Thunder-Spurs Betting Guide: Sell San Antonio’s Scorching Shooting?

Thunder-Spurs Betting Guide: Sell San Antonio’s Scorching Shooting? article feature image

Photo credit: Soobum Im-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: LaMarcus Aldridge and Marco Belinelli

Betting Odds: Oklahoma City Thunder at San Antonio Spurs

  • Spread: Thunder -1.5
  • Over/Under: 224
  • Time: 9:30 p.m. ET
  • TV Channel: TNT

>> All odds as of 12 p.m. ET. Download The Action Network App to get real-time NBA odds and track your bets

The San Antonio Spurs haven’t been home dogs very often under Gregg Popovich, but they are tonight against the 25-15 OKC Thunder.

Can they keep up their hot recent play or will regression hit? Our analysts answer.

Betting Trends to Know

Oklahoma City is a 1.5-point favorite in San Antonio. This is only the 18th time since 2005 that the Spurs have been home underdogs in the regular season.

During this time, Popovich’s team has gone 11-6 against the spread (ATS) when getting points in San Antonio. This is the seventh time during the 2018-19 season that the Spurs have been home dogs; they have gone 5-1 ATS in the previous six games. — John Ewing

The Spurs opened as 1-point underdogs at home on a back-to-back. Since 2005, the Spurs are 26-36 (41.9%) ATS when opening as underdogs on a back-to-back, including just 7-13 (35%) ATS in this spot over the last five seasons.

This will be the first time in those 62 games that San Antonio will be playing at home in this spot, with the previous 62 games all coming on the road. — Evan Abrams

Mears: Why I’m Leaning Thunder on the Road

I won’t lie, the Spurs’ recent stretch is baffling. They started out slow this season but have since won 13 of their last 17 affairs.

During that stretch (since the first week of December), they are first in the league by a mile with a ridiculous +13.8 point differential. For reference, the Warriors had a +11.6 point differential (per Cleaning the Glass, which scrubs out blowout minutes) in their 73-win campaign in 2015-16.

How have the Spurs done it? Mostly just crazy shooting:

Look at those field goal percentage numbers on the right: They’re literally first or second in the league during this stretch in every area of the floor.

Diving in a little more, it doesn’t seem like the Spurs are getting much more open shots than normal. During this stretch, they’re middle of the pack in shots classified as open by — a defender 4-6 feet away.

They’ve just hit those shots at a league-best 50.1% clip. They’ve generated the seventh-fewest open threes, but they’ve hit them at a league-best 44.6% clip.

It gets even crazier. On shots classified as “tightly” contested — a defender 2-4 feet away — the Spurs have made 55.0% of them! They’re shooting 43.6% on tightly-contested three-pointers?

I smell regression coming, and it may have already started last game in a 96-86 loss to a struggling Grizzlies squad. The Spurs put up a 88.7 Offensive Rating in that one — the fourth percentile of games this season.

Against a Thunder team that ranks first in defense this season, I’m not betting on a bounce-back performance considering how far they were above their expectations to start. I lean OKC tonight. — Bryan Mears

Editor’s note: The opinions on this game are from the individual writers and are based on their research, analysis and perspective. They are independent of, and may not always match with, the algorithm-driven Best Bets from Sports Insights.