Denver doesn't just stink at the moment, it's picking pockets, too, losing six games in a row against the NBA odds. Can the Nuggets cover nine points at Chicago Wednesday night?
Most of Wednesday's NBA odds market opened Chicago at -9, while the total started off at anywhere from 198 to 201. In the early betting many books then bumped the Bulls to -10, and dropped the total to 197.
Denver (6-12 SU, 7-11 ATS) enters this game having lost seven in a row, most recently a 92-74 decision at Milwaukee Monday night. The Nuggets only trailed by two points at the half, but went dead cold from there, later trailed by 22 and whiffed against the spread as four-point dogs.
On the night Denver shot just 37 percent from the field, and committed 24 turnovers.
Saturday the Nuggs lost at Dallas 92-81, missing ATS at +9, and just before that they lost to San Antonio 91-80, missing ATS at +8. In fact, Denver isn't just losing games, it's 0-6 ATS its last six times out.
Chicago (10-5 SU, 6-9 ATS) is alternating wins and losses as of late. The Bulls recently reeled off four wins in a row, then lost at Golden State 12 days ago 106-94. They then won at Portland 93-88 but lost at Indiana 104-92. Monday Chicago rose up and upset the Spurs 92-89, taking that game outright as a four-point home dog.
The Bulls trailed by three points through three quarters Monday night, then held San Antonio to just 16 points in the fourth quarter, winning the game late with some good defense and some free-throws.
On the night Chicago only shot 43 percent from the floor, but held the Spurs, who rank third in the league in shooting, to just 41 percent.
Denver has actually taken six of the last eight meetings with Chicago, going 5-3 ATS in the process. Last season the teams split their two games, each winning at home, but the Nuggets covered both games, outshooting the Bulls from the floor by a combined 45-42 percent.
Also, both of last season's meetings played OVER totals of 204 and 205.
Denver is 10-8 on the UNDERS this season, including four in a row, as Nuggets games have averaged just under 200 points.
Chicago is 11-3-1 on the UNDERS, including six in a row, as Bulls games have averaged 197 points.
Denver G Gary Harris (10 PPG) has missed recent action with a concussion, and is very doubtful for Wednesday night. But F Kenneth Faried (12 PPG, nine RPG) returned to action Monday night, after missing time with a sore ankle.
The Bulls are a little thin themselves at the moment, missing a couple of guys off the bench, and G Jimmy Butler is playing through a sore heel.
Chicago plays better defense than Denver, shoots the threes better and takes better care of the ball. So while we might normally consider the Bulls candidates for a letdown, after their big win over the Spurs last time out, we like 'em for tonight as our NBA pick. Also, both these teams are trending UNDER, and we like that angle, too.
NBA Picks: Chicago -9.5 & UNDER 197 at Bet365