There are marquee matchups all around the NBA throughout Friday night, such as Cleveland Cavaliers and Miami Heat, Philadelphia 76ers facing Portland Trail Blazers, and an interesting battle between a bunch of teams teetering on the edge of the playoffs.
With that in mind, there’s little doubt that the game of the day is not the Denver Nuggets (46-20) facing the San Antonio Spurs (16-49), because on paper the game is won already.
But what this game lacks in glamour, it might just make up for in betting opportunity. Denver has allowed in the range of 112-124 points in five of their last six games, and yet they’ve still won four of those, some quite handily.
San Antonio have averaged 113 points per game at home while allowing 120. In their last two games against Houston, they followed a 122-110 loss with a 142-110 loss.
The opening line was set at Denver -12 and there may be an argument for the Spurs covering, and the total opened at 236.
The Nuggets sit at number two in the power rankings whilst the Spurs sit dead last. That’s a trend that continues when you look at several seasonal performance metrics, such as the Spurs being the least successful defence in the league, and the Nuggets being one of the more efficient offences.
While they are a consistent scorer, that little back-to-back represents how poor they are defensively, and the fact they just can’t adapt or step up beyond their current numbers.
In their last 10 games, they’ve allowed 142, 122, 118, 142, 120, 117, 125, and 138. They’ve scored 100+ points in all of those games and I wouldn’t be surprised if they push the 110 mark this evening.
I don’t think Denver are going to care too much about defence, because they essentially don’t need to play any to win this game. The Spurs play at one of the fastest paces in the NBA and I think the Nuggets will embrace that.
Last time out, Denver lost 117-96 to Chicago Bulls. That was a rare bomb as they flopped as a -9 favourite and shot just 42 per cent from the floor. San Antonio provide a very good opportunity to put up some big numbers and feel good about themselves again.
Interestingly, the total has gone over in seven of eight games between the sides in San Antonio. We’ve seen some games between the two reach 235+, and a few hit the 240+ mark, but this particular spot feels like it has the potential to produce a big number.
The Over is 27-12 when the Spurs are an underdog and just a solid 27-13 in their last 40 overall. The Over is 19-6 in Nuggets games on the back of a double-digit loss, further supporting the theory they might let out their anger on the poor Spurs here.
Over 234.5 points
Match starts at 8.00pm EST (1.00am UK time)