Spurs-Nuggets Game 1 Betting Preview: Is San Antonio Undervalued?

Spurs-Nuggets Game 1 Betting Preview: Is San Antonio Undervalued? article feature image
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Photo credit: Russ Isabella-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: LaMarcus Aldridge and Gregg Popovich

Game 1 Betting Odds: San Antonio Spurs at Denver Nuggets

  • Spread: Nuggets -5.5
  • Over/Under: 211
  • Time: 10:30 p.m. ET
  • TV Channel: ESPN

>> All odds as of 12:30 p.m. ET. Download The Action Network App to get real-time odds and live win probabilities on your bets.


The young Denver Nuggets will host Gregg Popovich and the veteran San Antonio Spurs for Game 1 of this first-round series.

Is there any value on today’s spread? Our analysts discuss.

Betting Trend to Know

The Spurs have been a good bet to cover in the playoffs when favored. Since 2005, San Antonio is 70-50-4 ATS as chalk but 29-37 ATS as underdogs.John Ewing


Mears: How I’m Handicapping Tonight’s Matchup

For most of the season, the Nuggets looked like a much superior team. But they dropped to just eighth in the league with a +3.7 point differential over the last half of the season — tied with Oklahoma City.

They’ve had some really weird games lately, and Nikola Jokic has been a bit all over the place.

Perhaps they’ll reach their full potential and get back to their early-season success, but there’s a lot of uncertainty here, especially with a team led by guys mostly 25 and younger. This is mostly their first taste of playoff basketball, and I’m worried that they’re not entering that battleground 100 percent together and playing their best.

Meanwhile, the Spurs are just so darn solid.

DeMar DeRozan and LaMarcus Aldridge won’t be scared of the moment, and Popovich’s playoff record is unquestioned at this point. Nuggets coach Mike Malone is a frontrunner for Coach of the Year (and rightfully so), but that’s more because of his leadership and ability to develop players.

I think when it comes to managing things in-game, Pop still has a decided coaching edge.

I think there’s a bit of value on the Spurs at +5.5 here. I still like the Nuggets to win the series — if they lose outright today, they’ll have a nice series price — but the Spurs are a bit undervalued in tonight’s game. Bryan Mears

Moore: My Thoughts on Today’s Game

Things I’m factoring here in grabbing the Spurs’ first-half moneyline (+150):

  • You have a bunch of sub-23-year-olds in their first playoff game. This team is going to be nervous out of the gate and clank everything back iron because they’ll have too much adrenaline.
  • The Spurs under Popovich as road dogs are 31-24-4 (56%) against the spread in the first half. They’re only 1.5-point dogs in the first half today.
  • Aldridge is going to eat consistently in this matchup to take some of the sting of the starters’ matchup.
  • The San Antonio bench matches up really well with Denver’s, so that late first-to-mid-second is going to be a key stretch.

Editor’s note: The opinions on this game are from the individual writers and are based on their research, analysis and perspective. They are independent of, and may not always match with, the algorithm-driven Best Bets from Sports Insights.

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