Thursday’s basketball slate will end with a 10:30 NBA matchup in Denver. Wolf’s Wagers Nets Nuggets pick is my most confident bet of the night. The total is set at 222 and the Nuggets are favored by 8.5 points at home. Brooklyn’s record is sitting at 4-6 ahead of this NBA matchup in Denver, while the Nuggets have gone 7-3. Nets Nuggets will likely be a close matchup, but there is a clear spread advantage for one side.
Caris LeVert is expected to miss a few weeks with a thumb injury. Kyrie Irving has been upgraded from questionable to probable for Nets Nuggets with a shoulder injury.
Explosive Nets Offense
Brooklyn started 2019 as one of the most explosive offenses in the NBA. They will look to push the pace in this Nets Nuggets game. The Nets are 5th in the league in pace and rank as the 4th best offense in the NBA. The team ranks fifth in the NBA in three-point percentage on 36 attempts per game. They are led by Kyrie Irving’s three makes per night.
Irving is averaging 29.7 points, 7 assists, and 5.3 rebounds in his first season with the Nets. Backup guard Spencer Dinwiddie will see an increased role with LeVert out. Dinwiddie has earned it with his play during Brooklyn’s current road trip. The reserve guard is averaging 24.3 points per game on 48% shooting in the last three games, including 42.9% from deep.
Brooklyn has also seen second-year wing Dzanan Musa step up during this road trip. Musa has been shooting well, with 21 points combined over the last two games. This gives Brooklyn some unexpected depth after Musa played only 6 total minutes over the first seven games of 2019.
Nuggets’ Post Problems
The Nuggets lack the firepower of Brooklyn’s scorers, but still boast one of the league’s most efficient offenses. Denver is led by center Nikola Jokic, who averages 17 points, 9 rebounds, and 6.1 assists. Jokic’s passing and impressive vision secure the big man’s place among the best facilitators in the NBA at any position. The Nuggets rank 10th in the league with 24.7 APG and 4th in the NBA with only 13.9 turnovers.
While Jokic is a legitimate MVP candidate, he often struggles against athletic centers who can rebound. Brooklyn’s pair of centers both excel on the boards and have the Nets as a top-3 rebounding team this season. Jarrett Allen averages 8.6 rebounds per game. DeAndre Jordan ranks 12th in the league with an average of 10.4 boards. Jordan racked up 15 points and 17 rebounds on Tuesday, and has put up back-to-back double-doubles.
The Nets will have plenty of opportunities for second-chance points against the Nuggets. Denver ranks only 20th in defensive rebounding percentage. The Nuggets will be unable to contain the Nets on the boards, and will also struggle at the rim. The Nets take shots near the rim at the second highest rate in the NBA. Brooklyn will attack Denver in the paint during Nets Nuggets.
Expect a Tight Matchup
Brooklyn lost Tuesday’s game to the Jazz in Utah. The Nets played well on the road, but Donovan Mitchell took over in the fourth quarter. The Nets have been playing close games this season. Six of their ten games have been within one possession with under a minute remaining. The team will have to fight for a playoff spot with Kevin Durant expected to miss the season.
Denver lost to the Hawks at home on Tuesday to snap a 4-game win streak. Jokic has shot only 5-24 from deep during his last three games. Denver’s leading scorer Jamal Murray will struggle to contain Irving and Dinwiddie. Murray allowed Trae Young to get 42 points and 11 assists in Tuesday’s loss.
Brooklyn has been a good first-half team but tend to fall apart in the 4th quarter. The Nets have already lost 4 games this season in which they were within one possession late. The Nuggets are one of the worst first half teams in the NBA this season. Denver ranks 29th with a 2-8 ATS record this season.
Trends to Watch
- Nets are 4-1 ATS in their L5 games against the Western Conference
- Nets are 3-1 ATS as an underdog this season
- Underdogs in Nets Nuggets are 6-2 ATS in their L8 matchups
- Nets are 9-2 ATS in their L11 games against the Nuggets
- Nets are 5-1 ATS in their L6 games in Denver
- Nuggets are 1-5 ATS in their L6 home games
- Nuggets are 3-7 ATS as a favorite this season
Wolf’s Wagers Nets Nuggets Pick: Nets +4.5 First Half
I’ll be backing the Nets to cover the first half spread for this Nets Nuggets matchup. The spread is way too high for a primetime game between two playoff hopefuls, and I expect Irving and the Nets to get off to a hot start. Brooklyn’s advantage in the post gives them value for the first half and full-game spread in this Nets Nuggets game.
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