We have a ton of fantastic NBA action on Wednesday night. The Thunder face the Pelicans, the Blazers head to Memphis, the Hawks take on the Mavericks, the Heat will try to burn the Jazz, the T-Wolves play the Kings and the Raptors will face the Warriors.
Let’s dig deeper into a couple of these matchups. We’ll be using odds to assess the games from one of the longest standing online sportsbooks around; you can check SBR’s Intertops review here.
OKC Thunder vs. New Orleans Pelicans @ 8:00 PM
This is a classic case of defense versus offense. The Pelicans are the No. 2 scoring team in the league right now with 117.4 points per game. Their problem is that they allow over 115 points per game. So, teams that can slow their offense down just a little bit tend to get the better of them.
The Thunder rank 12th in offensive potency at 111.6 points per game. But, over their last three games, they have hit their stride and put up 116 points per game (including the 122-point showing against the Jazz). The biggest thing that is going to set these two teams apart at this juncture is their defense.
The Pelicans have hit a bit of an offensive slump, only putting up 106 points per game over their last three and they will be facing one of the NBA’s elite defenses. The Thunder rank 5th in total defense allowing just 104 points per game. Their hot streak and hot defense should slow the Pelicans down enough to get the win. The fact that New Orleans is the highest scoring home team in the league is something to consider, but so is their slump.
The initial line looks to be OKC favored by a point-and-a-half. They should win by 3. Take OKC.
Toronto Raptors vs Golden State Warriors @ 10:30 PM
Ranking No. 3 and No. 4 respectively in the power rankings, two of the league’s best collide in this late night battle. But again, we run into momentum. Typically there is only an one-point offensive differential between these two teams, in favor of Golden State, but roughly just a hair under a 3-point defensive differential in favor of the Raptors. And the Raptors actually play better defensive ball on the road. So, their 106 points allowed on average road defense would give them a bit of an edge over the Warriors slightly better home offense.
However, the Raptors have dropped off over their last few games on the offensive side of the ball. Their last game out, they only put up 99 points and have averaged just 105 over the last three. This is 10 points under their normal numbers.The Warriors have been one thing: super consistent. They have averaged 116 points over their last 3 and their last game against the Bucks, how much did they score? Yes, exactly 116. So, if this trend continues, even if the Raptors manage to hold the Warriors to 106 at the Oracle Arena, they still might not outscore them.
With that in mind, we have to lean towards the Golden State Warriors to win on Wednesday night. The official point-spread hasn’t been released yet, but we imagine the line will be 2.5 to 3 points.
The Golden State Warriors win by a couple buckets or more at home.