Originally written on NESN.com  |  Last updated 11/19/14
Fresh off of victories over the Los Angeles Clippers and Los Angeles Lakers this week, the Western Conference favorite Oklahoma City Thunder will set their sights east on the Boston Celtics. Can the Thunder continue to show why, despite trailing the San Antonio Spurs in the standings,they are favored to win the conference on the NBA betting line? With the superstar duo of Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook firing on all cylinders heading into the final stretch of the season, it’s not hard to see why the Thunder have generated such optimism from fans and oddsmakers alike. Their 3-1 odds on the NBA futures trail only the reigning champion Miami Heat. Against the Celtics on Sunday, OKC will hope to knock off yet another esteemed playoff contender. While Boston may not be as formidable as they were five years ago, their play in the absence of point guard Rajon Rondo has confirmed that they have at least some veteran gas left in the tank. In the matinee matchup, greybeards Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce will look to outgun Durant and Westbrook for the second time this season. While it sounds unlikely, especially considering the game will take place in Oklahoma, so did the notion that the C’s would escalate their game when their star player was sidelined with a long-term injury in the first place. Now, health and age concerns accounted for, Boston remains an Eastern Conference threat. With space to advance up the standings, they now have 30-1 odds of winning the NBA championship. Considering that the Celtics also won their only meeting against Oklahoma City earlier this season, it’s not out of the question to predict that they’ll do it again. The interconference clash also serves as an opportunity for Boston forward Jeff Green to return to the place in which he debuted back in 2007 — sort of. While Green was technically drafted alongside Durant back when the franchise was located in Seattle, it was in Oklahoma from 2008-2011 that he truly blossomed into a legitimate professional-level contributor. Might the return to his former stomping grounds trigger a big game out of the 26 year old? Regardless, with the postseason fast approaching, neither Boston nor Oklahoma City can afford to give away opportunities to fortify their places in their respective standings. This is the type of balanced matchup that pushes NBA betting to the next level. Get NBA odds for the playoff race at Bovada.
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Did Rex Grossman turn down Browns offer?

Wes Welker admits to feeling effects of repeated concussions

Report: Jim Harbaugh's decision down to Michigan or Raiders

Jay Cutler to start again due to Jimmy Clausen concussion

Aldon Smith was reportedly drinking with Ray McDonald

Johnny Manziel ruled out for Week 17 with injury

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Dwyane Wade hopes Heat fans give LeBron a warm reception

Adam Silver: No NBA team is tanking

Penguins having three more players tested for mumps

Jay Cutler is not the answer for the Titans

Josh Smith released by Detroit Pistons in surprising move

13 amazing NFL stats from Week 16

WATCH: BYU, Memphis fight after Miami Beach Bowl

FSU sends recruit 75 reasons to play for Seminoles

Dale Earnhardt Jr., girlfriend wear great Christmas sweaters

Brandon Marshall: Raiola mocked my mental illness

Don't mess with Seahawks punter Jon Ryan

Niners OT asked Manti Te'o about his fake girlfriend

Darren Sproles' wife Michel fires back at Eagles critics

Steve Smith expects 'couch quarterback' criticism

WATCH: Tennessee walk-on gets scholarship as bowl gift

Raiders player gives game check to young girl in need

Game of the week: Detroit Lions vs. Green Bay Packers

Yankees pay for education of slain officer's children

NBA News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.

Wes Welker, wife confused over his concussions

BYU, Memphis fight after bowl game

FSU sends recruit an eccentric pitch

Brandon Marshall unloads on Raiola

Did Aldon Smith violate probation?

Johnny Manziel ruled out for Week 17

Appreciating Marshawn Lynch's crotch grab TD celebrations

D-Wade: Heat fans should cheer LeBron

Niners OT asked Te'o about fake girlfriend

Sproles' wife fires back at Eagles critics

Game of the week: Lions vs. Packers

'Manny' is the must-watch film about Manny Pacquiao

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.