Both the Dallas Mavericks (3-4) and the Denver Nuggets (3-4) started the season off slowly, with the former losing three of their first four games and the latter dropping four of the first five. But both of these young teams have seemingly responded well to that early season adversity, with the Mavs taking two of their past three contests and the Nuggets coming into this Thursday night matchup on a two-game winning streak. With all of the youthful firepower on both sides, we expect there to be a lot of scoring to go around.
Free Picks: Denver Nuggets vs. Dallas Mavericks
Expect Denver To Take Care Of Business In A Barnburner (Season Betting Record: 9-9)
Though both the Mavs and Nuggets started the season with multiple consecutive losses, these youthful and talented squads have gathered themselves and both are entering Thursday’s matchup coming off of 13-point wins, the Mavs 113-100 over the Houston Rockets and the Nuggets 126-113 over the Timberwolves.
The Mavericks seem to have a sneaky good defense through the first couple of weeks of this season, ranking in the top ten in many defensive categories including points allowed per game (105.1, sixth) and three point percentage (32.5, third) allowed.
That’s pretty impressive, but when you take a closer look, those numbers are skewed a bit by their 51-point win over the Kawhi Leonard-less Los Angeles Clippers, during which Dallas allowed just 73 points and a 4-for-33 mark from deep. Discounting that game—which is pretty safe, considering how much of an anomaly it was—Dallas’ points allowed per game number jumps to 110.5 and their three point percentage allowed jumps to 36, which would put them at 13th in both categories, a more middle of the pack defense.
The Nuggets, meanwhile, play next-to-no defense at all. Denver is allowing opponents to score the eighth-most points per game (116.0) on the fourth-highest shooting percentage (48.4) and the sixth-highest three-point shooting percentage. Both teams have scored 100+ in each of Denver’s seven games this season, and they’ve hit the OVER in six of those seven. We’re going to follow that trend and take this contest’s Game Total Points Over 225.5 prop at solid -104 odds on 22Bet.
While Denver does struggle to stop teams from scoring, they certainly have no issues lighting up the scoreboard themselves, putting up 117.0 points per game so far this season, good for fifth in the NBA. The Nuggets have also earned 16.8 percent of their points at the charity stripe, which is the ninth-highest percentage in the league and works out well for them in this matchup with the Mavs: Luka Doncic and company have been committing 22.6 fouls per game, fifth-most in the league.
The Nuggets also have the fourth-highest offensive rebounding percentage in the NBA at 30.0, which also meshes well for them with Dallas’ second-chance points defense, which ranks tenth-worst in the league giving up 13.4 points per game.
These numbers paired with Nikola Jokic’s scorching start to the season (24.1 points, 11.9 assists, 11.7 rebounds, 1.4 steals, and 0.6 blocks with a 31.19 PER that’s good for second in the league) and the continued absence of Dallas second best player (Kristaps Porzingis) have combined to convince us that the Nuggets alternative -4.5 point spread (offering us +100 odds on 22Bet) should prove to be a profitable bet as well. However, if you’re looking for a sure thing, the OVER prop is a much safer bet.
- The OVER has hit in 6 of Denver’s 7 games this season
- Dallas has given up 100+ points in 5 of 7 games this season
- Denver has scored 120+ points 4 of their 7 games
- Dallas is 4-10 ATS in their last 14 road games
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The Los Angeles Clippers will renew hostilities with the Dallas Mavericks, who they dispatched in the first round of last season’s playoffs.
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 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.