Thunder vs. Blazers Game 4 Betting Preview: Will OKC Even the Series?

Thunder vs. Blazers Game 4 Betting Preview: Will OKC Even the Series? article feature image

Photo credit: Alonzo Adams-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Russell Westbrook

Game 4 Betting Odds: Portland Trail Blazers at Oklahoma City Thunder

  • Spread: Thunder -6
  • Over/Under: 223.5
  • Time: 9:30 p.m. ET
  • TV Channel: TNT
  • Series Score: Blazers Lead 2-1

>> All odds as of Saturday night. Download The Action Network App to get real-time odds and live win probabilities on your bets.

The Thunder held serve at home in Game 3, mostly due to shooting the lights out. Can they sustain that performance in Game 4? Our analysts discuss.

Betting Trends to Know

Sixteen NBA teams made the playoffs this season. Only one of those 16 had a straight-up win rate below 50% at home in the first half: OKC. The Thunder are 19-21-2 straight-up in the first half this season, losing bettors 11.1 units. – Evan Abrams

Did you know? Damian Lillard and Russell Westbrook have faced each other 26 times combined in both the regular season and playoffs. They are tied at 13-13. Westbrook holds a slight advantage against-the-spread, though, with a 13-12-1 ATS record over Lillard. – Abrams

OKC dug itself an 0-2 hole against Portland. The Thunder won Game 3, but Russell Westbrook & Co. shouldn’t feel that confident about advancing to the next round, even though they are home favorites in Game 4 with a chance to even the series. Why? In 282 seven-game playoff series, only 20 teams that went down 0-2 came back to win. – John Ewing

Locky: How I’m Betting Game 4

I do not have a strong opinion on the spread in this game; it’s very close to my numbers. I also don’t see a very strong historical motivational angle that would make me waver from that. However, I find the total interesting.

Here were the closing totals for the first three games in the series: 224.5, 224.5 and 221. Games 1 and 2 went under very easily, and Game 3 went over.

But why did it go over? The Thunder attempted 39 (!!) free throws and shot over 50% from 3 — things that are generally unsustainable and will most likely not happen again.

So I was very surprised when I saw 223.5 for Game 4. I think it may have been a reaction to the scoring of Game 3, but as we’ve already established that one was an outlier. I think the type of game we saw in Games 1 and 2 is much more likely here, and the combination of absurd free throw/3-point scoring from OKC is highly unlikely to repeat.

I also think, as this series goes on and these teams become more accustomed to each other, the stars are going to have to work harder and harder for their shots. I would expect totals to decrease as the series goes on, but that’s not what’s happening, and I think it’s a mistake. I’ll be playing the under. — Ken Barkley

Mears: Why I’m Betting the Under

I’m with Locky on the under here. See if you can spot the difference:

  • OKC 3-point% in Game 1: 15.6% (0th percentile)
  • OKC 3-point% in Game 2: 18.5% (2nd percentile)
  • OKC 3-point% in Game 3: 53.6% (96th percentile)

You can make the argument that Games 1 and 2 are outliers just like Game 3, but on the season the Thunder ranked 22nd in 3-point percentage, knocking down 35.4% of their attempts. In Game 3, they went 9-of-18 on non-corner-3s — the hardest ones. The first two games, factoring in playoff intensity, is more in line with expectations moving forward than Game 3.

That’s especially true considering Russell Westbrook did a bunch of that damage, hitting four of his six attempts. He’s having the worst shooting year of his career this year, nailing just 29.0% of his 3s. It’s unlikely you’ll see him have that sort of efficiency again.

Further, it’s not like the Blazers constantly fell asleep and left guys wide open. In fact, the Thunder were open on just 22.1% of their attempts beyond 10 feet overall. That’s right around their mark on the year, which is about average in the league. The difference is they posted an absurd eFG% of 79.4% on those shots. Nearly 21% of their 3s were open in Game 3; they hit 56.3% of them. Regression almost assuredly is coming.

And, like Locky mentioned, the total actually went back up for Game 4 as a reaction to Game 3 going over because of outlier shooting. I’ll take advantage of the recency bias and get back on the under here. — 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.

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