Oklahoma City Thunder at Dallas Mavericks odds, picks and predictions


The Oklahoma City Thunder (14-28) travel to American Airlines Center Monday to take on the Dallas Mavericks (24-19). Tip-off is scheduled for 8:30 p.m. ET. Below, we look at the Thunder vs. Mavericks odds and lines, and make our expert NBA picks, predictions and bets.

The Thunder might not have a good record, sitting 14th in the Western Conference, but they cover at the second-highest rate in the NBA with a 27-14-1 ATS record. The Thunder are led by G Shai Gilgeous-Alexander‘s 22.4 points per game.

They battle another strong backcourt in Dallas with potential MVP Luka Doncic. The Mavericks are also among the 13 teams covering at over a 50% rate at 23-20 ATS. The Mavs have covered six of their last seven games.

Thunder at Mavericks odds, spread and lines

Odds provided by Tipico Sportsbook; access USA TODAY Sports Scores and Sports Betting Odds hub for a full list. Lines last updated at 11:15 a.m. ET.

  • Money line: Thunder +570 (bet $100 to win $570) | Mavericks -900 (bet $900 to win $100)
  • Against the spread (ATS): Thunder +11.5 (-115) | Mavericks -11.5 (-107)
  • Over/Under (O/U): 209.5 (O: -115 | U: -107)

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Thunder at Mavericks key injuries

Thunder

  • G Kenrich Williams (health and safety protocols) out

Mavericks

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Thunder at Mavericks odds, lines, picks and predictions

Prediction

Mavericks 106, Thunder 101

Money line

PASS on the money line. I like the Mavericks at home but there is no value to bet them at -900. If anything, the Thunder at +570 have some, yet marginal, value.

Against the spread

BET on the THUNDER +11.5 (-115).

The Thunder may not win games, but they compete, and that’s why they’ve been a covering machine. OKC is 13-7 ATS as a road underdog.

The Mavericks have the league’s second-best turnover rate, and while the Thunder don’t create many turnovers they still have a defensive rating in the top half of the league. The Thunder should be able to impact Doncic’s style of play with sizeable defensive-minded guard Lu Dort.

Oklahoma City’s weak point defensively is in their interior defense, but that’s not where the Mavs offense thrives. Dallas ranks 28th in points in the paint. Considering the premier defense the Thunder have, I expect them to be able to limit the Dallas offense and hold the game within single digits.

Over/Under

“LEAN” to the UNDER 209.5 (-107).

I don’t love Unders this low, but the Mavericks play at the second-slowest pace in the NBA.

They should dictate the pace and are just 4-15-1 O/U at home. The Thunder, on the other hand, rank dead last in true shooting percentage and have struggled to score efficiently.

Given that both teams have a defensive rating in the top half of the league, a defensive-minded game with few points should be what we see Monday evening.

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New York Knicks at Oklahoma City Thunder odds, picks and predictions


The New York Knicks (17-18) travel to Paycom Center Friday to take on the Oklahoma City Thunder (12-22). Tip-off is scheduled for 8 p.m. ET. Below, we look at the Knicks vs. Thunder odds and lines, and make our expert NBA picks, predictions and bets.

The Knicks are coming into this matchup having won three straight. In their last two, they’ve scored less than 100 points but allowed under 90. The Knicks will be without their star forward Julius Randle in this one.

This season, New York has been one of the worst covering teams in the league, a drastic difference from a season ago. As for the Thunder, while they’re still near the bottom of the West, they’ve covered at a high rate, sitting with a 21-13 ATS record.

Led by G Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, the Thunder will be the healthier team in this matchup. They’ve covered six of their last games, failing to do so as 16-point underdogs in their last game against Phoenix.

Also seeBet Slippin’ Podcast: NBA December 31 breakdown

Knicks at Thunder odds, spread and lines

Odds provided by Tipico Sportsbook; access USA TODAY Sports Scores and Sports Betting Odds hub for a full list. Lines last updated Friday at 1:05 p.m. ET.

  • Money line: Knicks -200 (bet $200 to win $100) | Thunder +160 (bet $160 to win $100)
  • Against the spread (ATS): Knicks -4.5 (-120) | Thunder +4.5 (-105)
  • Over/Under (O/U): 206.5 (O: -107 | U: -115)

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Knicks at Thunder key injuries

Knicks

  • G Evan Fournier (ankle) questionable
  • F Julius Randle (health and safety protocols) out
  • C Nerlens Noel (health and safety protocols) out
  • G Derrick Rose (ankle) out

Thunder

  • PG Shai Gilgeous-Alexander (ankle) questionable
  • F Darius Bazley (health and safety protocols) out
  • G Josh Giddey (health and safety protocols) out
  • Aleksej Pokusevski (health and safety protocols) out

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Knicks at Thunder odds, lines, picks and predictions

Prediction

Thunder 99, Knicks 96

Money line

SPRINKLE on the THUNDER (+160). OKC is a young team and has played far better at home this season. They’re 12-22 on the season but 7-10 at Paycom Center.

With that in mind, the Knicks will be without two of their top four scoring threats while OKC’s best two players could be active.

While they’re missing three role players, SGA and Dort, are the only players averaging over 11 points per game. Wait until the final report on SGA to bet this game at all, especially in favor of the Thunder.

If he’s active, consider the sprinkle and ensuing bet on OKC. The Knicks are led by a slew of players, so missing several key rotational players should be more detrimental.

Against the spread

BET on the THUNDER +4.5 (-105). The Knicks are getting more tickets, around 58% per Pregame.com at the time of writing, but are getting just slightly more cash at 55%.

The sportsbooks have reacted by dropping this from +6 to +4.5 despite more money being on the Knicks. With that in mind, I’ll side with the sportsbook and take the side getting some reverse line movement.

Over/Under

“LEAN” to the UNDER 206.5 (-115) as the Knicks just haven’t been playing at a high speed lately. Their last two games have both separately totaled under 190 points.

New York will again be without a key three-point shooter and their top scorer. That should be consequential to their offensive efficiency.

At the same time, the Knicks are 15-20 O/U while the Thunder are 14-20 O/U. It’s been far more profitable betting against points for both teams this season.

Bet legally online with a trusted partner: Tipico Sportsbook, Sportsbook Wire’s official sportsbook partner in CO, NJ and, soon, IA. Bet now!

If you’re looking for more sports betting picks and tips, access all of our content at SportsbookWire.com and BetFTW. Please gamble responsibly.

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Additional NBA sports coverage:
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Gannett may earn revenue from Tipico for audience referrals to betting services. Tipico has no influence over nor are any such revenues in any way dependent on or linked to the newsrooms or news coverage. See Tipico.com for Terms and Conditions. 21+ only. Gambling problem? Call 1-800-GAMBLER (NJ), 1-800-522-4700 (CO), 1-800-BETS-OFF (IA).





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Travel picks up at Indy Airport – WISH-TV | Indianapolis News | Indiana Weather


INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — There were scattered flight delays Sunday, which Transportation Security Administration (TSA) officials said was one of the busiest days for travel before the COVID-19 pandemic.

An estimated 38,000 people were in town for the Bands of America competition.

David Eyler attended a percussionists convention happening at the same time.

“We had groups come in from South Carolina, from Texas, all around the country,” said Eyler.

He was preparing to board a flight to Minneapolis, where he will connect to Fargo, North Dakota.

“Just getting through security wasn’t as bad as I thought. I’ve heard maybe some people have had problems and maybe some airports have had long lines,” he said.

The TSA says that although business travel isn’t where it was before the pandemic, airports are starting to get busy.

“We’re seeing a much larger number of leisure travelers — people who have not traveled much in the last year and a half. Those are people who are not as familiar with those checkpoint etiquette procedures,” said TSA Spokesperson Jessica Mayle.

Mayle encourages travelers to review a list of TSA-approved items that you can bring through security before you get to the airport.

Some airlines are short-staffed, and that combined with potential severe weather could ground some people’s travel plans.

Ethan Anderson got to the airport extra early for his flight to Virginia only to discover his plane to Washington, D.C., was delayed.

“My layover from D.C. to Norfolk is a little close — I’m going to be cutting it a little close,” said Anderson.

The TSA says passenger volume should get to about 95% of where it was before the pandemic.



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Munckhof picks up Dutch public sector accounts


Dutch travel management company Munckhof has picked up the
accounts of driver and vehicle licensing agency RDW and the Dutch land registry
Kadaster.

The award of the Kadaster account was made following a European
tender procedure and came into effect on 1 September for an initial period of
three years. Kadaster spends around €235,000 a year on business travel.

A Kadaster spokesperson said, “The fact that Munckhof was
able to retain its employees and their knowledge and skills during the pandemic
by organising alternative activities is very positive. It gives us a lot of
confidence that the experience of travel consultants has not been lost and that
we can work together with a reputable travel partner.”

The company’s 24/7 service support and its traveller
information app were also recognised as important in its winning of the account.

“We are delighted that the land registry has chosen us
as a travel partner. Because we can respond to the wishes and needs of Kadaster
and its travellers with our own experienced people and technology, we are able
to take the burden off them,” said Tom Roefs, general manager of the Munckhof
Group.

The RDW contract, meanwhile, is worth up to €3 million over a three-year
period.



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As travel picks up, so do scams. Beware of car rental scams



FORT MYERS

You get off the plane, go pick up your luggage and try to go rent a car.

No matter where you try and rent a car, there is a shortage.

Criminals are using the shortage to empty your bank account and fill up their wallets.

The shortage is just another problem created by the COVID-19 pandemic.

During the pandemic, travel came to a halt and rental cars were stored by the thousands and then sold.

Now people are traveling once again and car rental prices have skyrocketed so scammers are taking advantage.

They are creating fake websites, where they are offering deals too good to be true.

Bryan Oglesby of the Better Business Bureau has seen this new scam happening across the country and in Southwest Florida.

“Scammers are seeing this as an opportunity to get their in-search results to pretend to be a rental car company, showing up when consumers are calling these numbers, they’re seeing great deals and then when they are going to book these rental car companies, the tip-off to the scam is they are asking you to pay with a gift card or a pre-paid debit card,” Oglesby said.

Here are some tips to avoid getting scammed:

  • Never pay with gift cards or prepaid debit cards
  • Go directly to the company website and check the URL carefully
  • Beware of sponsored links
  • Call the company to verify good deals

Rental car shortages are expected to continue as is this scam.

If someone tries to scam you, report it to law enforcement and the Better Business Bureau.

To report a scam, visit the Better Business Bureau here.

From the BBB: BBB Scam Alert: When booking a rental car, watch out for phony deals



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Air travel picks up but recovery will take years | News


RICHMOND, Va. – Air travel plummeted during the pandemic. Experts say that travel trends will change as more people get vaccinated and begin traveling again.

Over 1 million passengers have traveled daily since mid-March, according to Transportation Security Administration checkpoint numbers. Mother’s Day weekend saw the largest number of travelers since early March 2020. The total of passengers nationwide so far this year moving through TSA checkpoints is just over 40% of all traffic last year.

Virginia air travel is already picking up, according to several airports throughout the state. Robert Yingling, spokesman for the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority, said numbers are low compared to 2019 but travel is increasing. He speaks on behalf of both the Washington Dulles International and Ronald Reagan National airports.

“Travel volumes at Reagan National and Dulles are still well below where they were at this time in 2019,” Yingling said. “We have seen gradual recovery since the pandemic.”

Troy Bell, the director of marketing and air service development at Richmond International Airport, said that air travel has increased as more people get COVID-19 vaccines and with the warming weather.

“March comes around and then all of a sudden we see about a 60% increase,” Bell said. “We’ve seen a true increase and we think this one’s going to stick.”

Air travel has increased daily at the Norfolk International Airport since January, according to Charles Braden, the director of market development.

“We had a big surge around the holidays; Christmas and New Year’s holiday,” Braden said.

International travel was “decimated” due to restrictive quarantine measures at the time and countries requiring travelers to take a COVID-19 test, according to Braden. Due to this, he said that international travel will not recover for some time.

“It’s not expected really to recover for several years to the levels that it were previously,” Braden said.

People are still traveling within the United States, however, to destinations where they can get outside and socially distance, Braden said.

“Even in the fall, a lot of the activity was to destinations that you could call open, and by that I mean places like beaches or mountains or deserts,” Braden said.

Bell also said that many tourists departing Richmond are traveling to less urban, open areas.

“People are traveling to places like Florida,” Bell said. “They’re also traveling to some of the mountain destinations where the perception is lots of space, lots of fresh air, lots of elbow room and few restrictions.”

Some of the most popular U.S. travel destinations are Orlando, Florida; Los Angeles; Denver; and Atlanta, according to Yingling.

There are going to be a number of changes in air travel trends according to Rick Hamilton, a senior distinguished engineer for Optum and a frequent business flier.

“I think that leisure travel is probably going to pick up faster than business travel because everybody has this pent up desire for a vacation or to go see distant loved ones,” Hamilton said.

Hamilton said that for the airline industry to recover, business travel needs to pick back up again, but it may resume more slowly than personal travel.

“If I’m flying internationally, my company will buy a business class ticket,” he said. “If I’m flying internationally on my own dollar, I tend to buy coach tickets, economy class, and so the airline industry needs business travel to resume in order for their business models to really work.”

However, Hamilton said that businesses are completing more tasks online and virtually, using video conferencing software, for example.

Even though businesses may have found an alternate method to traveling through the use of online tools, the prospect of better deals through face-to-face interaction could spark business travel once again, Bell explained.

Bell said once more companies start sending more representatives out to the field others will follow.

“As soon as that happens, you’re going to find that other folks make the adjustment to get out there, too,” Bell said.

After 15 months, Hamilton is ready to fly again and recently bought his first air tickets for leisure travel. He advises travelers to follow guidelines and get vaccinated.

“I’m not extremely excited about sitting next to a stranger, you know, next to me on a plane,” Hamilton said. “But I believe that once you’re vaccinated and follow all the normal CDC protocols, that it’s an acceptable risk to get life back to normal, or something resembling normal.”

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced Thursday that vaccinated individuals don’t have to wear masks or social distance unless a law or regulation requires it. Passengers must still wear masks in airports and on planes, however.

Capital News Service is a program of Virginia Commonwealth University’s Robertson School of Media and Culture. Students in the program provide state government coverage for a variety of media outlets in Virginia.



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Milwaukee Bucks at Indiana Pacers odds, picks and prediction


The Milwaukee Bucks (44-25) travel to meet the Indiana Pacers (33-36) Thursday at Bankers Life Fieldhouse. Tip-off is set for 7 p.m. ET. Below, we analyze the Bucks vs. Pacers odds and lines, with NBA picks and predictions.

The Bucks picked up a 114-102 win against the Orlando Magic last time out, although they failed to cover a 15.5-point number. They are 0-4 ATS across the past four, while the Over has hit in three of those outings.

The Pacers posted a 103-94 win over the Philadelphia 76ers on Tuesday, winning outright as a 5.5-point underdog as the Under connected. The Under has cashed in consecutive games for the first time since March 31-April 2.

Bucks at Pacers: Odds, spread and lines

Odds via BetMGM; access USA TODAY Sports’ betting odds for a full list. Lines last updated at 7:50 a.m. ET.

  • Money line : Bucks -400 (bet $400 to win $100) | Pacers +310 (bet $100 to win $310)
  • Against the spread/ATS : Bucks -8.5 (-110) | Pacers +8.5 (-110)
  • Over/Under : 240.5 (O: -110 | U: -110)

Bucks at Pacers: Key injuries

Bucks

  • SG Axel Toupane (oblique) out

Pacers

  • SG Malcolm Brogdon (hamstring) out
  • PG Aaron Holiday (foot) questionable
  • SG Jeremy Lamb (knee) out
  • PG Edmond Sumner (knee) out
  • C Myles Turner (toe) out
  • SF T.J. Warren (foot) out

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Bucks at Pacers: Odds, lines, predictions and picks

Prediction

Bucks 123, Pacers 116

Money line (ML)

The Bucks (-400) will cost you four times your potential return, and that’s risky any time, but especially on the road.

AVOID.

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Against the spread (ATS)

The PACERS +8.5 (-110) are worth a play catching more than four buckets on its home court. Indiana has clinched a play-in spot, but they’re still in the mix to serve as host for one of the games. Indiana has also cashed in five of the past seven games at home against the Bucks.

Over/Under (O/U)

OVER 240.5 (-110) is the play in this one, as Indiana’s defense has been rather erratic lately. Yes, they did hold Philadelphia to a season-low 94 points last time out, but the Over is 7-3 across the past 10 games overall. And the Over is also 6-2 in Milwaukee’s past eight on the road against teams with a losing home mark.

Want some action on this one? Place a bet at BetMGM now. For more sports betting picks and tips, visit SportsbookWire.com. Please gamble responsibly.

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Additional NBA sports coverage:

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Gannett may earn revenue from audience referrals to betting services. Newsrooms are independent of this relationship and there is no influence on news coverage. This information is for entertainment purposes only. We make no representations or warranties as to the accuracy, completeness, or reliability of any content.





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Houston Rockets at Los Angeles Lakers odds, picks and prediction


The Houston Rockets (16-53) travel to meet the Los Angeles Lakers (39-30) Wednesday at Staples Center. Tip-off is set for 10:30 p.m. ET. Below, we analyze the Rockets vs. Lakers odds and lines, with NBA picks and predictions.

The Rockets put up a fight last time out, falling 140-129 in Portland as 14.5-point underdogs. While they’re on a six-game losing streak, Houston has covered its past three games as underdogs of 14.5 or more points.

The Lakers are one-game behind the Dallas Mavericks for the sixth spot, as they look to avoid the play-in round. L.A. is coming off a 101-99 win in overtime, winning back-to-back games for the first time since March 26-28.

Rockets at Lakers: Odds, spread and lines

Odds via BetMGM; access USA TODAY Sports’ betting odds for a full list. Lines last updated at 7:40 a.m. ET.

  • Money line : Rockets +750 (bet $100 to win $750) | Lakers -1200 (bet $1,200 to win $100)
  • Against the spread/ATS : Rockets +13 (-105) | Lakers -13 (-115)
  • Over/Under : 223.5 (O: -110 | U: -110)

Rockets at Lakers: Key injuries

Rockets

  • SG Avery Bradley (personal) questionable
  • SG Eric Gordon (groin) out
  • SF Danuel House Jr. (ankle) questionable
  • SG Kevin Porter Jr. (ankle) questionable
  • PF Christian Wood (ankle) questionable

Lakers

  • SF Jared Dudley (knee) out
  • SF LeBron James (ankle) out
  • PG Dennis Schroder (calf) out

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Place a $1 bet on either team’s money line, WIN an additional $100 (in free bets) if either team hits a 3-pointer during the game today. Promotion available in CO, IA, IN, MI, NJ, TN, VA and WV. PA residents, don’t miss BetMGM ‘s risk-free, first-bet offer!

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Rockets at Lakers: Odds, lines, predictions and picks

Prediction

Lakers 124, Rockets 115

Money line (ML)

The Lakers (-1200) will cost you 12 times your potential return, and there is never a reason to bet a favorite that heavy.

AVOID.

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Against the spread (ATS)

The ROCKETS +13 (-110) are worth playing as they have been on fire against big numbers. They’re 9-1 ATS this season as an underdog of 12.5 or more points. The Lakers -13 (-110) are just 3-8-1 ATS across the past 12 games overall, and they’re 0-2-1 ATS in the past three as a double-digit favorite.

Over/Under (O/U)

OVER 223.5 (-110) is the way to go cashing in each of the past five games for the Rockets. The Over is also 4-0 in Houston’s past four on the road.

The Under is 3-1-1 in L.A.’s past five games overall, but they Over is 6-1 in their past seven against teams with a losing overall mark.

Want some action on this one? Place a bet at BetMGM now. For more sports betting picks and tips, visit SportsbookWire.com. Please gamble responsibly.

Follow Joe Williams on Twitter. Follow SportsbookWire on Twitter and like us on Facebook.

Additional NBA sports coverage:

HoopsHype | Celtics Wire | LeBron Wire | Lonzo Wire | Nets Wire | Rockets Wire | Sixers Wire | Thunder Wire | Warriors Wire | Rookie Wire | List Wire

Gannett may earn revenue from audience referrals to betting services. Newsrooms are independent of this relationship and there is no influence on news coverage. This information is for entertainment purposes only. We make no representations or warranties as to the accuracy, completeness, or reliability of any content.





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