The Dallas Mavericks head to Denver after falling to the Oklahoma City Thunder a couple days ago while Luka Doncic and Kristaps Porzingis got a rest. They should both be back and going at full bore for this exciting contest with the Nuggets, who are led by another elite European talent. Big man Nikola Jokic has been a revelation this season for Denver, posting a career year that is deservedly garnering him a lot of MVP buzz.
Free Picks: Denver Nuggets vs. Dallas Mavericks
Jamal Murray Looks To Steal Spotlight During European Reunion (Season Betting Record: 58-61)
The Mavericks don’t have much to write home about when it comes to defensive big men, so a matchup with the Joker is going to be tough for Dallas to deal with. While Jokic has been getting that MVP talk, the favorite to win the award heading into the season, Doncic, is firmly out of that conversation.
Luka has turned it up a bit lately, but his team is still sitting with a disappointing 19-17 record in eighth spot just after the All-Star break. The Mavs have been especially struggling against their fellow Western Conference teams, posting a 4-8 straight up record against the rest of the West’s top eight and an 8-13 mark against the spread against the West overall.
Our first NBA pick for this game will be on the Nuggets’ spread, which we’ll buy up to -2.5 points at acceptable -122 NBA odds. Dallas has really struggled as an away underdog, posting a 2-7 ATS record in those situations this season. Denver has also been solid at home lately, winning seven of their past 10 at Ball Arena.
One of our best bets for today is, you guessed it, a wager on the over for this matchup. We’re going to buy the total up to 225.5 points at -125 odds with two of the most exciting young teams in the NBA facing off. While both of these teams boast a ton of offensive firepower, neither has a very dominant defense to counter their opponent.
The last three straight Nuggets games have gone under the total, but Denver has been a big over team this season, topping the total at a higher rate than all but four other teams. Denver had hit the over in seven of nine contests following an under game before this recent three-game streak of low-scoring affairs.
Eight of the 12 games that Denver has played against the rest of the top eight have resulted in overs, including both of the previous meetings between these sides this season. With both teams looking to ensconce themselves firmly in a playoff position one or two spots above where they are now, we’d expect these teams to have the hoop locked in their crosshairs on Saturday night.
Despite all of the aforementioned European talent, we won’t be going across the pond with our player prop for this game. The hooper in question isn’t even American, he’s a gool ol’ Canuck. Jamal Murray has been having a decent season, but like Doncic, he has been underachieving somewhat after expectations were raised significantly by their superlative play in the bubble.
Murray had his worst game of the campaign on Friday night, going 1-for-9 from the field for just three points. That’s good news for those of us betting the over on his 21.5 points prop at mouth-watering +100 NBA odds though, because the Canadian has been averaging 25 points in five contests following a game in which he shot under 40 percent from the field this season.
He was also on a tear before Friday night, putting up 28.5 points per game in his previous dozen appearances, scoring 22+ in each contest. We’d expect Murray to be in the gym early getting shots up on Saturday, and that penchant for bounce back games is what makes this one of our top picks for this lovely night slate of NBA weekend action.
- Dallas is 4-10 ATS in their last 14 games on 1 days rest
- Denver’s past 5 straight home games have hit the over
- Denver has hit the 4th-most overs (23) in the NBA this season
- Jamal Murray averaged 28.5 points in the 12 games prior to his Friday night stinker
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The Denver Nuggets and the league’s presumptive NBA MVP will look to get off to a strong start against the Portland Trail Blazers in Game 1.
The Golden State Warriors will host the Memphis Grizzlies in the final play-in game, which will determine the Western Conference’s eighth seed.
The Los Angeles Clippers will renew hostilities with the Dallas Mavericks, who they dispatched in the first round of last season’s playoffs.
The Washington Wizards will host the Indiana Pacers on Thursday night with the No. 8 seed in the Eastern Conference on the line.
Alex is an alumnus of Ryerson University's RTA Sport Media program, a contributing NHL, NBA, and MLB writer in the BetPicks.ca team. He has been writing on sports, betting, and fantasy contests for several years, including pitstops as an NFL Editor for theScore and as one of the lead NBA news writers for fantasy sports site FantasyPros. As a lifelong athlete, bettor, and sports fan, Alex is uniquely qualified to help you reach the sports betting success that you've always dreamed of and your wife never believed you could achieve.