Oklahoma City Thunder vs. Toronto Raptors - 12/22/13
Toronto Raptors (10-14) at Oklahoma City Thunder (21-4)
NBA Basketball: Sunday, December 22, 2013 at 7:00 pm (Chesapeake Energy Arena)
The Line: Oklahoma City Thunder -11 -- Over/Under: 203.5 See the Latest Odds
The Oklahoma City Thunder look for their 10th straight win as they host the Toronto Raptors from Chesapeake Arena tonight.
Head to head, the Raptors are 3-10 ATS in the last 13 meetings and 1-6 ATS in the last 7 meetings in Oklahoma City while the favorite is 6-2 ATS in the last 8 meetings. The Thunder are 6-1 ATS in their last 7 games playing on 0 days rest, 6-2 ATS in their last 8 games following a S.U. win and 7-2 ATS in their last 9 games overall. The Raptors on the other hand are 7-2 ATS in their last 9 road games, but just 3-7 ATS in their last 10 games following a S.U. win and 0-4 ATS in their last 4 games vs. a team with a winning % above .600.
So much for flying under the radar hey? The Oklahoma City Thunder improved to a league-best 22-4 with their impressive 113-100 victory in San Antonio on Saturday night, which was also their ninth consecutive win. The Thunder have been on fire on the offensive end during their winning streak, averaging 110 points while also holding opponents to 96 per game. With that point differential, it's no surprise that OKC has covered the spread in seven of those nine contests.
I'm not sure what it says about Rudy Gay that the Toronto Raptors have played their best basketball of the season since trading him away earlier in the month. The Raptors come into tonight's game having won four of six but more importantly, have won three straight on the road in Los Angeles (against the Lakers), Chicago and most recently Dallas on Friday night. With their recent surge away from home, Toronto improved to 6-6 straight up and 8-4 against the spread.
This is a really tough game to predict because the Thunder are obviously the hottest team in the league at the moment and seven of their last nine wins have come by double-digits or greater. On the other hand, the Raptors have looked like a borderline playoff team since trading Gay away and that win in Dallas on Friday was pretty impressive.
I'm not confident with whoever I pick here because I think the cover will be decided in the final minute. I could see Oklahoma City pulling away for a 15 point lead late in the fourth quarter, only to have Toronto score two meaningless buckets in the final minute to bring it back down to 11. Kind of like the other night when Chicago trailed by 19 late and then scored a couple of free-throws and layups to bring the final margin down to 12, thus covering the spread by a single point.
I hate to sit on the fence like this, but here's hoping the Raptors can keep it close enough to get that back door cover....
Dan’s Pick: Toronto +11
Follow me on Twitter @Dan_SCP
Mark D. Smith-USA TODAY Sports