Mar 16, 2023; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Oklahoma City Thunder guard Shai Gilgeous-Alexander (2) shoots the ball against the Toronto Raptors in the first half at Scotiabank Arena. Mandatory Credit: Dan Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports
- Phoenix is a narrow 2-point road favorite in the Suns vs Thunder odds on Sunday, March 19th
- Kevin Durant continues to be sidelined for the Suns with an ankle injury
- Get the Suns vs Thunder odds and predictions, plus the latest injury news for each team
With under a month left in the NBA regular season, it’s crunch for those teams battling for playoff positioning. For the Phoenix Suns, first place in the division is slipping out of reach and it appears likely they’ll slot into 4th spot in the West.
It’s a totally different story for their opponent on Sunday, March 19th, the Oklahoma City Thunder. Only four wins separate the 5th place squad from 12th place in the Western Conference, with OKC right in the thick of things in 9th.
Tipoff for this game is set for 3:30 pm ET from the Paycom Center in Oklahoma City with each cities regional Bally Sports network broadcasting the game. The Suns defeated the Thunder 132-101 last week and are once again the chalk in the NBA odds this time around.
Suns vs Thunder Odds
|Phoenix Suns||-2 (-110)||-135||O 234.5 (-110)|
|Oklahoma City Thunder||+2 (-110)||+115||U 234.5 (-110)|
Phoenix snapped a three game losing skid in their last contest, defeating Orlando 116-113. That was only their 2nd win in five games since Kevin Durant got injured in the warm-up before his scheduled home debut for the Suns that didn’t come to fruition against Oklahoma City.
Despite missing the Easy Money Sniper, the Suns won that game easily, 132-101. Once again, the Suns are the favorites against OKC, laying 2-points. One big difference in the lineups compared to the last time they met, is that the NBA’s 5th leading scorer, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander is expected to be playing for the Thunder.
Odds as of March 18th at DraftKings Sportsbook.
Gilgeous-Alexander on Fire Since Return to Lineup
Coming off their first loss with their MVP in the lineup since he returned from injury, the Thunder need every victory they can get down the stretch. Gilgeous-Alexander, who was already being mentioned in the NBA MVP odds when he went out of the lineup in February, has taken his scoring to another level since returning to health.
https://t.co/wWGNmWnCY9’s updated MVP Ladder:
1. Joel Embiid
2. Nikola Jokic
3. Giannis Antetokounmpo
4. Jayson Tatum
5. Luka Doncic
6. Domantas Sabonis
7. Julius Randle
8. Shai Gilgeous-Alexander
9. James Harden
10. Devin Booker
— NBACentral (@TheNBACentral) March 17, 2023
He has averaged 34 points per game on 55.1% shooting from the field in the five games he’s been active for this month, helping propel the Thunder to a 4-1 record in those games. Without him, OKC owns just a 2-2 mark in March.
It’s crunch time for the Thunder as they look to qualify for the postseason for the first time in three years. Finishing anywhere from 5th to 12th is still realistic in a very crowded Western Conference playoff picture.
Western Conference Standings
|5. Los Angeles Clippers||37-33|
|6. Dallas Mavericks||36-35|
|7. Golden State Warriors||36-35|
|8. Minnesota Timberwolves||35-36|
|9. Oklahoma City Thunder||34-36|
|10. Los Angeles Lakers||34-37|
|11. Utah Jazz||33-36|
|New Orleans Pelicans||33-37|
**Prior to Saturday’s Games**
On the season, the Thunder have brought the best bang for your buck of any team in the Association when wagering on them to win straight up. Even though they’re under .500, underdog odds have paid off quite well, and OKC have been returning 16.55% on your investment if you’ve taken them every game on the moneyline this year.
Suns Struggling Since Durant Went Down
It didn’t appear as if Durant’s injury would phase them much, as the Suns destroyed the Thunder by 31 points the night he got injured. Since then, it’s been a bit of a disaster.
“There are no title aspirations that are reasonable for the Phoenix Suns without Kevin Durant. … If he ain’t there, they don’t have a snowball’s chance in hell.”
— First Take (@FirstTake) March 9, 2023
Phoenix lost three in a row, with none of those defeats being that close, before squeaking out a three point victory over Orlando at home on Thursday. They’ve failed to cover in four straight games. When it comes to the NBA championship odds, the Suns have slipped back to being the 3rd betting favorite after this poor stretch of play.
Offensively, they’ve come back down to Earth since their first four games in the month where they scored 125 or more points in three games. They have failed to hit the 120 mark in four games since, no doubt hindered by the loss of Durant.
Suns vs Thunder Prediction
While Phoenix definitely doesn’t want to slide out of the top four, this game is significantly more important to the Thunder. They’ve lost in both head-to-head meeting with the Suns this year, but both of those were on the road, where OKC is 13-21 this year as opposed to a 21-15 mark at home.
Suns vs Thunder Recent Results
|03/08/2023||PHX 132 – OKC 101||PHX||Over|
|02/24/2023||PHX 124 – OKC 115||Push||Over|
|04/03/2022||OKC 117 – PHX 96||OKC||Under|
|02/24/2022||OKC 104 – PHX 124||PHX||Over|
|12/29/2021||PHX 115 – OKC 97||PHX||Under|
The Suns have absolutely owned the Thunder over the last couple years, going 7-1 against OKC in their last eight meetings, but that only loss came on the road and the Thunder are 2-1 ATS in those contests on their own court. In addition, the Thunder are 4-0 ATS in their last four home games.
Both teams haven’t played since Thursday, giving them each two full days off between games. Although they sport one of the youngest squads in the league, extra rest has proved beneficial to the Thunder this campaign, as they’ve gone 10-5-1 ATS with at least two days off, as opposed to a 6-8-1 ATS mark for the Suns in the same situation.
Not only are we picking the Thunder to cover in the NBA odds, but our prediction is that they win this game outright and take some revenge for that brutal loss to the Suns last week.
Pick: Oklahoma City Thunder Moneyline (+115)
George has had a lifelong love affair with sports and studying sports statistics since he was a kid. He graduated from Ryerson University with a Bachelor’s Degree in Journalism and has worked in the sports & media industry ever since in various roles from writer to producer.