Tonight’s matchup features two teams on opposite sides of the spectrum. The six-time NBA Champion Golden State Warriors head to the Oklahoma City Thunder for a Western Conference battle. In this prediction, let's dive into a Warriors vs. Thunder pick and determine the best bet for this Tuesday night NBA game.
NBA Tuesday Night Pick: Warriors vs. Thunder Prediction
Golden State was the cream of the crop from 2014 to 2019. If you were a contender, the Warriors were the team to beat. Unfortunately, injuries have hindered them as of late, but with a revamped roster and with the potential return of Klay Thompson, Golden State looks to return to its championship ways.
For the Thunder, a short window was quickly closed after their Western Conference Finals appearance in 2015-16. Durant departed the next season, and the Thunder haven’t replicated the same magic without their core pieces.
The Hyphy Movement
It’s no question that Stephen Curry changed the league. The 3-point movement and small ball have resonated throughout, and versatility plus long-range accuracy are now the norms. They used this renaissance to power their way to five straight NBA Finals appearances from 2015 to 2019 and took home three of those Larry O’Brien Trophies.
After a couple of down seasons, the Warriors are back to their usual ways. They are 4th overall in scoring offense, averaging 118.3 points per game, and are facilitating this via their unselfish mentality (5th in assists). If their shots aren’t hitting, their 9th-ranked rebounding stats help their second-chance points. As expected, this offensive attack is led by none other than Stephen Curry (31.0 PPG, 9.0 RPG, 7.0 APG).
The Warriors rank 6th in the NBA in 3-point efficiency, hitting 39.3% from behind the arc, and make the 8th most per game at 14.0 made threes per contest. They hold their own at overall field goal efficiency, ranking 10th overall with a 46.5% field goal percentage. Defensively, Golden State isn’t what it used to be, but the Warriors are still a decent unit ranking 15th overall in scoring defense.
Thunder but No Lightning
For the second season in a row, the Thunder are expected to be basement dwellers in the Western Conference. They are 0-3 on the season and struggle to score when they have the ball. They rank 29th in scoring offense at 93.3 points per game and can’t secure rebounds (24th) when they fail to score. Across the board, their offensive stats rank in the bottom half in the league and will likely remain there for the entirety of the season.
Oklahoma City currently only has two players averaging double-digit points in Shai Gilgeous-Alexander (20.0 PPG) and Mike Muscala (11.0 PPG). The Thunder are 26th in field goal efficiency at 40.6% and are 28th from behind the arc with a 26.6% three-point percentage. Add a fundamental aspect like free throw percentage, where the Thunder are 27th in the league at 66%, and there isn’t much that Oklahoma City does right.
Warriors vs. Thunder Prediction and Pick
With the overwhelming majority of stats favoring the Warriors, including the vital 3-point range efficiency, this is a straightforward pick. Expecting a 10+ point win on the road can be a mighty expectation, but with the caliber of these two teams, it should come as no surprise.
Expect the Warriors to do what they do best: spread the ball around, hit their threes, and rebound when they don’t. As for the Thunder, their overall offensive ineptitude will come back to haunt them against a team with the second-fastest pace and third-best offensive efficiency in the league.
Take the Warriors -9 (-114) at the FanDuel Sportsbook and expect an easy double-digit victory by Golden State.
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