The Denver Nuggets (25-21) travel to Barclays Center Wednesday to take on the Brooklyn Nets (29-18). Tip-off is scheduled for 8 p.m. ET. Below, we look at the Nuggets vs. Nets odds and lines, and make our expert NBA picks, predictions and bets.
The Nets are coming off a nationally televised loss to the Lakers in the return of F Anthony Davis. For Brooklyn, G Kyrie Irving and F Kevin Durant will both be out.
They’ve covered just 4 of their last 10 and have failed to cover in 2 of their last 3 home games. Brooklyn is 19-28 against the spread (ATS) this season.
As for the Nuggets, they’re 18-28 ATS. However, they are 12-12 on the road whereas the Nets are also 12-12 at home, so there isn’t much home-court advantage to be had.
Denver has covered just 3 of their last 10 yet have won two straight, failing to cover as 7-point and 11.5-point favorites. Denver is led by C Nikola Jokic, who is arguably playing better than his MVP season last year.
Nuggets at Nets 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 2:30 p.m. ET.
Money line: Nuggets -140 (bet $140 to win $100) | Nets +115 (bet $100 to win $115)
Against the spread (ATS): Nuggets -2.5 (-110) | Nets +2.5 (-110)
Over/Under (O/U): 220.5 (O: -112 | U: -108)
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Nuggets at Nets key injuries
SG Will Barton (hamstring) questionable
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Nuggets at Nets odds, lines, picks and predictions
Nuggets 114, Nets 108
PASS on the money line with a slight edge to the NUGGETS -140. I like the Nuggets to win here, especially considering their size and skill advantage. However, I’d prefer to play their spread for the better odds.
Against the spread
BET on the NUGGETS -2.5 (-110).
This is my favorite play in the game by a long shot as both teams are on the second game of a back-to-back. Both teams are among the worst on the second night. Brooklyn is 1-5-1 ATS and Denver is 1-6 ATS.
As for the Nuggets, their strength is playing through Jokic.
They rank 8th in true shooting percentage, 10th in field goals made and 11th in three-point field goals made per game. The Nets rank 18th in opponents’ points in the paint.
Without much experience in their frontcourt (C Day’Ron Sharpe and C Nicolas Claxton combined for 28 minutes against the Lakers), doubling Jokic will almost be a must.
He’s going to have his way with the Nets’ inexperienced centers. Furthermore, even with LaMarcus Aldridge on the court, Jokic will be able to branch out and get open looks from deep.
This game will come down the battle of Jokic against James Harden. The Nuggets rank 9th in opponents’ free throw attempt rate. They’re going to limit what Harden does best: get to the free-throw line.
Assuming that’s how the game plays out, I’ll take the NUGGETS -2.5 (-110).
PASS with a slight lean to the OVER 220.5 (-110). I can’t quite fully get behind it because of how high the total is set and how many letdown performances offensively the Nuggets have had.
Similarly, the Nets are down arguably their best scorer and certainly two of their top three offensive threats. The Nets have scored 109, 120 and 96 in their three home games without Durant.
Considering they’ll be without Irving in this one as well, I wouldn’t back them putting up over 110. With the Nuggets ranked 24th in pace, they could also opt to slow the game down and play through Jokic.
However, there is too much star power for me to fully back the Under either, especially with how Harden has shown he can play with rim-rolling big men and sharpshooters like G Patty Mills.
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