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NBA Picks, Predictions: How BUCKETS Podcast Experts Are Betting Timberwolves vs. Nuggets, Thunder vs. Lakers

NBA Picks, Predictions: How BUCKETS Podcast Experts Are Betting Timberwolves vs. Nuggets, Thunder vs. Lakers article feature image

Garrett Ellwood/NBAE via Getty Images. Pictured: Nikola Jokic #15 of the Denver Nuggets.

NBA Picks, Predictions

Click on a game to skip ahead
Timberwolves at Nuggets
Under 236.5
Nuggets 1Q
9 p.m. ET
Thunder at Lakers
Lakers 1H
10 p.m. ET

All picks below transcribed from the Tuesday, Feb. 7 episode of the Action Network’s BUCKETS podcast (new episodes every weekday). All lines as of recording.

Wolves-Nuggets Under 236.5

Matt Moore: The Nuggets play at an extremely glacial pace. And at home, they play even slower: Nuggets home unders are 16-12-1, and when the total is above 230, Nuggets unders are 16-9-1 this season.

The Nuggets have made a change to their bench rotation since the beginning of the season. They effectively play an all-defense lineup now, which has helped them improve to ninth in defense since Dec. 1, meaning they now have a top-10 unit on both ends of the floor (they’re third in offense over that span).

Nuggets First Quarter

Jay Money: I expect the Nuggets to come out with emphasis.

They’re playing for pride — they’ll want to show they can hang with a Timberwolves team that’s 5-1 straight up and 6-0 against the spread in its past six games, after losing 128-98 on the road to Minnesota this past Sunday.

This is also the Timberwolves’ first game on the road after six straight at home, which means it could take time for them to get their shots going.

Lakers First Half 

Analytics Capper: The Lakers had a very disappointing loss in New Orleans on Saturday after leading for much of the game.

This is a great bounce-back spot at home, but this is also a narrative bet: The Lakers should come out early and often to put the game away so that LeBron can get the all-time scoring record on Thursday night against the Bucks on TNT.

Oklahoma City is also on the second night of a back-to-back — I doubt fatigue will be a factor, but I do believe travel will be as the Thunder likely didn’t get to Los Angeles until late overnight.

We also know the Lakers don’t close very well — they’re not a free-throw shooting team, which is why I don’t like them to cover the full-game spread.

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