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Hawks, Thunder on NBA odds

Leading off the key weekend NBA betting matchups is a cross-conference battle between the Atlanta Hawks and Oklahoma City Thunder on Friday night. NBA odds have the hosting Thunder listed as five-point favorites at books like Sportsbook.ag and Bovada with the over/under falling at 196.

Though Russell Westbrook is slowing down, it appears reigning NBA scoring champ Kevin Durant is picking his game up. Looking healthier now, Durant has scored at least 27 points in six straight games. As of Wednesday, Oklahoma City has won seven of 10 and beaten the NBA betting spread in each victory over that span.

The Atlanta Hawks are happy to have Joe Johnson back in the lineup after returning from his elbow injury. Through Wednesday, they’ve won four of five and gone 4-1 ATS over that span. Still, the Hawks have a tough challenge on the road against the Thunder, who are 12-6 straight up at home this season.

In New Year’s Day action, we won’t see too many elite NBA matchups – except for one. On Saturday, Kevin Durant and the Thunder play the second of back-to-back games, this time visiting the San Antonio Spurs. Books like Bovada and Bovada will favor the red-hot Spurs at home.

The San Antonio Spurs just keep rolling; the Spurs were 12-1 over their last 13 games through Wednesday night’s action. They’re 18-12-1 ATS overall this season and have beaten two straight spreads at home.

Oklahoma City looks like a dangerous pick; can you really trust a team that plays on New Year’s Eve, then travels to face the league’s top team the next day?

On New Year’s Day, the Indiana Pacers and New York Knicks renew their old rivalry at Madison Square Garden. Though the Knicks have enjoyed a resurgence this season, especially because of Amare Stoudemire’s play, they were only 8-7 at home through Wednesday’s action. In general, New York’s NBA odds have been great plays this year; the New York Knicks were 21-9-1 ATS through Wednesday.

The Indiana Pacers, on the other hand, have been NBA betting kryptonite of late. They’ve lost seven of 10 and, through Wednesday, had gone 0-8-1 against the spread over their last nine games.

Roy Hibbert has broken out as a go-to big man for the Pacers in 2010 but will likely have his hands full with Stoudemire. Averaging 26.3 points, 9.2 boards and 2.4 assists entering Thursday’s games, the Knicks power forward looks like a shoo-in All-Star starter and perhaps an MVP candidate this season. Bettors may want to steer clear of the Pacers on Sunday.