Thunder vs Spurs Prediction, Picks Tonight | In-Season Tournament Best Bet
Victor Wembanyama #1 of the San Antonio Spurs and Chet Holmgren #7 of the Oklahoma City Thunder look on during the game. (Photo by Logan Riely/NBAE via Getty Images)
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- We get Wemby vs. Chet Holmgren in the In-Season Tournament group stage tonight.
- Let's dive into our expert Thunder-Spurs pick and prediction.
Thunder vs Spurs Prediction Tonight
Here is everything you need to know about Thunder vs Spurs on Tuesday, Nov. 14 — featuring our expert prediction and betting picks for tonight's In-Season Tournament showdown.
The Spurs travel to Oklahoma City to face the Thunder in the In-Season Tournament on Tuesday night. Can San Antonio slow down a hot Oklahoma City? Or will the Thunder continue to roll?
Let's get to our Thunder vs Spurs prediction and pick.
Thunder vs. Spurs Pick
This should be a high-tempo game as both teams rank among the top 10 in Pace. The Thunder have started off the season very well offensively, ranking eighth in offensive rating despite playing the ninth-most difficult schedule of opposing defenses, according to dunksandthrees.com.
Oklahoma City has been generating great looks and it ranks seventh in location effective field goal percentage, according to Cleaning the Glass. The key has been the Thunder's ability to get to the rim as they rank fifth in rim rate. Last season, this offense revolved around Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, and it still does to a certain extent, but this team is also getting more meaningful offensive contributions from the role players.
Chet Holmgren is an early Rookie of the Year favorite, shooting 51% from 3 and 55% from the field while averaging 16.4 PPG and 2.3 BPG. He ranks 20th in the NBA in overall Box-plus minus and is 18th in defensive box-plus minus, according to basketballreference.com.
However, it hasn’t just been about Holmgren. Luguentz Dort and Cason Wallace have been lights out offensively as both are shooting 50% from 3. Perhaps this is a flukey streak, but if those guys can be anywhere near 40% from 3 for the entire season, the Thunder will rank among the top five in offensive rating.
Wallace was drafted for defense, but leads the NBA in effective field goal percentage (73.3%) and points per shot attempt (151.0). Wallace will certainly regress, but if he can be an effective catch-and-shoot threat, this team will continue to excel offensively. Dort is already an elite defender, but the development of a reliable jump shot will propel him toward top-50 player level impact.
The issues for the Thunder have come on the defensive end as they rank just 17th in defensive rating. Their defensive issues stem from their inability to finish possessions as they actually rank fourth in effective field goal percentage allowed (51.2%).
However, they rank last in defensive rebound rate and are allowing opponents to rebound 33.7% of their misses. Holmgren has shown promise as a defender, but lacks the size and strength to consistently block out at this stage in his career.
San Antonio ranks just 24th in offensive rebound rate, so the Thunder may be able to survive on the defensive glass in this game.
The Spurs rank 29th in net rating (-9.6) and have played the fourth-most difficult schedule in the NBA.
Victor Wembanyama has flashed his potential, but has also struggled with consistency. Overall, he is averaging 19.7 PPG, 8.8 RPG and 2.4 BPG on 44.7% shotting from the field and 30% shooting from 3. I think you have to be more than satisfied with Wembanyama's first 10 games if you’re a Spurs fan, but it’s becoming painfully obvious that he'd benefit from playing alongside a legitimate point guard.
Jeremy Sochan is the starting point guard for the Spurs and he ranks in the fourth percentile of turnover rate (17.6%) amongst forwards. I love Sochan and think he is going to have a long-career, but he does not belong at the point and the Spurs' splits with Tre Jones on the floor are massive.
The Spurs have a +4.4 net rating with Jones on the floor and a -23.2 net rating with him off the floor. Their offensive rating leaps from 100.0 to 122.3 with him on the floor and his net rating swing of +27.6 is the highest in the NBA amongst point guards. Jones isn’t even shooting the ball well, but he gives this offense much more structure and playmaking than Sochan. If the Spurs want to improve their offense, they need to get Tre Jones on the floor with the starters more often.
Thunder vs. Spurs Picks, Odds
This is a tough matchup to predict as I could see the Spurs' length and size causing problems for the Thunder in the paint, but I could also see the Thunder's defense dominating the Spurs at the point of attack and forcing a lot of turnovers.
I think this total is a tad low at 237.5 and lean toward the over. The Spurs have shown that they went to play as fast as possible and avoid half-court possessions, but they’ve actually been slightly better in the half-court than in transition. The Spurs are 12th in half-court offensive rating, but just 22nd in transition offensive rating.
The Thunder are also looking to push the pace, but can score just fine in the half-court as they rank sixth in half-court offensive rating. I expect this to be a highly competitive game, but I think both teams will look to run on each other. As a result, I'll play the over.