Nuggets vs. Hawks Odds, Expert Pick & Prediction: Can Atlanta Slow Down Nikola Jokic? (December 2)
Via Ethan Mito/Getty Images. Pictured: Nikola Jokic
- The Hawks host the Nuggets on Friday night but are listed as short home underdogs.
- Denver leads the league in road wins and is looking to tack another onto that tally.
- Tyler Schmidt digs into the matchups and provides his best bet below.
Nuggets vs. Hawks Odds
|Time||7:30 p.m. ET|
|TV||NBA League Pass|
|Odds via FanDuel. Get up-to-the-minute NBA odds here.|
One of the best games on Friday’s 11-game slate features the Atlanta Hawks hosting the Denver Nuggets. The Hawks are 1.5-point home underdogs as the Nuggets have won four straight games by an average of 12.8 points per game.
This matchup has one of the highest totals on the slate at 231.5 points. There is plenty of star power in this matchup with back-to-back MVP Nikola Jokic battling with arguably the best guard-duo in the league in Trae Young and Dejounte Murray.
The Denver Nuggets have quickly piled up road victories and lead the league with eight wins away from home. They have won six of their past eight games, so it shouldn’t be too surprising to see them favored in this matchup.
Jokic continues to run the show for the Nuggets and is leading the team in points, rebounds and assists for the sixth straight season. With Jamal Murray and Michael Porter Jr. healthy, Jokic has seen a decrease in his scoring and rebounding production, but is averaging a career-high 8.9 assists per game.
However, Porter Jr. is out Friday with a heel injury. In five games without Porter Jr. this season, Jokic is averaging 27.6 points and 11.4 rebounds per game, a major boost compared to his 20.8 points and 9.2 rebounds per game with Porter Jr. in the lineup. Murray also sees a big boost in his scoring without Porter Jr., going from 16.3 points to 22.8 points per game.
Aaron Gordon will also need to step up, and he’s had a great year thus far. He is averaging 16.1 points and 6.7 rebounds per game while shooting a career-high 60.4% from the field. Over the past four games, Gordon has scored 20 or more points three times, with the only miss being a game he left early.
It is tough to bet against the Nuggets with how well they are playing. They rank third in Offensive Rating (116.3) and are leading the league in field-goal percentage, shooting 49.8%. The Nuggets are also shooting 40.5% from behind the arc.
After losing three straight games, the Atlanta Hawks bounced back with an easy victory on the road against the Magic. Despite their recent struggles, the Hawks have a 12-10 record and are in sixth place in the Eastern Conference.
Power forward John Collins suffered an ankle injury last game and will be out for the next two weeks. That’s a relatively big loss for the Hawks as Collins started every game this season and was their fourth leading scorer. However, they may get Bogdan Bogdanovic back for the first time all season as he is questionable to play. Keep on eye on his status, but he will likely be limited.
The Hawks go as Young and Murray go. Murray’s addition to the backcourt hasn’t slowed Young down one bit.
Young is averaging a team-high 27.8 points and 9.6 assists per game. He’s also attempting a career-high 21.8 field goals per game, but is shooting a career-low 41.1% from the field and 30.3% from behind the arc.
Murray has taken a backseat in a lot of ways. He is still scoring over 20 points per game, but is averaging only 6.6 assists and 5.8 rebounds per game. Similar to Young, Murray isn’t shooting all that well (44.6% from the field). That is the story of this Hawks offense. They rank 19th in the league in field-goal percentage and 20th in Offensive Rating this season.
Clint Capela will get the task of guarding Jokic. Over the past three meetings, Jokic is averaging nearly a triple-double and shooting 54.3% from the field. He also has a +52 Plus/Minus during those games. The Hawks are allowing 52.7 points per game in the paint this season, which ranks 24th in the league.
The Nuggets come into this game on a bit of a heater and have won 12 of their 17 games as favorites this season. They are obviously comfortable playing away from home given their league-high eight road wins. With the line creeping more and more in their favor, make sure to shop around for their best odds.
I would take this line up to three points. The Hawks play with a lot of flare, but Jokic and company will slow this game down and play it at their pace.
Even though the under is intriguing with such a high point total, we’ll take the Nuggets to win by a bucket. Jokic should feast in this interior matchup.
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