Jordan’s NBA Picks: 63-42 (Playoffs 9-4)
Denver (55-30 SU & 43-42 ATS) at San Antonio (50-35 SU & 45-38 ATS)
Saturday, 3:00 PM EST, TNT
Free NBA Pick: Spurs ATS 1H
Best Line Offered: Pinnacle
The Nuggets are in a tough spot down 1-2 and on the road in Game 4. The Spurs are way too experienced and well-coached to take this game lightly. With the way they have been playing, should we pile on the Spurs again, or will the Nuggets get a road win on Saturday?
Spurs’ First Half Dominance
The Spurs have been one of the better first half teams in the league this season. This is for several reasons. Coaching, system, and their defense are key reasons for this, but their offense is definitely part of their first half dominance.
During the regular season, the Spurs averaged 114.6 first half points per 100 possessions when playing at home and they only allowed a defensive rating of 106.6 in the first halves of their home games. Those two numbers ranked them sixth and 14th respectfully and only seven teams had higher gaps between their first half home offensive and defensive ratings.
That has continued into the playoffs, no matter the venue. In their first three playoff games San Antonio is posting an offensive rating of 122.6 in the first half and holding the Nuggets to just 108.2 points per 100 possessions in the first half.
The Sharp Pick
With this game being played in San Antonio and earlier in the day from a normal game, the better coached and better experienced team is going to have an advantage, at least early in the contest.
Considering how well the Spurs have played in the first three first halves, I see little reason to believe that the Nuggets will suddenly turn the script and take the early advantage. Even in their Game 2 win they were down 10 points at halftime and over their last three road games against the Spurs this regular and postseason, they have trailed by an average of five points at the end of the first halves.
The Nuggets allowed 113.4 points per 100 possessions in the first halves of their 41 regular season road games. If you isolate their 26 conference road games, they gave up 115.6 points per 100 possessions in the first half.
This one is pretty simple. I’m banking on that trend continuing in a game that the Spurs know they need a good start if they want a 3-1 lead heading back to Denver for Game 5. No matter if the Nuggets’ firepower is enough for them to win this game outright or ATS, I think they will be down by at least four or five points at the half. They have shown no ability to stop Western Conference teams when playing on the road, so I doubt it starts in game number 86 of the season.