Nuggets vs. Spurs
Thursday, 2019, 9:00 PM EST
Free NBA Pick: Nuggets +4.5 (-102)
Recommended Sportsbook: 5Dimes
This was always going to be a competitive series given the fact that this pair split their regular season meetings down the middle. Not to mention, there were those NBA experts and fans alike that weren’t buying what the Nuggets were selling, despite their very solid finish at second place in the Western Conference, three wins behind the Golden State Warriors.
The case against the Nuggets is that they have a young squad lacking in playoff experience on balance and a coach that is making his postseason debut. The experience factor sorely lacking is mainly what takes the shine off of the No.2 seed Denver. Some would have it they’re a bit of a faux No.2
On that vein, therefore, when the Nuggets opened their playoff bid with a 96-101 loss to the Spurs few were shocked.
Indeed, it marked an eight-game losing streak in the playoffs for Denver. Not the sort of record to inspire confidence.
The Spurs, meanwhile, spring to attention on account of several facets of their game. They boast the fifth most efficient offense in the league. They rolled into the playoffs with a three-game winning streak. They won 15 of their last 20 games with notable scalps such as the Golden State Warriors, Milwaukee Bucks, Oklahoma City Thunder, and Portland Trailblazers to name a few.
That said, the Nuggets did rally in game 2, coming from a 19-point deficit to clinch the 114-105 victory over the Spurs and set the series on a 1-1 mark ahead of game three at the AT&T Center in San Antonio, Texas.
Overall, the Nuggets played a much better game on the offensive side of the ball as they put up 114 points on 48 percent shooting from the field and 41.7 percent from three-point range.
There are those that would argue the Nuggets were helped along by the Spurs’ meltdown in the second half as well, which culminated in a complete unraveling in the fourth quarter. Defensively, the Spurs weren’t as effective as they were in game 1.
Be that as it may, the fact remains there is all to play for in this series as we head into game 3. Appropriately, this game is nestled on a tight betting line with the hosts favored by 4.5 points or thereabouts depending on your choice sportsbook. In keeping with the above-mentioned outlook on this series, the public is rather heavy on the Spurs with 65% of consensus betting recorded going towards the hosts laying the points.
Yet, the Spurs blew the lead in game 2. They really should be up 2-0 now but for their meltdown. That has to rankle on their minds some. Plus, can we really simply write off Denver because of their lack of experience alone? They didn’t get to second spot by chance. No matter which way you slice this game, there is a good argument for either team to come up trumps in game 3. They split their regular season games 2-2 and three of those were rather tight. Given the trend between this pair, the Nuggets as the slight road dogs do strike an attractive pose against the spread,