With the Oklahoma City Thunder having a very solid stretch of basketball to open up 2023, they’ve got stats to back up their arrival ahead of schedule that go beyond the simple win/loss columns.
Vegas and the oddsmakers set a spread for each game, and their lines are usually quite accurate and hard to pick. This hasn’t been the case for the Thunder, though. Whether underdogs or, in rare cases, favorites, they’ve done a very solid job at covering the spread.
This proves that they’ve been great at losing games in a close manner. They’ve got a positive net rating, despite being one game behind .500. Since they’re oftentimes underdogs, they’ve done a good job at keeping the games close enough to backdoor cover the spread.
Despite picking up some national media attention, the Thunder are still being underestimated night in and night out. On paper, they look like a scheduled loss, but, frankly, they can compete with any team on any given night, no matter who plays.
With only a 23-24 record thus far, which is much further than national media outlets had predicted, the Thunder are 30-16-1 against the spread, which is an incredible record against the spread. For example, the 24-24 Atlanta Hawks, who the Thunder will next compete against, are 20-27-1 against the spread. This aligns with their -0.7 net rating this season, despite the even record. Even the Philadelphia 76ers, who are 30-16 on the season, have a harder time than the Thunder consistently covering the spread, as they’re 26-19-1 against the spread this season.
The Thunder consistently prove in many facets that they’re not to be underestimated or too big of underdogs, yet it consistently happens. Behind Shai Gilgeous-Alexander’s All-NBA-level season, Josh Giddey’s outbreak, and the Thunder’s overall ever-improving squad, they truly are a threat to any team on any given night.
The young, energetic squad has shown the league, Vegas, and national media that they’re no longer roll overs, and will do whatever it takes to compete on a nightly basis.