The New Orleans Pelicans (20-32) will try to head into the NBA All-Star break on a high note when they visit the Oklahoma City Thunder (39-14) as double-digit betting underdogs at sportsbooks monitored by Odds Shark on Thursday.
The Pelicans hope to equal their longest winning streak of the season at three games against an Oklahoma City team that has won 13 of 15 straight up.
The problem for the Thunder lately has been covering the number, going 2-6-1 against the spread in their last nine games, according to the Odds Shark NBA Database.
However, they ended a two-game skid ATS with a 122-106 rout of the Phoenix Suns as 13-point road favorites Monday after losing 116-108 to the Golden State Warriors as 7.5-point road underdogs Saturday.
Oklahoma City has also struggled ATS in the past six meetings with New Orleans, covering only one of them. That came in a 102-91 victory as a four-point road dog back on February 4, 2015. The teams have met once this season, with the Thunder beating the Pelicans 110-103 but failing to cover as 12-point home chalk on November 18.
A pair of stars were missing from that most recent meeting, though, with Oklahoma City’s Kevin Durant (hamstring) and New Orleans’ Anthony Davis (shoulder) both sitting out due to injuries. Russell Westbrook led the Thunder with a game-high 43 points, nine rebounds and eight assists, while Enes Kanter scored 24 in 31 minutes off the bench.
Davis helped the Pelicans to a 100-96 victory against the Utah Jazz as two-point home favorites on the NBA betting lines at the sportsbooks Wednesday, scoring 19 points to Jrue Holiday's 21. The Jazz entered the matchup on a seven-game winning streak, but they were playing back-to-back nights and could not finish like they did in a 121-119 overtime win against the Dallas Mavericks on Tuesday.
Utah trailed 47-45 at halftime and was outscored 29-19 in the fourth quarter.
New Orleans will be playing in a back-to-back situation here and has covered the spread in the second game four of the last five times under that scenario. The Pelicans are also 3-1 SU the last four times they have played the second game of a back-to-back, winning twice as underdogs and once as favorites earlier this year.