Thunder Begin Quest for an NBA Title


The Oklahoma City Thunder are the No. 1 seed in the Western Conference for just the second time in franchise history as the Thunder. If you’re not an NBA historian, the Thunder began as the Seattle SuperSonics in 1967. The Sonics moved out of Seattle after the 2006-07 season to Oklahoma City where they became the Thunder.

The franchise has had a few stretches of playoff runs but, recently, the Thunder have not had much postseason success. This season is actually the first season since the COVID season of 2019-20 that the Thunder have qualified for the playoffs. Oklahoma City did more than just qualify.

Thunder Begin Quest for an NBA Title
The Oklahoma City Thunder will play the New Orleans Pelicans in the first round of the 2024 NBA playoffs.

OKC won 57 games, the most since the 2013-14 season when the Thunder won the Northwest Division and earned the second seed in the NBA playoffs. The Thunder would go on to lose to San Antonio in the conference finals that season. Can they win the franchise’s second NBA title? The Thunder were the SuperSonics when they beat the Washington Bullets (now Wizards) in 1979.

The Thunder & Their Chances of a Title

Oklahoma City is not the favorite to win the NBA title. That distinction belongs to the Boston Celtics. What’s interesting is that the Thunder are not the favorite to win the Western Conference either. Defending NBA champion Denver is the +120 favorite to win the West. The Thunder are next on the board at +500. 

NBA futures bets on the Thunder for the NBA championship will pay out at a nice +1300 rate. A $100 bet on the Thunder right now would net profits of $1300 if OKC can pull off a dramatic win. The Thunder and the Nuggets actually both finished with identical 57-25 records. Oklahoma City won the tiebreaker by beating Denver in three of four regular season games this season.

Thunder Begin Quest for an NBA Title
Denver is favored to win the Western Conference.

The Thunder are a huge favorite to win their first-round playoff series. OKC is a -650 favorite to defeat the New Orleans Pelicans in Round 1. The Pelicans will play without Zion Williamson in Game 1 on Sunday night and likely will not have him for the remainder of the series. If the Thunder do win their first-round series, they would face the winner of the Clippers-Mavericks series.

Uncle Sal to the Rescue Again

I’ve said it here many times, but if you like winning bets you need to jump on the back of good ‘ole Uncle Sal Lombardi and ride his coattails to some serious wins. He was at it again yesterday, putting 14 total picks into the database. When the dust cleared last night, Sal won 10 of those picks and led all of our handicappers with profits of $665.

Thunder Begin Quest for an NBA Title
Sal Lombardi is killing it once again!

It’s been a solid week for Sal, who has put a hurting on the sportsbooks. He isn’t the only one either. SWJ Sports, Robert Ferguson, James Acker, and Diego Garcia all won at least $300 yesterday. All four of those cappers, like Sal, are exclusive to Sports Hub. If you want their help, you need to become a member of Sports Hub…which is easy, by the way. Oh, and it’s free!

Let’s check out yesterday.

  • Make money, money: Sal Lombardi went 10-4 yesterday and took home $665. Over the last three days, Sal is 20-10 and has earned $1150. Take the last seven days and Sal is a whopping 45-24 with $2155 in profits! If I were you, I’d want to know what Sal is betting on today. The Thunder? Maybe. You’ll have to check the members area to find out.
  • SWJ Sports: Scott from SWJ Sports is a regular contributor to Sports Hub. He’s also one of our expert handicappers and yesterday he went 9-4 and earned $570 in winnings. He hit 7 of 9 MLB picks yesterday.
  • Fergie: Robert Ferguson is another Sports Hub expert who is no stranger to the Top 5. Yesterday, he hit all four of his picks and earned $405 in profits. He does have picks for today’s NBA playoff games. Does he have one for the Thunder? You’ll have to find that out for yourself.
  • Acker the attacker: James Acker has been here before too. He hit all three of his picks yesterday to earn $300. 
  • Where in the world is Diego Garcia?: Diego came right back after a 3-0 day and put up another one. 3-0 once again with $300 in profits. That gives Diego $517 earned over the last three days.

What Is Trending in Sports?

This time of year, it’s one thing that is on the minds of fans and sports bettors…playoffs! We’ve got NBA and NHL playoffs that started yesterday and will take us into June and the summer. There are other sports trending as well.

Let’s check it out.

  • Edwards goes off for 33: Minnesota’s Anthony Edwards poured in 33 points as the TWolves destroyed Phoenix in Game 1 of their first-round playoff series.
  • Nuggets win: The Lakers jumped out to a double-digit first-half lead before Denver came out after halftime and crushed LA’s hopes of pulling an upset. Nikola Jokic had 32 points and 12 rebounds in Denver’s 114-103 win.
  • Manning: We all remember the Manning name. Peyton, Eli…and now Arch. Arch Manning threw three touchdown passes in the Texas Longhorns’ spring game yesterday. Could be another Manning headed for greatness.
  • Big favorites: The Boston Celtics are a 14.5-point favorite over Miami in today’s Game 1 of their series. The Oklahoma City Thunder are an 8.5-point favorite against New Orleans tonight. Both Miami and New Orleans will play without their leading scorers – Jimmy Butler and Zion Williamson, respectively.

Thunder-Pelicans Close Out Big NBA Day

It’s that time of year. The NBA and NHL give us playoffs. There are four games each in the NBA and the NHL today. That means plenty of opportunities for bettors. Do yourself a favor and check the Sports Hub picks database. As you saw earlier in my section about yesterday’s performances by our cappers, our guys win and win consistently.

Here’s what you might win betting on today.

  1. NBA playoffs: The Thunder and Pelicans will play the final NBA playoff game of the day, starting at 9:30 p.m. The day starts with Miami at Boston beginning at 1:00 p.m. Dallas plays at the LA Clippers at 3:30 p.m. and Indiana is at Milwaukee starting at 7:00 p.m.
  1. NHL playoffs: The NHL playoffs continue today with four games today, all of which are on ESPN. Tampa Bay at Florida kicks it off at 12:30 p.m. The Capitals and Rangers play at 3:00 p.m. and the Rockies and Jets start at 7:00 p.m. The nightcap has Nashville at Vancouver with a 10:00 p.m. start time.
  2. Sunday baseball: It’s a nice Sunday afternoon MLB schedule with just two night games. Texas at Atlanta is on ESPN at 7:00 p.m. Seattle and Colorado are playing the second game of a doubleheader at 8:10 p.m.
  3. More elite soccer today: Manchester United and Coventry City are playing in England’s FA Cup right now. There are four Premier League matches today. Bundesliga, La Liga, Serie A, and Ligue 1 all have multiple matches today. There are also two MLS matches tonight.
  4. RBC Heritage: The world’s No. 1-ranked golfer, Scottie Scheffler, took over the lead at Harbour Town Golf Links in Hilton Head, S.C. Scheffler has a one-stroke lead heading into today’s final round of play.
  5. Corales Puntacana Championship: Wesley Bryan maintains a one-shot lead at Puntacana Resort & Club. The final round is today.
  6. GEICO 500: Today’s NASCAR race comes to you from Talladega Speedway in Alabama. Michael McDowell starts in the pole. Brad Keselowski and Joey Logano are the favorites to win today.
  7. Sunday football: After three games yesterday, the UFL has one final Week 4 game on the schedule. It’s an all-Texas battle as the Arlington Renegades and the Houston Roughnecks play this afternoon, starting at 2:00 p.m. The winner will claim its first victory of the season. Both teams are 0-3.
  8. Tennis: Jan-Lennard Struff won the BMX Open on the ATP Tour.  The Barcelona Open final is in progress right now between Casper Ruud and Stefanos Tsitsipas. Marton Fucsovics won the Tiriac Open in Bucharest. In women’s action, Elena Rybakina won the Porsche Tennis Grand Prix. The Open Capfinances Rouen Metropole final is being played now between Sloane Stephens and Magda Linette. Suzan Lamens won the Oeiras Ladies Open in Portugal. 

That’s it for today. Enjoy your Sunday. Check our picks database before placing your bets. Remember, our handicappers put picks into the database throughout the day. Check it repeatedly throughout the day for more picks.