After having their game against the Philadelphia 76ers on Sunday postponed, the Oklahoma City Thunder will be traveling out west Tuesday night to take on the Denver Nuggets. The last time we saw Oklahoma City on the court, they pulled off a phenomenal second-half comeback, defeating the Chicago Bulls 127-125 in overtime.
In that game, third-year point guard Shai Gilgeous-Alexander scored a team-high 33 points (13-19 FG, 3-5 3pt) and grabbed 10 rebounds. Gilgeous-Alexander was one of six Thunder players, who scored in double figures last week. He will be a major factor in whether the Thunder can keep the game close against the Nuggets.
As for Denver, they are coming off of 109-105 loss to the Utah Jazz on Sunday. The Nuggets got tremendous performances from Nikola Jokic and Jamal Murray and no one else. Jokic scored a game-high 35 points, while falling one assist short of a triple-double to go with 14 rebounds. Murray added 30 points (11-27 FG, 4-11 3pt), to go along with five rebounds, and four assists. The next closest Nuggets player to reach at least 10 points was P.J. Dozier, who had nine points off the bench.
What can we expect from these two teams on Tuesday night? And who should you pick against the spread? To answer those questions and more, here is our pick against the spread and a player prop you need to watch out for. Odds courtesy of DraftKings Sportsbook.
Oklahoma City Thunder vs. Denver Nuggets, 9:00 p.m. ET
Pick ATS: Thunder +9.5
The line for Tuesday night’s contest is set at 9.5 points with the Nuggets being favored at Ball Arena. However, Denver has not been a great pick against the spread recently at home. In their last five home games, the Nuggets have a record of 1-4 against the spread. Their lone win was against the Golden State Warriors, where they were favored by 4.5 points.
And if you want to take it another step forward, when the Nuggets have been favored by almost 10 points either on the road or at home, they’ve failed to cover.
Against the Sixers on Jan. 9, Denver was favored by 13.5 points, but only ended up winning by 12 points over an undermanned Philly team. A few days prior to that game, the Nuggets were favored by 10.5 points against the Minnesota Timberwolves. But Denver once again could not cover, as they only won by seven points.
Meanwhile, in their last six games, the Thunder have a record of 4-2 against the spread. They also have an outstanding record of 6-1 ATS in their last seven road games. The lone ATS loss happened against the Miami Heat, where they were underdogs by nine points and loss by 28 points.
With all that being said, I like the Thunder to cover here, especially with the Nuggets not having a consistent third scorer. Oklahoma City might not win the game, but SGA and Luguentz Dort will get their numbers.
Player Prop: Will Barton O13.5 points (+115)
If the Nuggets want to come away with the victory over OKC, they are going to need to someone to help out with the scoring, outside of Murray and Jokic. That somebody could be Will Barton, who is only averaging 11.3 points per game and 10.9 points per game as a starter.
Barton had a disappointing game against the Jazz, where he only had two points (1-6 FG, 0-3 3pt) in 25 minutes. However, when the vet has games where he scores less than 10 points, he usually bounces back with a solid double digit performance.
The last time this happened was on January 10 against the Knicks, where Barton only scored five points. But he proceeded to produce 22 points and 17 points against the Nets and Warriors in the next two games. In 13 games played this season, Barton has scored over 13.5 points at least six times.
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