder, this contest will simply come down to being able to slow down Blake Griffin while forcing other members of the team to step up including Lou Williams who has been lights out. Since returning just three games ago, Griffin has seen the floor for at least 32 minutes per contest while posting over 21 points in each contest. Griffin also added in each contest at least six rebounds and six assists making him a key to the teams success.
Oklahoma City Thunder @ Los Angeles Clippers
Clippers (-3.5) – Over/Under (210)
Thursday January 4th, 2018
Los Angeles Clippers Betting Trends
The Clippers enter there Thursday Night showdown with the Thunder red hot winners of four straight and six of their last ten overall. That success has also shown up for handicappers as they have covered the spread in eight of their last ten contests. On the year the Clippers are 20-15 against the spread while covering in 10 of their 17 home games at the Staples Center. The Clippers have also taking advantage against teams that struggle on the road covering the spread in each of their last four matchups with a team with a losing road record.
Oklahoma City Thunder Betting Trends
For the Thunder despite winning seven of their last ten overall games the team has struggled covering the spread in just five of those contests. Those struggles have also showed up all season when the team leaves Oklahoma City as they have covered in just five of their 16 road contests. Along with those struggles the team has had its difficulties against teams in the Western Conference covering the spread in just six of their last 21 contests.
Head to Head Matchup
These two teams will face off for the second time this season as the Thunder picked up a 120-111 win back on November 10th. Dating back to the 2015-16 Season the Thunder have won six of those nine meetings. While sports handicappers wait to see the final lines for this contest the head to head trends tend to swing both direction. In this matchup the home team has covered the spread in four straight games giving the Clippers the advantage. Meanwhile the Thunder have covered in four of their last five overall meetings while the underdog has covered in 14 of their last 20 overall meetings.
Prediction – Oklahoma City Thunder (W/Points)