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Spurs vs. Nuggets Game 5 Betting Odds, Preview: Is There Value on the Spread?

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Credit: Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: DeMar DeRozan, Jamal Murray

San Antonio Spurs at Denver Nuggets Betting Odds for Game 5

  • Spread: Nuggets -5.5
  • Over/Under: 211.5
  • Time: 9:30 p.m. ET
  • TV Channel: NBA TV
  • Series Score: Tied 2-2

>> All odds as of Monday night. Download The Action Network App to get real-time odds and live win probabilities on your bets.


In the midst of first-round blowouts, Nuggets-Spurs looks like it could go the distance. They’ve traded games through the first four; what’s in store on Tuesday night? our analysts dive in.

Betting Trends to Know

The Spurs cover when it matters. Since 2005, the Spurs are 72-71-1 against the spread in Games 1-4 of playoff series, but have gone 29-18-3 ATS in Games 5-7. John Ewing

The Spurs led the Nuggets 34-22 at the end of the first quarter of Game 4. By halftime, it was already tied. The Nuggets ended up finishing off the Spurs by 14 points to cover the spread. Since 2016, the Spurs have struggled mightily the game after losing by double-digits in the playoffs, going 2-8 against the spread — a stark difference to the Spurs’ playoff successes of seasons past.

From 2005 to 2015, the Spurs went 17-9-2 ATS in this spot, covering by more than two points per game. Evan Abrams

The Spurs are 4-1-1 ATS in road games immediately after losing at home in regular-season and postseason games over the past two seasons, covering the spread by 8.6 points per game, including winning by an average of eight points per game. — Abrams


Locky: My Thoughts on Game 5

The completely polarizing, unpredictable nature of this series can be summed up by the offensive efficiency percentile of the Nuggets in the first four games:

  • Game 1: 27th
  • Game 2: 62nd
  • Game 3: 49th
  • Game 4: 84th

So they adjusted, then un-adjusted, then adjusted again? And Jamal Murray figured it out, but didn’t, then kinda did? Huh?

I’ll be brief: I have a very hard time understanding where value lies here. Denver has a significant home-court advantage, which we already know. Based on that alone, if you view the teams as somewhat equal, we’re already about right in terms of the market.

Was the Nuggets’ Game 4 offensive performance a sign that they have found things that work, or just the byproduct of very hot 3-point shooting numbers? What I will say is that the one significant change Denver made entering Game 4 — benching Will Barton (15 minutes) for Torrey Craig in the starting lineup — seemed to be a wise one.

Credit: Soobum Im-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Torrey Craig

If there’s one thing that CAN carry over to Game 5, it’s the newfound continuity of that brand new starting group. Maybe that’s enough here now that they’re back at home, but this series has been full of surprises from Game 1, and I don’t trust any of my methods to help you make a great decision now that we’re at Game 5. — Ken Barkley


Mears: How I’m Handicapping Tonight’s Game

Most of the first-round series have been short-lived duds, so at least we have a close one here.

After four games, the Spurs have a Net Rating of +0.9; the Nuggets have obviously been at -0.9. The offenses have been efficient, while the defenses have been very hit-or-miss (mostly miss).

I agree with Locky that the Nuggets’ rotation change is a positive thing for them. Barton’s skillset is better used against bench rotations; you don’t want him using a ton of possessions in the starting lineup when Nikola Jokic and Murray are on the floor. Further, Barton has just been bad this series: In Games 2-4, he went 9-of-31 (29.0%) from the field.

He really hurt them in Game 3, turning the ball over on 35.3% of his possessions used. In Game 4, the Nuggets were awesome at protecting the ball, posting a low 7.5% turnover rate — the 95th-percentile this season. That allowed them to be efficient despite shooting only 47.8% at the rim. They hit 3s and protected the ball; that’s a good enough combo against the Spurs.

That’s the case because the Nuggets have the math advantage in this one. The Spurs have taken a 3-pointer on only 18.4% of their possessions, which is easily the lowest mark in the playoffs.

If the Nuggets can continue to play smart, halfcourt basketball and take efficient shots, they’ll be a good bet to get through this grueling first-round series.

The question is whether this line of Nuggets -5.5 is fair. If home-court advantage is about three points, then this line suggests that the Nuggets are about 2.5 points better, or home court is worth a couple points more in Denver. The number is obviously adjusted for this game more than it has been in the regular season, so I don’t think there’s a whole lot of value currently.

I’ll be monitoring the line to see if it budges either way. Make sure to download the Action app to see line movement, betting percentages and expert picks.


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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