NBA Playoffs Pick: San Antonio Spurs at Oklahoma City Thunder
- Updated: May 31, 2014
All it took was some home cooking to get the San Antonio Spurs back on track. The friendly confines and familiar shooting backdrop of AT&T Center paid dividends for the Spurs as they rolled to a 117-89 victory to continue the trend of blowouts in the series. No margin of victory has been below nine points and the home team is now 5-0 in the series. Oddsmakers believe that trend will continue as the Oklahoma City Thunder are a 3.5-point favorite to tie the series at 3-3 and send it back to Texas.
The Spurs used a very balanced attack to take down the Game Five win as six players scored in double figures, led by Tim Duncan’s 22 points. The Spurs were 13-of-26 from beyond the arc and 26-of-30 from the free throw line. After combining for over 70 points in Game Four, Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook were held to 46 combined points in the loss. The Thunder were just 6-of-24 from three-point range, which was the deciding factor in the game.
The average margin of victory in this series sits at 20.4 points and the Spurs are 3-0 at home by an average margin of 26.6 points per game. For the Spurs, the shooting backdrop seems to play a big role, while the Thunder take advantage of the sixth man and their impressive string of sellouts at Chesapeake Energy Arena.
As expected, Gregg Popovich made adjustments to the return of Serge Ibaka. The Spurs shot 71 percent in the paint and made it a point to beat the Thunder and Ibaka in transition, with a 14-4 advantage on the fast break. The Spurs appeared to have a depth advantage entering this series and that was truly evident in Game Five as the Spurs held a 55-26 edge in bench scoring.
Looking ahead to Game Six, the Thunder will have to draw from their home crowd, while the Spurs will have to find a way to secure a win in a hostile environment. The Spurs are just 2-5 on the road this postseason and 1-6 against the spread. As a road underdog, they are 1-2 ATS. The Thunder are 6-3 at home and 5-4 ATS after sweeping both home games in this series.
Teams facing elimination at home in Game Six are 69-72 in avoiding elimination. The team with a 3-2 lead entering Game Six in a series where the home team has won every game is 25-20 all-time in NBA history. Teams with a 3-2 lead regardless of site are 151-119 in Game Sixes and hold a 230-40 series record all-time.
The Spurs are 13-2 in series that they hold a 3-2 lead in and are 10-5 in Game Six. The Thunder have failed a 3-2 deficit only twice in franchise history and they are 1-1 both in Game Six and in the series.
Looking at some trends for Game Six, the Thunder are 4-1-1 in their last six following an ATS loss in their last game. The Thunder are 4-0 in their last four as a home favorite of 0.5-4.5 points. The Thunder are 13-6-2 in their last 21 as a home favorite. The Spurs are 7-16 in their last 23 as an underdog of 0.5-4.5 points. The Spurs have been consistent with a 16-6 ATS record in their last 22 following an ATS win. The Spurs are also 13-5 ATS in their last 18 following a win by 10 or more points.
For totals bettors, the total for Game Six is 207. The over is 33-15 in San Antonio’s last 48 as a road underdog of 0.5-4.5 points. The over is 13-4 in San Antonio’s last 17 Saturday games. The under, however, is 13-5 in San Antonio’s last 18 following an ATS win. The under is now 6-0 in Oklahoma City’s last six playing on one day of rest. The under is also 4-0 in the Thunder’s last four as a home favorite. The under is 41-19 in Oklahoma City’s last 60 as a home favorite of 0.5-4.5 points.
Pick: Oklahoma City Thunder
Home dominance has been a big theme of this season and with their backs against the wall, the Thunder will extend the series in front of their raucous crowd. The Spurs have shot less than 40 percent in their two games in Oklahoma City and over 50 percent in all three games at home. The Spurs have turned what could have been close games into blowouts because of their shooting prowess and that has been non-existent on the road, not just in this series, but overall.
Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook both had huge games in Game Four at home and they will do everything they can to extend the series. That should happen and a series that deserves a Game Seven will get one.