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Pick against the spread, over/under for Nuggets vs. Cavaliers on Thursday

We go over some of the best betting options for Thursday’s matchup between the Denver Nuggets and Cleveland Cavaliers.

Jan 6, 2023; Denver, Colorado, USA; Denver Nuggets center Nikola Jokic (15) and Cleveland Cavaliers center Jarrett Allen (31) during the second half at Ball Arena. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

NBA action returns Thursday night with the Denver Nuggets (41-18) traveling to face the Cleveland Cavaliers (38-23) at Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse. Tipoff is scheduled for 7 p.m. ET and will mark the second and final time these two teams face each other. Denver picked up a 121-108 win back in early January.

On the injury report for the Nuggets, Jamal Murray is listed as questionable with right knee inflammation, while the recently acquired Reggie Jackson is also listed as questionable. Aaron Gordon has been ruled out as he continues to deal with a left rib contusion. For the Cavaliers, Cedi Osman is probable to play, while Ricky Rubio remains out with a left knee injury.

Cleveland sits as 2.5-point home favorites at DraftKings Sportsbook with the point total sitting at 223. The Cavaliers are -145 on the moneyline while the Nuggets are +125.

Nuggets vs. Cavaliers, 7 p.m. ET

Pick ATS: Cavaliers -2.5

Both these teams have been excellent against the spread heading into the All-Star break, with Denver going 7-3 in its last 10 games and Cleveland mirroring that record. While the Cavaliers are 20-10-1 versus the spread at home, the Nuggets are just 12-16 on the road. Additionally, Denver is 14-14 straight up on the road, illustrating how far from efficient the Nuggets are away from home court. Coupled with the absence of Gordon, I like Cleveland successfully defending its home court in this matchup.

Over/Under: Under 223

Cleveland has the best scoring defense in the NBA, limiting its opponents to 106.1 PPG, with that number dropping even lower with a 104.8 PPG average at home. With Gordon ruled out, it should result in the Nuggets packing less of a scoring punch, and if Murray is held out for precautionary reasons I don’t have too much faith in Nikole Jokic and Michael Porter Jr. being able to propel the point total to hit the over. Contrary to the last time these two met, I think we’re in for a lower-scoring affair and a point total that finishes under.