The slumping Oklahoma City Thunder face an uphill battle in Monday’s road trip to the Capital One Arena to take on the red-hot Washington Wizards. A switch has obviously turned on for the Wizards since their shocking upset road victory over the Utah Jazz. They have now gone on to win their last four straight games, including a 121-100 victory over the Detroit Pistons on Saturday. Meanwhile, the Thunder’s recent loss to the Toronto Raptors marked the 10th straight time they’ve come out on the losing end of a game.
Losses piling up for OKCLosing might be a part of the process, but that doesn’t make it sting any less.
The Thunder have dropped their last 10 straight games with the most recent being a 112-106 loss on the road to the Toronto Raptors. It has been a revolving door this season with guys being in and out of the lineup. However, the biggest concern for the Thunder is there being no real sense of direction for the team. There isn’t even a foundation to begin a rebuild.
Don’t expect any sympathy from the streaking Wizards on Monday in their first meeting of the season with the Thunder. The Wizards have enough defensive flaws to write a book, but they have consistently remained one of the most prolific offensive teams in basketball. It’s always a problem for opposing teams when both Bradley Beal and Russell Westbrook are on the floor together.
Meanwhile, the Thunder are still playing without Shai Gilgeous-Alexander for a team that’s allowing an average of 114.2 points per game. They have no real answer for Washington’s backcourt outside of hoping for the best when shots go up in the air.
The team definitely lacks the offensive firepower to respond. They are the league’s third-worst scoring offense with a last place ranking in offensive efficiency.
It’s a daunting matchup on paper.
Off to the races for the WizardsThe Wizards have won their last seven games with Bradley Beal in the lineup. That is no coincidence considering the MVP-caliber season the burgeoning superstar is having this year. He’s forcing the NBA world to pay attention with him averaging a ridiculous 31 points per game.
There is no more hiding in the shadows for a player with Beal’s potential.
The Wizards have won their last four straight games, including ending the Utah Jazz’s 24-game home winning streak. While the playoffs are probably out of reach, Beal and company appear hell-bent on making it interesting in the final stretch of the season.
They’ll continue on their quest for respect in Monday’s run-in with Oklahoma City. There won’t be any roaring coming from a Thunder team with the worst offense in the league. That’s a huge advantage for the Wizards as long as they’re continuing to knock down shots. It’ll be off to the races with no looking back if Beal and Russell Westbrook get going early.
Rui Hachimura is reportedly out with a sore knee for this game, while Wizards center Alex Len remains questionable with an ankle injury.
However, the A-side of the ticket will remain intact with Beal looking to break the scoreboard. Defense is always the biggest concern for the Wizards in games, but a team struggling as bad as the Thunder might even make them look decent on that end of the floor.
The top supporting trends for this game, found on Covers.com, are:
- Thunder are 7-18-1 ATS in their last 26 after scoring 100 points or more in their previous game.
- Thunder are 4-11-1 ATS in their last 16 games playing on 0 days’ rest.
- Thunder are 7-21 ATS in their last 28 after allowing 100 points or more in their previous game.
- Thunder are 1-4 ATS in their last 5 games as a road underdog.
- Wizards are 6-0 ATS in their last 6 games following a straight up win of more than 10 points.
- Wizards are 7-2 ATS in their last 9 home games against a team with a losing road record.
- Wizards are 21-7 ATS in their last 28 Monday games.
- Wizards are 8-3 ATS in their last 11 games against a team with a winning % below .400.
Best Bets for this Game
Full-Game Side Bet
Things have spiraled for the Thunder to the point where a 10.5-point spread doesn’t seem that significant for them on the road against the Wizards.
They are getting pounded on the defensive end of the floor with teams averaging 123 points against them in their last three outings. It’s an absolute mess considering they don’t have anyone averaging at least 15 points per game on their roster with Shai Gilgeous-Alexander out with an injury.
This is basically turning into an all-you-can-eat buffet for the Wizards on offense. It’s also one of the rare games where you don’t have to worry about Washington playing defense. They’ve certainly allowed a few buffets themselves, but this time, they’ll be facing the worst offensive team in the league void of any firepower to respond.
Throw in the fact that this game will be on the road and things are bound to get ugly. It’ll only be a matter of time before the shots start falling for Bradley Beal and company, and then it’ll be game over for the Thunder.
I’m laying the big points and taking the Wizards.
Full-Game Total Pick
The Wizards are bringing a knife and a fork for some fine dining at the Thunder’s expense on Monday night. Oklahoma City is struggling to get stops on defense this season. It’s expected given the amount of roster shuffling going on. That’s a bad sign heading into a road meeting with a Wizards team averaging 117.1 points per game on their home floor. It’s the same team that dropped 125 points on the Utah Jazz to end the historic streak at the Vivint Smart Home Arena less than a week ago. This Wizards team will not be denied on the offensive end of the floor. Give me the over in this one.