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Underachieving Spurs Look to Continue Home Dominance of OKC

The San Antonio Spurs may have a winning record so far this year, but they’re burning money for their backers. San Antonio (4-3) has covered the spread just once this season and is 0-4 ATS at home. The Spurs look to turn things around Thursday when they host the Oklahoma City Thunder, who have lost 12 of their last 15 visits to San Antonio.

Matchup Information
  • Oklahoma City Thunder vs San Antonio Spurs (Matchup Report)
  • Date/Time: November 7, 8:30 p.m. ET
  • TV Coverage: Fox Sports Southwest
  • Opening Odds: San Antonio -5.5 | O/U 218.5 (Line History)

Opening Odds Analysis

The big line move in this game has come on the total, which had already dropped 3 points from the opener of 218.5 by Wednesday night. There was also early support for the Thunder, moving OKC down to +4.5.

Oklahoma City News & Notes

Coming into the year, the big question about the Thunder was how they would replace the scoring of the departed Russell Westbrook and Paul George. So far, it looks like OKC’s answer is to limit how much its opponent scores instead.

The Thunder have dialed up the defense to an impressive level through their first seven games, ranking third in the NBA in points allowed per game, second in opponent field-goal percentage and first against the three. Oklahoma City has allowed 100 points or less in four of its seven outings, and a 116-112 loss in Houston was the only time the Thunder have allowed more than 104.

That game, by the way, snuck OVER the total by half a point. It’s the only Thunder game that has gone OVER, with most of the other games going UNDER by double-digit margins.

“We’ve defended really, really well coming down the stretch,” pleased coach Billy Donovan said after Tuesday’s 102-94 win over the Magic, when OKC held Orlando to 15 fourth-quarter points. “I’ve seen significant growth and improvement from the guys.”

San Antonio News & Notes

These aren’t your daddy’s Spurs. Heck, they don’t even look like the Spurs of a few years ago.

Gregg Popovich’s squads have always been able to rely on their defense, but San Antonio has yet to hold an opponent under 103 points and ranks in the middle of the pack in points and field-goal percentage against. Offensively, the Spurs aren’t nearly as efficient as they once were either, especially from behind the three-point line. San Antonio’s 31.4 percent success rate from beyond the arc is 26th in the NBA.

Add it all up, and it shouldn’t come as a surprise that the Spurs are 1-6 ATS this year — not to mention 0-4 ATS at home, extending struggles at the AT&T Center that date back to last year (2-10 ATS in their last 12).

Spurs guard DeMar DeRozan told reporters that if San Antonio is going to turn things around, it’ll start with improvement on the defensive end. “We haven’t shot it well,” he said, “but our understanding (is) that we have to rely on our defense. Then the offense will come around.”

Betting Pick: UNDER 215.5

With Oklahoma City playing so well defensively and San Antonio looking to clean up its play at that end of the floor, I agree with the early move on the UNDER.

Shark Bites
  • The total has gone UNDER in 6 of Oklahoma City’s 7 games this season.
  • San Antonio is 2-10 ATS in its last 12 games at home.
  • Oklahoma City is 0-5 ATS in its last 5 games in San Antonio.