Nuggets vs. Thunder Betting Odds & Picks: Denver Should Have No Trouble (Jan. 19)
Bart Young/NBAE via Getty Images. Pictures: The Nuggets’ Nikola Jokic.
- The Nuggets are coming off a tough loss to the Jazz in a rematch from last season's playoffs.
- The Thunder most recently completed a stunning comeback in Friday's win over the Bulls.
- Who has the edge in Tuesday's game in Denver? Find out below.
Thunder vs. Nuggets
|Thunder Odds||+9.5 [BET NOW]|
|Nuggets Odds||-9.5 [BET NOW]|
|Moneyline||-490 / +360 [BET NOW]|
|Over/Under||219.5 [BET NOW]|
|Time||9 p.m. ET|
|TV||NBA League Pass|
The Thunder had their Sunday game against Philadelphia postponed due to health and safety protocols for the 76ers, and most recently played Friday when they completed a thrilling comeback overtime win against the Bulls.
The Nuggets lost Sunday night to the Jazz in a rematch of their first-round playoff series. Shai Gilgeous-Alexander and the Thunder look to get another win while sending the Nuggets to their second straight loss when the teams meet Tuesday night in Denver.
Oklahoma City Thunder
If the Thunder hope to cover or pull the upset against the Nuggets, they will need to shoot a high percentage from beyond the arc and have a big game from Gilgeous-Alexander. The Thunder have only made 33% of their threes this season, but have several capable shooters from distance as Luguentz Dort, Mike Muscala, and SGA all are shooting at least 37%. The younger players on their team and George Hill will need to hit timely threes and improve on their season averages to pull the upset.
The Thunder rank 27th in three-point accuracy, but the Nuggets are 29th in three-point defense (per Cleaning The Glass), so something’s gotta give. While the Thunder don’t have a ton of established talent on the roster, SGA has taken his game to another level in his third season.
Shai Gilgeous-Alexander last night:
✅ 33 PTS (career high)
✅ 10 AST
✅ 5 REB
✅ 13-19 FG
✅ 3-5 3P
✅ 4-4 FT
The Thunder trailed the Bulls by 16 with just 4:40 to play last night, but SGA helped lead a comeback which resulted in an overtime win. pic.twitter.com/LzLwMO1fqY
— Justin Kubatko (@jkubatko) January 16, 2021
SGA scored a career-high 33 points on Friday while also dropping 10 dimes. Per Cleaning The Glass, he ranks in the 88th percentile among point guards in points per 100 shot attempts (123.6), while ranking in the 68th percentile among point guards at the rim, in the midrange, and from three. He has been great this season and should be in the All-Star conversation (if there were an All-Star Game), and the Thunder will need another big game from him to beat the Nuggets, especially with Al Horford (personal) out, meaning the Thunder won’t have many quality options to guard Nikola Jokic.
After losing four of their first five games, the Nuggets have won five of their last eight games. A big reason for their surge has been the developing cohesion between Jokic and JaMychal Green. Green signed as a free agent this offseason as the Nuggets’ replacement for Jerami Grant, and he is having the best season of his career off the bench, averaging career-highs in points per game (11.1), Player Efficiency Rating (16.39), usage rate (19.1%), and points per 100 shot attempts (128.2) through nine games. Among players who average at least four three-point attempts per game this season, Green ranks fourth in the league in three-point percentage at 51.3%.
Jokic has praised Green and said that he wants to play with him for the rest of his career. Green consistently finds himself in the right spot at the right time, and playing with Jokic, the NBA’s best passer, definitely helps. If the Nuggets hope to win and cover against the Thunder, they need Green to bounce back after his worst showing of the season against the Jazz.
When jamychal has shared the floor with jokic they’re a +4.9(#4)
Looked it up because jamychal has been so good for them.
— Let’s talk NBA (@NBArath23) January 18, 2021
The Thunder rank 28th in rebound percentage while the Nuggets rank eighth. This disparity will be further exaggerated by the absence of Horford as the Thunder rank dead last in offensive rebounding this season while the Nuggets rank fourth. The Thunder won’t be able to stop Jokic from getting where he wants on the court, and he will be able to score and set up his teammates like Green, Jamal Murray, and Monte Morris to score efficiently.
The Thunder don’t have the shooters to take advantage of the Nuggets’ weak perimeter defense and won’t be able to overcome the Nuggets getting more field goal attempts. Take the Nuggets to cover the 9.5 and bet it to -11.5.
Pick: Nuggets -9.5 (bet to -11.5)