Prediction, Preview, and Odds
#2561 Atlanta Hawks vs.
#2562 Oklahoma City Thunder
Wednesday, January 25, 2023 at 8:10pm EST
Chesapeake Enery Arena, Oklahoma City
Written by Blake V.

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Atlanta will try to snap its two-game losing streak when it travels to Oklahoma City on Wednesday night. The Hawks had won five straight games before losing back-to-back games against Charlotte and Chicago. Oklahoma City has won five of its last six games, including a 101-99 win against Denver on Sunday.

Hawks hoping Hunter returns

Atlanta has struggled to find any kind of consistency so far this season, which led to a 19-22 start through its first 41 games. The Hawks finally put together their first really solid stretch of the year last week, rattling off five consecutive wins over the Pacers, Raptors, Heat, Mavericks and Knicks. They have fallen back to the .500 mark since then, falling to Charlotte and Chicago. Atlanta lost to the Hornets as a 7.5-point favorite before falling to Chicago in a 111-100 final as a 1.5-point underdog. The Hawks lost their key defender De’Andre Hunter before the game due to asthma symptoms, and he is questionable to play on Wednesday night.

Center Clint Capela posted a double-double in the loss to the Bulls with 16 points and 12 rebounds, while Bogdan Bogdanovic returned to the lineup after missing Saturday’s loss to Charlotte with a right knee injury. He finished with 11 points in 33 minutes, but the Hawks turned the ball over 18 times. They have been a strong offensive team this season, ranked tenth in the NBA in scoring (115.6). Star guard Trae Young leads the team with 27.0 points and 9.9 assists per game, while guard Dejounte Murray is adding 20.9 points and 5.5 rebounds. Hunter is the team’s third-leading scorer with 15.8 points per game, so his availability is a key factor heading into this matchup. The Hawks are facing an Oklahoma City defense that is No. 19, allowing 115.5 points per game.

Thunder's remarkable ATS run continues

Oklahoma City got off to a rough start to the season, losing 18 of its first 29 games. The Thunder have been playing much better since then, winning 12 of their last 18 games. They have won seven of their last nine games coming into this matchup, as they put together a four-game winning streak last week, beating Philadelphia, Chicago, Brooklyn and Indiana. Oklahoma City had that hot stretch snapped in a 118-113 loss to Sacramento last Friday, falling to the Kings as a 5.5-point underdog. The Thunder bounced back with a 101-99 win against Denver as 3-point underdogs, covering the spread for the ninth straight game.

They were 10.5-point underdogs against Philadelphia and were 4.5-point underdogs in both of their wins over the Bulls and Nets. Oklahoma City guard Shai Gilgeous-Alexander banked in an 8-foot jumper with 9.2 seconds remaining and finished with 34 points in the win over the Nuggets, who were riding a league-leading nine-game winning streak. The Nuggets had also rattled off 16 straight home wins, which was the franchise’s longest run in 10 years. Gilgeous-Alexander leads the Thunder with 30.7 points and 5.5 assists per game, while Josh Giddey is averaging 16.0 points and 8.0 rebounds. Oklahoma City has been a fantastic offensive team, ranked eighth in the NBA in scoring (116.6). The Thunder are facing an Atlanta defense that is No. 21, allowing 116.2 points per game.

Best Bets for this Game

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Oklahoma City is simply an unfadeable team right now, as it continues to be the most undervalued squad in the NBA. The Thunder have covered the spread in nine straight games, springing multiple upsets during that stretch. They have also covered the spread in six consecutive games against Eastern Conference opponents. Atlanta could be without one of its key players on Wednesday, as Hunter’s status is up in the air. The Hawks have only covered the spread three times in the last nine meetings between these teams, and I do not expect that to change on Wednesday. Oklahoma City is playing its best basketball of the season and is starting to look like a playoff team.

Prediction: Oklahoma City -1

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This should wind up being one of the most exciting matchups of the day in the NBA, as both teams love to push the ball in transition. Oklahoma City ranks third in the league in tempo, while Atlanta is seventh. This has led to the over cashing in nine of the last 11 meetings between these teams, including six straight times in Oklahoma City. The Hawks have been struggling on the defensive end of the court and have gone over the total in four of their last five games. Hunter’s absence would hurt the Hawks offensively, but it would be an even bigger deal on the defensive end of the court.

Prediction: Over 237.5
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Written By Blake Von Hagen , "Blake V."

Blake is a lifelong sports fan and hoops junkie. Prior to joining our team at Winners & Whiners and StatSalt, Blake worked for several newspapers and websites. He enjoys combining his beat writing expertise with the knack for finding the winning edge in a matchup. Blake is also an avid sports being expert and you would not be disappointed in following him on a daily basis. Remember, it’s a marathon, not a sprint. 
Follow on Twitter @Blake_Vonhagen