Doncic’s Knee Gives Nuggets Legs Versus Visiting Mavs

Wednesday, March 13, 2019 6:38 PM UTC

Wednesday, Mar. 13, 2019 6:38 PM UTC

Luka Doncic and his sore left knee make the home team a tasty NBA pick when the Dallas Mavericks visit the Denver Nuggets this Thursday.

Jason’s 2018-19 NBA picks record through Mar. 12: 19-16-1 ATS, 0-4 ML (minus-9.35 units), 27-11 Totals

Dallas (27-40 SU, 37-29-1 ATS) at Denver (44-22 SU, 36-30 ATS)

Thursday, 10:30 p.m. ET, TNT

Free NBA Pick: Nuggets ATS

Best Line Offered: 5Dimes

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I love it when a plan comes together. Luka Doncic ended up playing for the Dallas Mavericks on Tuesday, despite his sore left knee, and he helped the ‘under’ pay us out when the Mavericks lost 112-105 to the San Antonio Spurs (–3.5 away, Under 219). Doncic scored just 12 points on 5-of-18 from the floor, including 1-of-7 from downtown. Delightful.

We could pound the ‘under’ again this Thursday when the Mavs visit the Denver Nuggets (Under 36-29-1). But it’s not ideal, since the Nuggets have the ‘over’ at 18-16 when they play at home, even if the ‘under’ is 4-1 in their five games at the Pepsi Center since the All-Star break. The NBA odds have just opened at press time with Denver laying 10.5 points and a total of 220. This will take some thought.

Yes, I Think You’ve Seen Him Before

As lovely as the Doncic (plus-2.6 OBPM, plus-0.9 DBPM) angle is for our ‘under’ purposes, there are other things going on that don’t quite line up with our preferred NBA pick. It’s not just the Nuggets who have an unfavorable home/away split; total-wise, the Mavs are neutral on the road at 16-16-1, while driving the ‘under’ to a 21-13 record in Big D. Humbug.

There’s another injury of note, as well: Denver wing Torrey Craig (minus-1.3 OBPM, plus-0.8 DBPM) hurt his left shoulder during garbage time in Tuesday’s 133-107 win over the Minnesota Timberwolves (Over 227). That game snapped an eight-game streak for the ‘under,’ and while Craig is listed as day-to-day, he could be out for a while – that was a nasty injury, possibly a separation.

Torrey Pines

It seems the Nuggets have been dealing with injuries all year. Gary Harris (minus-0.1 OBPM, minus-1.3 DBPM) has played nine mostly unimpressive games since his return from a tender groin, and has started each of the last five – he’ll presumably get more minutes on Thursday with Craig on the shelf. Isaiah Thomas (minus-4.3 OBPM, minus-4.4 DBPM in nine games) has been taken out of the mix, clearly not anywhere near recovered from his hip issues, so again, more minutes for Harris.

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The Denver Nuggets plan on moving Isaiah Thomas out of the rotation, per Head Coach Mike Malone

— NBA Central (@TheNBACentral) March 13, 2019

Looks like we’re going to eat some chalk instead. The Nuggets are 23-11 ATS at home this year, and the fine folks at FiveThirtyEight project them as 14.5-point favorites for Thursday’s game, considerably more points than Denver are laying in real life. They did beat the Mavericks 114-104 on February 22 as 7-point road faves, in a game that both Doncic and Craig sat out. And the Mavs are 3-9 ATS in their last dozen games. We’ll buy that for a half-dollar.

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