It's been a struggle for both the Nuggets and Nets this season, but there has to be a winner when the two teams square off in Denver tonight. Who are the NBA odds favoring?
Both teams have been bad, so how do you know where the value is for tonight's matchup? NBA odds makers have more faith in Brooklyn at this point in time and have priced out the road team as a 2.5-point favorite here.
The O/U is at 201.5 points right now, meaning we should be seeing more of an up-tempo game than we're used to out of the Nets. Both teams are ranked in the bottom half of the league in terms of points allowed per game.
Have the Nuggets given up on the season already? Not too long ago they were only a couple games under .500, but now they can be found at a dreadful 20-35 overall. Denver has lost two straight, eight of their last nine, and has gone an awful 2-15 over their previous 17 games. Another season down the drain.
The Nuggets were dominated from the opening tip by Russell Westbrook and the Thunder last night. They wound up losing 119-94, shooting 36.1 percent from the floor while letting Oklahoma City connect on 52.2 percent from the field overall. Denver was helpless defensively, allowing Westbrook, Ibaka and company to do as they pleased throughout. Westbrook finished with 21 points, 17 assists and eight rebounds in 28 minutes of scarily efficient basketball.
Based on their recent play, it would appear the Nuggets have all but quit on their coach, Brian Shaw. They've got talent to win games but simply haven't been able to put it together on a consistent basis. Ty Lawson was recently punished for arriving back late after the All-Star break and subsequently missed the recent road loss to Milwaukee, another embarrassing moment in a season that's quickly turned sour.
The Nets made a little noise before the trade deadline, but many expected them to make even bigger moves. They were reportedly shopping the likes of Brook Lopez, Joe Johnson and Deron Williams, but in the end it was Kevin Garnett that left town back to Minnesota. In return Brooklyn was able to bring Thaddeus Young on board, and he should see all the minutes he can handle with his new team.
In the team's first game after the All-Star break, the Nets were able to outlast the Los Angeles Lakers in a 114-105 road win on Friday. Joe Johnson led all scorers with 23 points and Williams and Lopez also had productive outings for the victors. Brooklyn has now gone 4-3 over its last seven games to improve to 22-31 overall.
The funny thing? Despite being nine games under .500, the Nets are still occupying the eighth seed in the Eastern Conference. They would still make the playoffs if the regular season ended today, which again just goes to show you how different the East and West truly are.
Have we gone crazy? Are we really recommending that you side with the Nuggets tonight with your NBA picks?
Hear us out. Yes, Denver hasn't done much of anything to warrant our faith, but it's not as if Brooklyn has been that much better. What's more, the Nets have little to no bench support right now, especially with Jack out injured. The Nuggets will also have the advantage of being at home, where they've been much more competitive this season, and considering they were dominated last night, we don't think tired legs will be much of an issue.
So while the Nets are getting the love from odds makers, we're actually going the other way and siding with Denver to secure a win in front of their own fans. In this showdown between two disappointing squads, we'll roll with the home dog.
NBA Pick: Denver Nuggets +2.5 at BetOnline.