- The Brooklyn Nets are currently eighth in the Eastern Conference with a 16-19 record
- The Thunder are on the second night of a back-to-back after Monday’s loss to Philadelphia
- Get the odds, our pick, and all the info you need to bet the game below
The Oklahoma City Thunder have defied expectations this season to force their way into the Western Conference playoff picture. Their Tuesday night opponents, the Brooklyn Nets, are in a year of transition after landing superstar duo Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant in the summer.
Injuries have kept Irving to just 11 appearances this season, while Durant is absent until 2020-21 after rupturing his Achilles tendon in the Finals.
As the latest Oklahoma City Thunder vs Brooklyn Nets odds suggest, this isn’t an easy game to call. The Thunder have been playing well of late, but this game is the second night of a back-to-back and they suffered a loss in Philadelphia on Monday night.
Oklahoma City Thunder vs Brooklyn Nets Odds
|Oklahoma City Thunder||-2 (-110)||-130||Over 216.5 (-110)|
|Brooklyn Nets||+2 (-110)||+110||Under 216.5 (-110)|
Odds taken Jan. 7.
Rough Run for Brooklyn
Like the Thunder, Brooklyn are also on the second night of a back-to-back, having lost to Orlando on Monday. That result made it six straight defeats for the Nets.
It’s been a difficult part of the schedule for Brooklyn, who faced Toronto, Dallas, Minnesota and Houston prior to Monday’s meeting with the Magic. The visit of Oklahoma City starts a four-game homestand, however, and they will see this as a chance to bounce back ahead of games with the Heat, Hawks and Jazz.
Before losing to the Sixers, the Thunder had won nine of their last 10. Their season started patchily, but their performances of late have seen them consolidate the seventh spot in the Western Conference. The Thunder are several games ahead of the Spurs – who currently sit eighth – and look destined to play post-season basketball once again despite losing All-NBA stars Paul George and Russell Westbrook in the off-season.
— OKC THUNDER (@okcthunder) January 7, 2020
Neither team expected to be a contender this year, but it has still been a surprising season for both. The Thunder have taken advantage of a shallow West and made good use of a solid roster. Brooklyn have been hurt by injuries, but will still be disappointed to be down in eighth.
Faltering Nets Offense
Led by Paul, the Thunder are a more than solid defensive team, owning the sixth-best defensive rating in the NBA over the last 15 games. The Nets are one of the worst offensive teams in the league – only the Golden State Warriors and Atlanta Hawks have a worse offensive rating over the last 15 games. Scoring could be a real issue for the Nets on Tuesday night.
The Thunder’s defense gives up the third-fewest three-point attempts in the NBA, and opponents shoot just 34.5% on perimeter shots. Brooklyn rely on the long ball, shooting the sixth-most attempts per game at 37.7, but Kenny Atkinson’s team have been shooting a meagre 32.9% as a team. Paul and Shai Gilgeous-Alexander are two superb defenders and will trouble the Nets’ shooters.
With their offense stuttering, getting to the foul line is key for Brooklyn. They average 24 such shots per game, good for eighth-most in the NBA. Unfortunately, the Thunder defense excels at avoiding fouls – only five teams give up fewer fouls per game.
The Nets offense has been held under 100 points on three occasions during this losing streak. It wouldn’t be a surprise to see that happen for a fourth time at Barclays Center on Tuesday night against a Thunder team that has been playing great basketball recently.
Pick: Oklahoma City Thunder -2 (-110)