NBA Basketball Betting — Westbrook is Back For Thunder in Rematch with Heat

The Oklahoma City Thunder did not need All-Star point guard Russell Westbrook the first time they took apart the Miami Heat, but he is back and available for action after sitting out 27 games with a knee injury.

How much will this affect the outcome on Thursday night as these teams meet in NBA basketball betting action at the Chesapeake Energy Arena? And will this serve as a preview of the NBA Finals? These are the questions WagerWeb customers have on their minds as this 8 PM ET game approaches (televised by TNT).

Oklahoma City possesses the best record in the NBA right now, at 43-12. They have also been solid performers against the basketball pointspread, compiling a record of 32-23.

Miami is 2.5 games behind the Indiana Pacers n the race for the best record in the East. They are 38-14 on the season, but have not been a very profitable bunch, with a 23-28 spread mark. Miami gone 18-10 on the road this season, and has just continued a string of games in which they have beaten Western Conference playoff contenders as a visitor (at Golden State, the Clippers, Phoenix and Dallas). They will be doubly dangerous because they are seeking revenge for a 17-point defeat they suffered at home to the Thunder just a few weeks ago.

In the NBA basketball betting lines that have been posted at WagerWeb for this game, the Thunder is favored to complete the season sweep:

Oklahoma City Thunder -3
Miami Heat +3

Over 207 points -110
Under 207 points -110

Westbrook sat out 27 games with what has been a continuing knee problem. In fact, he has had three surgical procedures in less than a year, and that would lead us to believe that he would be brought back into the swing of things slowly.

There’s another reason for that as well; Oklahoma City went 20-7 straight up with Westbrook out of the lineup, and frankly, they have found a formula that has brought success. Granted, it involves Kevin Durant taking a very high percentage of this team’s shots, but the NBA scoring leader has averaged 35 points per game while Westbrook has been absent.

What might be lost on some NBA bettors is the fact that he is also averaged 6.3 assists during that time. This means that if Westbrook comes back into the mix, the chemistry is going to change, inasmuch as he likes to get his share of shots as well.

Miami certainly is not happy about what happened the last time these two teams met, on January 29 at the American Airlines Arena. In that game, Durant had 33 points and the Thunder shredded the Heat defense for 16 triples in a 112-95 victory. It proved difficult for Miami’s front line to deal with Serge Ibaka, who scored 22 points.And as WagerWeb customers are aware, center Greg Oden, the former #1 overall NBA draft pick, is really not ready to play serious minutes for the Heat.

Basketball bettors must be wondering whether the same can be said of Dwyane Wade, who has had this nagging foot problem known as “drop foot,” and refused to sit out the All-Star game. Wade played two nights ago as Miami captured a 117-106 road win at Dallas. He played 34 minutes and scored 13 points, but he has been on and off as far as his readiness on a day-to-day basis.

Oklahoma City has been an impressive team at home, winning 23 of 26 games, including nine straight. The Thunder has been a very potent offensive team on its home floor, shooting 48.4% and averaging almost 107 points per game. But Miami, which has been the NBA’s best shooting team practically the whole season, is 49.5% accurate as the visitor.

The Heat has gotten more respect from the oddsmakers at WagerWeb as far as NBA futures are concerned; they are +200 to win the championship for third straight time, while the Thunder comes in at a price of +325.

Yes, it’s “Game On” at WagerWeb, where you can get a 50% deposit bonus and take your pick of all the great odds, props and futures that are available for NBA basketball betting action – sign up for account with us!

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