Back Nuggets +9.5 As The Savvy NBA Pick vs. Celtics

Nikki Adams

Wednesday, January 27, 2016 8:50 PM GMT

The Denver Nuggets descend on the Boston Celtics as the whopping +9.5 point underdogs. Here we look towards the visitors and determine if they offer contrarian value for NBA bettors or if the favored hosts are indeed the smart NBA pick?

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NBA Picks: Nuggets +9.5
Best Line Offered: at Pinnacle

 

Denver Nuggets (17-28)
The Denver Nuggets slipped to a 17-28 mark following a 119-105 defeat to the Atlanta Hawks on Monday Night, all while closing as the +4 home underdogs and putting a damper on our NBA picks for the game.

The recent loss marked their fourth loss in the last six games and snapped a four-game winning streak against the spread – they are 4-2 ATS in their last six games as a result.

To say it’s been a disappointing season so far is an understatement. Their subpar record includes a 9-15 mark at home and an 8-13 mark on the road. In their last ten overall games, they are 5-5 SU. In their last ten road games they are just 4-6 SU.

The Nuggets are hanging around in the Northwest basement, only the Minnesota Timberwolves stack up worse behind a 14-32 mark. Where they’ve enjoyed some success, though, is on the NBA betting floor. Where they are a 22-21-2 versus the spread, albeit sporting a 4.1-point losing margin and a +1.6-point differential versus the spread – small consolation for the Nuggets but it does offer value to NBA bettors looking to bank on the Nuggets and their woes this season.

Another stat that could be encouraging to some NBA bettors is a 17-16 ATS mark in non-Conference games, but at almost a 50-50 rate of return it’s debatable. Ideally, we’d prefer a better winning percentage, which can be found in their record as the away underdogs that stands at 12-8 ATS (60% cover ratio).

 

Boston Celtics (25-21)
The Boston Celtics are second in the Atlantic Division behind the Toronto Raptors and fifth in the Eastern Conference standings. Overall, they boast a positive 25-21 record on which includes a 12-10 mark at home and a 13-11 mark on the road.

Coming into Wednesday’s home clash with the Nuggets, the Celtics are riding a three-game winning streak, improving to 6-4 in their last ten games. They beat Chicago 110-101, Philadelphia 112-92 and Washington 116-91, covering in each and every game.

They are 6-2 ATS in their last eight games and 25-20-1 ATS on the season overall. As home favorites, they are 10-8-0 ATS with a 6.1-point winning margin and a negative 0.2-point differential versus the spread on average. In non-Conference games, they are 7-5-1 ATS with a 4.5-point winning margin and a plus 3.4-point differential versus the spread on average.

 

NBA Betting Verdict
Given the contrasting fortunes of both teams this season, it should come as no surprise the Boston Celtics are massive home faves and for the most part they do appear to be the correct NBA pick to win straight up. The Nuggets have on occasion punched above their weight class this season in straight up betting markets, but those occasions are too few and far in between. It would be a shocker if the Nuggets were to fly the coop with the ‘W’ here.

Where there can be contrarian value is against the spread. NBA odds makers are hanging the Celtics on -9.5 across the board, a line that is underscored largely by the hosts’ recent run of form which has seen them averaging an 18-point winning margin over the last three games. That said the Nuggets have pulled off the cover in similar such matchups – recently they covered a +9 spread in a 110-104 loss to Oklahoma City, a +9.5 spread in an outright 112-110 upset of the Golden State Warriors and a +15 spread in an earlier matchup with Golden State, amongst several others. In fact, since mid-December, the Nuggets have covered each and every single closing spread of +7 or higher. If that trend continues, the Nuggets should prove the savvy NBA pick as the +9.5 underdogs.