As always, Wednesday provides us with a massive slate to sift through, but two games in particular jumped out at me straight away.
Nuggets (1-2) @ Hornets (1-2)
If you’re into trends, this one has the under written all over it:
- Under is 7-1 in the last eight meetings between the two teams
- Under is 5-2 in the last seven games they’ve played in Charlotte
- Under is 4-0 in Nuggets last four road games
- Under is 4-0 in Nuggets last four games following a loss
- Both teams have had all three of their 2017-18 games go under
It’s not hard to see why Nuggets and Hornets games are low on points this season. The league average for points per game is currently 105.8 with Denver (98.7 ppg) and Charlotte (97.7 ppg) way below.
For the Nuggets, Nikola Jokic has struggled for his 12 points per game, but he started to look better against the Wizards on Monday. Gary Harris has shot the ball well, but he’s attempting only eight attempts per game compared to 11 in 2016-17.
While Paul Millsap is netting 18 ppg, his production hasn’t translated into the 111.7 ppg the Nuggets averaged last season. What the 32-year-old power forward has done is trigger an improvement defensively. Denver’s 103.1 defensive rating is good for 10th, while they’re only allowing their opponents to score 98 points per game – the sixth-fewest in the league.
Charlotte is ranked 27th in points per game, but like Denver, has improved their defensive numbers compared to last season. Currently ninth in opponent points per game at 98.7 and fifth in defensive rating (98.1), the Hornets have kept the Pistons, Hawks and Bucks all under 104 points in their three games this season.
I like the defensive intensity of the Hornets to keep the Nuggets to around 100 points tonight, but they’re missing too many role players to overcome a relatively deep team that’s improving.
Pick: Under 212 and Nuggets -2.5
Pacers (1-2) @ Thunder (1-2)
A couple of factors here have me siding with a big Thunder win.
First of all, don’t let the Pacers scoring 130 points against a Jimmy Butler-less Timberwolves team fool you. They needed to shoot a franchise-best 66.7 percent from the field to eclipse a 30-year-old record.
Annnd that’s a new franchise record for the #Pacers.
66.7% FG percentage tops previous high (65.3) from 1987.
— Scott Agness (@ScottAgness) October 25, 2017
Not only that, but they are playing this one on the second night of a back-to-back away from home and could be without Myles Turner again (concussion).
The Thunder haven’t been scoring like many thought they would, but they’re keeping teams to just 98.3 points per game. We’ve yet to see Russell Westbrook, Carmelo Anthony and Paul George really fire offensively, but facing a team giving up 119 points a night playing their second game in as many days sounds like a good place to start.
PG13 revenge game?
Pick: Thunder -13.5
None of the remaining eight games screams value, but there are a few points to consider in all of them if the line is right.
Pistons (2-2) @ Timberwolves (2-1)
- Jimmy Butler may not be available after missing the last game
- Timberwolves playing on the second night of a B2B
- Pistons are 3-1 ATS
- Timberwolves are 1-3 ATS
Rockets (3-1) @ 76ers (1-3)
- In addition to Chris Paul, Trevor Ariza has been ruled out, and Ryan Anderson is listed as day-to-day
- Rockets are 29th in 3-point percentage (27.5 percent)
- 76ers are third in opponent 3-point percentage (28 percent)
Cavaliers (2-1) @ Nets (2-1)
- Dwyane Wade has been ruled out
- D’Angelo Russell is doubtful
- Both playing second night of a back-to-back
- Nets are first in points per game (124.3) and 29th in points allowed (121.3)
- Cavaliers are forcing the second-fewest turnovers in the league (13 per game)
Spurs (3-0) @ Heat (2-1)
- Hassan Whiteside has been ruled out
- Dion Waiters is still listed as day-to-day
- Kawhi Leonard has been ruled out
- Spurs are 0-1 ATS away from home
Grizzlies (3-0) @ Mavericks (0-4)
- Grizzlies are 3-0 ATS
- Under is 3-0 in all three Grizzlies games this season
- Mavericks are 0-4 ATS
- Mavericks are ranked 29th in field goal percentage (40.5 percent)
- Grizzlies are ranked second in opponent field goal percentage (39.6 percent)
Jazz (2-1) @ Suns (1-3)
- Suns are 1-0 since firing coach Earl Watson
- Jazz are playing the second night of a back-to-back
- Jazz are 3-1 ATS
Raptors (2-1) @ Warriors (2-2)
- Warriors are ranked first in field goal percentage (50.4)
- Raptors are ranked fourth in opponent field goal percentage (41.8)
Wizards (3-0) @ Lakers (1-2)
- Lakers lead the league in pace (109.9)
- Both teams are 1-2 ATS for the season