Oklahoma City had dropped the previous seven games in central Florida, four as the SuperSonics and three since the team moved to Oklahoma City in 2008. The Thunder have now won a game in every NBA city.
"All we focused on was trying to make up a point a minute and our guys did that," said Thunder coach Scott Brooks. "We fight every game, every possession. That's one of our strengths: we never give up."
After visiting Atlanta the Thunder will return to OKC for a five-game homestand versus Dallas, Phoenix, Cleveland, Charlotte and Houston. On the injury front for the Thunder, Westbrook is questionable tonight with a balky left ankle.
The Hawks received 32-of-34 fourth-quarter points from their reserves.
Johnson is battling tendinitis in his left knee and missed his third game in four tries. He also missed the All-Star Game because of the problem and is expected to be sidelined for tonight's game. Guard Willie Green is battling a sore back and could also sit versus the Thunder.
After tonight's home game the Hawks will hit the road for six against the Pacers, Heat, Pistons, Kings, Nuggets and Clippers.
Orlando hopes to get back into the win column Saturday after suffering a 105-102 setback versus Oklahoma City two nights ago in central Florida.
MySportsbook.com Week 1 odds:
Saints +6 @ Colts -6
Falcons @ Vikings (pick ‘em)
Panthers @ Rams (pick ‘em)
Broncos -3.5 @ Bills +3.5
Chiefs -1 @ Texans +1
Dolphins +3 @ Redskins -3
Patriots -5 @ Jets +5
Eagles -3.5 @ Packers +3.5
Steelers -4 @ Browns +4
Titans +6 @ Jaguars -6
Bears +6 @ Chargers -6
Lions +3 @ Raiders -3
Bucs +6.5 @ Seahawks -6.5
Giants +4 @ Cowboys -4
Ravens +3 @ Bengals -3
Cardinals +3 @ 49ers -3
Super Bowl line (2008)
NFC +6.5 vs. AFC -6.5
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To visit this online sportsbook got to MySportsbook.com for all your football sportsbook needs. Mysportsbook.com online sportsbook accepts Visa and Mastercard credit cards.
While the NFL is the sport wagered on the heaviest, college football betting lines has become more and more popular as people realize it’s a game that can be beat. The NCAA football season gets longer each year with the addition of numerous bowl games and with that comes more opportunities for more money in your pocket, if handled correctly.
Betting on college football is not the same as with the NFL, so make sure you separate the two. Because of the vast number of teams, the parity between college football programs is slight and thus, you are going to see some high numbers in the NCAA. Teams favored by more than 40 points are not uncommon especially early in the season when teams playing their non-conference schedules.
The best advice when trying to tackle these enormous spreads and is to just stay away. A team that is favored by 40 points is favored by that many for a reason while teams getting 40 points are bad enough that they shouldn’t be touched. Set yourself a spread limit. Getting rid of these games will cut down on the number of contests that you need to handicap while staying away from backdoor or front-door covers.
What is a backdoor and front-door cover you ask? A backdoor cover is a team that is getting beat by more than the spread, but scores late to get within that number thus covering the spread. A front-door cover is just the opposite where the favorite scores late and covers the number they are favored by.
These front-door and backdoor covers are common when second and third string players enter games in college football and it can be the worst nightmare for some bettors. These players can also be your best friend, but ask any bettor and he will give you more instances on losing in this situation than winning. It just seems to work out that way even though everything evens out in the end.
College football betting has some of the softest lines of any sport and it’s being able to find these lines that will make you a successful college football handicapper. The NFL and NBA have the tightest lines around and while those sports can be beat by looking at situations and systems, college football doesn’t quite work that way. It’s much more manual, but when done correctly, it’s much more gratifying as well.
Getting into the nuts and bolts of college football means looking at the many stats in order to beat the number. As opposed to pro football, college football is less dependent on situations and angles and more on certain statistics. Rushing offense and defense, pass efficiency offense and defense and turnover margins are huge. These are vital in the NFL, but even more so when it comes to college football.
Being able to run the ball in college football has always been a key factor in the overall success of a team. The same adage also goes for teams who have the ability to stop the run. Putting these two factors together can produce some positive results in a team’s record both straight up and against the spread. These numbers show huge differences in teams and the spread may not take those into effect, which is where the value comes into play.
Passing yardage numbers both for and against can be a misinterpreted statistic. However, pass efficiency has always been one of the best ways to look at a teams’ passing game ability both offensively and defensively. But is it really a true indication of how they perform? I wouldn’t say so since they are raw passing numbers with nothing else taken into consideration.
I use pass efficiency ratings when doing my handicapping but I adjust my numbers based on a number of factors including power ratings, strength of schedules, personnel and injuries. This gives a much better picture of a team’s ability to pass effectively and also being able to defend the pass. Tweaking pass efficiency stats instead of raw passing yards is the key.
Turnovers are the single most frustrating, and at times the most gratifying, aspect of a college football lines, mostly because they are so unpredictable. They are part of the game and most of the time nothing can be done to control them. However, turnovers are contagious and they can carry over from game to game and season to season.
It’s important to know how to forecast these unforeseen events and how to use them to your advantage. You can find ways to give yourself an edge by looking at past histories of teams and coaches and how they have fared in turnover wars in the past. Instead of turnovers hurting you at the wrong times, find ways to use them to your advantage.
As you can see, college football handicapping is very labor intensive and isn’t just based on where teams are ranked in the AP and coaches polls. Experience, coaching and match-ups are all important since unlike the NFL, college teams turn over much more often with new personnel at most positions every single year. Keeping current on this information is vital.
Betting NCAA football can be lucrative if done correctly, but more importantly, it’s just plain enjoyable because it can be beat. College football is one of the best sports to watch with some of the best rivalries taking place in all of sports. The only downfall is that a championship isn’t decided on the field but on a computer-based system that is the Bowl Championship Series. That will change someday and we will all be better off for it.
To visit this online sportsbook got to MySportsbook.com for all your NCAA college football betting needs. Mysportsbook.com online sportsbook accepts Visa and Mastercard credit cards.