The Thunder may have missed the playoffs for the third straight time this season, but its young squad is poised to become a force in the league for years to come. Led by All-NBA point guard, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, the Thunder exceeded its preseason expectations like few other teams in NBA history ever have.
With two first-round picks in the 2023 draft and 2022 second-overall pick, Chet Holmgren set to return next season, OKC is poised to compete with the best teams in the West for years to come.
Oklahoma City Thunder odds
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Thunder NBA Title Odds
OKC entered the season with almost no expectations to reach the NBA Finals. Most oddsmakers had the Thunder listed at worse than 500-1 odds to win the championship.
The team played well above its expectations and moved those odds all the way up to 250-1 by the end of March, but couldn’t sustain its late-season success in the Play-In Tournament and failed to make the Playoffs.
- G Shai Gilgeous-Alexander
- G Josh Giddey
- F Jalen Williams
- G Luguentz Dort
- F Jaylin Williams
- G Isaiah Joe
- F Chet Holmgren
- G Aaron Wiggins
- F Dario Saric
- F Aleksej Pokuševski
- F Kenrich Williams
- F Ousmane Dieng
- G Tre Mann
- F Jeremiah Robinson-Earl
- F Lindy Waters III
- G Jared Butler
- C Olivier Starr
Who are the best players on the Thunder?
Shai Gilgeous-Alexander: They say you can’t teach height and at 6’6” Shai is one of the tallest point guards in the league. His size and quickness power his slithery offensive game and his rangy length his defense.
Considering he scored 24.5 points per game last season and 23.5 the year before, it feels odd to call Shai’s 2022-23 campaign a breakout year. But, when a player increases his scoring average by six points from the previous season and proves himself as a top-10 scorer in the NBA, what else would you call it?
SGA’s leap forward this year was impossible not to notice and made even more impressive by his 11 free throws a game. Only seven footers Giannis Antetokounmpo and Joel Embiid averaged more than Shai, who averaged the ninth-most foul shots per game by a point guard in NBA history.
The least-talked about part of Shai’s game this year was his defense. It would be criminal for SGA to get left off of one of the All-Defensive teams this year. He led all guards with one block per game and ranked fifth in steals with 1.6 a night.
He’ll forever be linked with the trade that sent him from the Los Angeles Clippers to the Thunder in exchange for Paul George in 2019. Hindsight being 20/20, it will inevitably go down as one of the best trades in NBA history for the Thunder.
Since the trade, SGA has averaged more points and assists than George with fewer turnovers. He’s also played in 40 more games, averaging 10 more starts per season than the oft-hurt PG. When you consider the Thunder also received five first-round draft picks along with SGA, it’s hard not to conclude that the Clippers got fleeced.
Josh Giddey: Similar to Shai, Giddey’s game is heavily dependent upon the mismatches he creates with his size. At 6’8”, Giddey showcases incredible ball handling skills for someone so tall.
Giddey had an awesome Rookie season in 2021-22, averaging 12.5 points, 7.8 rebounds, and 6.4 assists. Coming into this season, he desperately needed to improve his three-point shooting after posting an abysmal 26% shooting from deep last year. It’s hard to say his shooting improved too dramatically since he made exactly one three-pointer per game in both of his first two seasons, but his percentage did shoot up to 32% as he attempted about one fewer deep ball per contest.
He also upped his scoring average to 16.6 points in his Sophomore season, thanks to a massive jump in his field goal percentage. After making just 41% of his shots as a Rookie, Giddey managed to connect on 48% this year.
Jalen Williams: J-Will spent the first 20 games of his career with OKC coming off the bench while playing roughly 26 minutes a night. He quickly outperformed his role, averaging 11 points and consistently guarding the other team’s best player on defense.
When Lu Dort went down with an injury in December, head coach Mark Daigneault shifted things around and started Williams at power forward. J-Will kept that job the rest of season, upping his minutes to 32 per game the rest of the way. He even gave Orlando Magic forward Paolo Banchero a legitimate competitor for the Rookie of the Year award with an incredible second half of the season.
The Thunder are loaded with talent, but none of its superstar players bring the type of hard-nosed value that Williams provides. If OKC makes it to the NBA Finals with its current core players, expect J-Will to be a major contributor.
The Odds Finder tool on TheLines.com allows you to easily search between Oklahoma City Thunder team and player props. To view all of the available props in one chart use the search bar below.
Thunder current season
Oklahoma City was the most pleasantly surprising team in the league this year. At 40-42, the team won 16 more games than its preseason projected total, good for most in the league and one more than the overachieving Sacramento Kings.
The Thunder also covered its game spreads 57% of the time, tied with the Knicks for the third-highest percentage in the league.
Looking at OKC’s previous two seasons, many believed it was capable of claiming a spot in the Play-In Tournament both years. However, the team chose to sit its best players down the stretches of both seasons to ensure it had a quality pick in those NBA Drafts, rather than battling for an unlikely shot at the NBA Playoffs.
This season, the Thunder put forth its best efforts for the entirety of the regular season. After crushing the draft the last two years by taking Giddey, Williams and Holmgren, OKC was finally ready to grow its young core, rather than keep searching for a new one.
With a win over the New Orleans Pelicans in its first Play-In game of this season, the Thunder became the first 10 seed in the West to win a game in the short history of the tourney. Earlier that night, Chicago beat Toronto to become the first 10 seed in the East to win in a Play-In game.
OKC’s season took a massive blow before it even got started when last year’s No. 2 overall pick, Chet Holmgren was injured in a Pro-Am game during the preseason. He was trying to defend LeBron James at the rim and simply got unlucky when he landed on his foot in a freak accident.
When Chet went down, so did the Thunder’s ability to defend opposing big men. The team allowed the third-most points to opposing centers and power forwards combined, and gave up the most rebounds per game to the opposing team overall. The team also blocked the eighth-fewest shots in the league. Holmgren blocked the fourth-most shots in NCAA basketball in his only season with Gonzaga.
The future is definitely bright in Oklahoma City. SGA went from a very good young player to an All-NBA superstar this year; Josh Giddey improved his jump shooting and rebounding and is a legitimate problem with his size and skill; Jalen Williams had one of the best seasons for any player drafted outside the top 10; and Holmgren is set to return next season. While he may need time to get back into playing shape and acquire a feel for the pace of the NBA game, he’s going to help the team’s defense a ton just from being on the court.
Then there are the five draft picks sitting in general manager Sam Presti’s pockets for the 2023 NBA Draft. Those picks include two first-rounders, the Thunder’s as well as the Los Angeles Clippers’, which OKC received alongside SGA when it traded Paul George.
OKC only made two trades this year, moving Darius Bazley to Phoenix for Dario Saric, and Mike Muscala to Boston. Both moves came during the week of the trade deadline and both were quietly underrated.
The Thunder finally moved Darius Bazley’s salary and Dario Saric gave the team a defensive presence in the post it was sorely lacking for the last few months of the season. Muscala was a fan-favorite in Oklahoma City during his four years there, but the team needed his roster spot to make room for younger players next season. and has been a solid rotational big for Boston since his arrival.
How to bet on the Thunder
Wagering on the moneyline is the simplest type of NBA bet, determinant upon a team winning or losing the game. Use the below example from a game between the Thunder and Atlanta Hawks.
The negative number on the Thunder moneyline (-140) indicates they are favored to win by oddsmakers. It would take a $140 wager to win $100 profit, plus the $140 originally posted for the bet. A $100 on the Hawks would net $175 in profit if they can pull off the upset.
Books will also set a point spread for NBA games, which considers the margin of victory rather than just the winner and loser. The below example considers the Thunder as underdogs against the Cleveland Cavaliers:
Thunder +4.5 (-115)
Cavaliers -4.5 (-115)
Here the oddsmaker has the Cavs favored by 4.5 points, indicated by the “-4.5.” They need to win by at least five points to cover the point spread and cash the bet. As underdogs, the Thunder can lose by up to four points or win the game for a bet on them to cash.
The (-115) odds listed next to each team’s point spread show the return on a correct bet in American Odds. Both teams have the same -115 odds so a $115 bet on the winning team pays the bettor $100, plus the $115 wagered. A $100 bet on the would earn the bettor $86.96 plus the initial wager if it hits.
Point Total (Over/Under)
A wager on the total is a bet on whether the combined points scored by each team will be more or less than the number set by the oddsmaker. For example, if the point total in a game between the Oklahoma City Thunder and Philadelphia 76ers is set at 235 points and ends with a final score of 121-110, a bet on the under would cash out, whereas a final score that combined for more than 235 points would not.
Betting on games while they’re in-play is known as live betting, which can be a fruitful strategy for those who prepare ahead of time. Take a game that has the Thunder (-250 on the moneyline) as favorites in their matchup with the Detroit Pistons (+200 on the moneyline). A $100 bet on the Thunder before the game starts would only make a $40 profit. You also know that the Thunder often start slowly when they play at home and there’s a good chance the Pistons are able to keep this close early in the game. Using that info, you could hold on to your bet until the game is in motion to see if the odds on the Thunder moneyline shift in your favor.
If the Pistons come out firing and claim an early lead, oddsmakers will move the lines to reflect the current score, increasing the value of a bet on the Thunder to win, upping your profits on a correctly (and well-timed) bet.
Live betting is also where “hedging” your bets can come into play, a tactic by bettors where they make one bet before the game starts and then an opposing bet while the game is live as a way to recoup their potential losses. Let’s say you bet on Oklahoma City (+180 underdogs) to win a game against the Chicago Bulls (-200 favorites), but at halftime the Thunder are down by 10 points. The live odds for a moneyline bet on the Bulls now only pays you back one-third of your money, or -300. By giving up on the Thunder and betting on the Bulls moneyline at -300 during halftime, you’re hedging your initial bet on the Thunder in an attempt to recover some money from a seemingly lost cause.
Parlays and Teasers
Parlay and Teaser bets combine multiple different bets together for an increased payout as long as 100% of your selected bets are successful.
A parlay is slightly more straightforward than a teaser. For example, the Oklahoma City moneyline (-140) against the Miami Heat seems like a good play, as well as the Golden State Warriors (-200 on the moneyline) to defeat the Houston Rockets. You can parlay both of those outcomes together and wager, increasing the odds on your return to +157.
A teaser allows bettors to move multiple point spreads or totals in their preferred direction. Let’s say you like the Thunder (-4.5) in their matchup with the Denver Nuggets as much as you do the Minnesota Timberwolves (-5.5 favorites) in their game with the Utah Jazz. You can tease both lines by four points (most books offer anywhere from four-to-six point teases) to shift the lines to Oklahoma City (-0.5) / Minnesota (-1.5). Now, both teams need to win by four fewer points than the original lines for your bet to cash.
Future bets are placed on props in the longer-term future. Team win totals, award winners, and player performances are common future bets.
The Thunder franchise began in Seattle as the beloved Supersonics before moving to Oklahoma City in 2008. Seattle was coming off three consecutive losing seasons, including the worst record in franchise history in 2007-08, when they managed just 20 wins all year.
Still, the team’s stock was on the rise after drafting Kevin Durant in 2007. Durant validated management’s decision to take him second overall when he won the Rookie of the Year award. The Thunder struck gold in the next two drafts as well, picking up Russell Westbrook in 2008 and James Harden in 2009.
OKC’s new three-headed monster pulled them out of the bottom of the Western Conference and into the playoffs in 2010. When the Thunder made it all the way to the NBA Finals 2012, many expected it to become a staple there as long as it boasted three of the best young players in the league.
Unfortunately, that wasn’t meant to be. James Harden made it public he wasn’t okay with being the third banana on a loaded squid like the Thunder’s. Just one week into the 2012-13 season, Sam Presti traded Harden to the Houston Rockets in exchange for Kevin Martin, Jeremy Lamb, and two future first-round picks, one of which the team used to draft Steven Adams.
The now “Big 2” of Durant and Westbrook couldn’t bring OKC back to the Finals, losing in the conference semifinals and finals respectively over the next two seasons. The 2014-15 season was wasted when Durant went down for the season after just 27 games and OKC missed the playoffs entirely.
KD returned the next year to lead the Thunder back to the Western Conference Finals against the defending champion Golden State Warriors. OKC built a 3-1 series lead, but couldn’t hang on and eventually lost to the Dubs in seven games.
The next offseason, Durant changed the course of the NBA by signing with the Warriors for three years guaranteed and a player option for the fourth year.
OKC spent the next four seasons losing in the first round of the playoffs during what can be described as the” Russell Westbrook Era.” Russ averaged a triple double for three straight seasons from 2016-19, taking home league MVP honors in 2017.
The Thunder decided to move Russ and his massive contract in 2019, trading him to the Rockets for Chris Paul. Paul was a solid stop-gap for the franchise that season, bringing a pass-first philosophy that washed away the hero-ball style of play Russ had deployed since Durant’s departure.
Oklahoma City hasn’t made the playoffs since Paul left for the Phoenix Suns before the 2020-21 season, but that was by design. After three years of hoarding draft picks and young talent, the Thunder are finally poised to compete with the best teams in the West. Expect to see them back in the playoffs and hunting for championships over the next five years or so.
What are the odds that the Thunder are going to win the championship this year?
There aren’t any available odds for the Thunder to win the championship, since the franchise was eliminated from playoff contention.
Are the Thunder out of the playoffs?
The Thunder made it all the way to the Play-In Tournament as the 10 seed in the West. The team managed to win one game in New Orleans over the Pelicans, but couldn’t overcome the Minnesota Timberwolves in its next game and was officially knocked out of playoff contention on April 14.