The Denver Nuggets and Toronto Raptors meet on Monday night in a matchup of two teams that have been struggling recently. Both teams are hungry to get back on track but the oddsmakers think the Raptors are more likely to do as they are a nine-point favorite on the NBA betting lines.
The Denver Nuggets Can Win Because…
The Raptors haven’t been the same recently. After starting the year 13-2, they’ve cooled off severely. They have three losses in their last five games. One of the big issues has been the loss of All-Star guard DeMar Derozan, who will be out for a prolonged period of time.
Denver has won seven of their last 10 visits to Toronto and there’s a good chance they build on that tonight if the Raptors defense continues to perform the way it has. The Raptors have given up at least 100 points in six straight games and Denver is one of the higher-scoring teams at 103.4 per outing. They’ll have a chance to improve their averages here.
The Raps are also in a potential flat spot here as they’ll face the Cleveland Cavaliers again on Tuesday night. They want revenge for last week’s loss and there’s a good chance that they’ll have their eye squarely on that game. That could give Denver an opportunity to sneak and do more than just cover on the NBA betting odds.
The Toronto Raptors Can Win Because…
Denver is in a slump. The Nuggets have dropped three straight and four of six. They lost in Atlanta on Sunday night and now have a quick turnaround to face Toronto with no rest. They also played in Washington on Friday, so this is actually their third game in four nights in their third different city. That’s a challenge for most teams but could especially be an issue for Denver as they are just 4-7 away from home this season. Compounding the problems is that the Nuggets are coming off one of their worst outings of the season, shooting a pathetic 37.1% from the field Friday night. They were without Kenneth Faried, Nate Robinson and JaVale McGee. If those guys are out again, the Nuggets chances of winning are slim to none.
The Nuggets are one of the worst defensive teams in the NBA right now as they’re giving up 105.5 points per game. If the Raps were having any issues filling it up after the Derozan injury, this matchup will allow them to get back on track. With Denver struggling on defense, struggling on the road and struggling with injuries, take the Raptors with your NBA picks here.
Although the Raptors should win this game, it looks like under might be the better play in this spot. The total is a whopping 216.5 but that’s not taking into account that the Nuggets have struggled mightily at the offensive end recently and could be without a number of key contributors. The Nuggets haven’t even hit 90 points in their last two games. For those reasons, go under the number here.
Free NBA Pick: Under 216.5 at Bodog