Basketball Picks: December 9

Bucks (+10) over Thunder: Oklahoma City returns home after a three-game road trip. Kevin Durant returned to the lineup for the first game of the trip but the Thunder are still adjusting to having their star player healthy. They lost to the Pelicans, and defeated lowly Philadelphia and Detroit in unconvincing fashion. There will be a lot excitement at Chesapeake Energy Arena for Durant’s first home game of the season. However, I don’t think this situation favors the Thunder. This is also an unfavorable scheduling spot here as Oklahoma City hosts Cleveland on Thursday night in one of the primetime games on TNT. Meanwhile, the Bucks have been a pleasant surprise this season and have started 11-11. I expect the Bucks to keep this game close and cover the double-digit spread.

Heat (+4.5) over Suns: Phoenix is back at home after a three-game road trip that included games against the Mavericks, Rockets and Clippers, all Western Conference contenders. Last night they lost on a buzzer-beater in overtime to the Clippers. I think they come out flat against a struggling Miami team that needs to start playing better. The Heat still have good players like Chris Bosh and Dwyane Wade who know they are catching Phoenix at the right time.