Thunder and Heat to extend winning NBA runs
Tonight sees two in-form sides go head-to-head as the Boston Celtics take their five-game win streak on the road to Oklahoma City. Meanwhile, over in the Eastern Conference, league leaders Miami can extend their impressive run against the Pacers.
Despite their solid form, the Celtics could come unstuck against a Thunder side that has serious designs on the Eastern Conference title, making the handicap markets look attractive in both of these NBA matchups.
Oklahoma City Thunder (-10.5) to beat Boston Celtics @ 10/11
As well as taking a five-game win streak to the Chesapeake Energy Arena, the Celtics are also 4-1 in their last five road games against the Thunder.
However, with Scott Brooks’ side now only one-and-a-half games back on Eastern Conference leaders San Antonio and the Spurs game coming up on Monday, the 2012 finalists have added incentive to extend their own four-game run.
Incentive is not the only thing in Oklahoma’s favour heading into this tie though as the Thunder are the proud owners of the NBA’s number-one ranked offense.
Led by Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook, the Thunder are averaging 107ppg, and both forwards will be confident of improving their personal averages against a Celtic side that ranks eighth for defence, shipping 95.9ppg.
As well as being the NBA’s highest scorers this year, Thunder also lead the league in free throw percentage (83.2) and rank in the top three for field goal percentage (48.4) and field goal percentage against (42.9).
Superstitious basketball fans could also be swayed by the fact that Oklahoma are 9-1 in their last ten games played on a Sunday.
Miami Heat (-7) to beat Indiana Pacers @ 10/11
Having already clinched a play-off berth with 22 games remaining, five games faster than any squad in the Heat’s franchise history, Miami look well placed to extend their impressive run.
The Heat have now won their last 17 games, matching the NBA’s 12th longest streak, and with LeBron James and Dwayne Wade helping the hosts to a league-topping 45.8 field goal percentage, a win against the Pacers – who have lost five of their last six trips to the American Airlines Arena – should prove a formality.
All odds and markets accurate as of publication’s time and date