NBA Picks: Nuggets vs. Thunder

PJ Laferla

Wednesday, January 16, 2013 2:57 PM GMT

Two of the hottest teams in the NBA collide tonight, but one winning streak must come to an end, as the Nuggets meet up with the Thunder in a division battle. Our NBA picks are locked in, so find out where we are placing our money.

Northwest Division Showdown: Nuggets vs. Thunder

Tensions will be high tonight when the top two teams in the Northwest Division go at one another, as the Denver Nuggets (24-16 SU, 12-11 ATS away) take their game on the road tonight to face the Oklahoma City Thunder (30-8 SU, 12-8-1 ATS home) in a bitter rivalry matchup that features a couple of streaking teams in the Western Conference.

Tip off for this highly anticipated contest is scheduled for 8:00 PM EST from the Chesapeake Energy Arena in Oklahoma City and can be seen live on television, with broadcast coverage provided by Fox Sports.

Currently, the NBA odds for this game are listing the Oklahoma City Thunder as -8.5 point favorites at home, while the over/under total comes in at an expected high number of 208.5 points.

[gameodds]5/134316/43/us[/gameodds]

Denver Nuggets

The Nuggets have won six games in a row and if they can make it seven tonight, they will close the gap on the Thunder’s comfortable lead in the division and push to make this a fight to the bitter end, with the possibility of winning the Northwest.

Denver is a team that is mostly one-sided and thinks offense above all else. They are scoring an average of 102.7 points per game on 46.5% shooting, both of which are 5th best in the NBA.

However, Denver is averaging nearly 110 points per game during their current six-game winning streak, though five of the contests have come on their home floor.

The defense falls in at the bottom half of the league, as their points against total of 99.7 comes in at 23rd best in the association.

Oklahoma City Thunder

The Thunder will look to make it five straight wins tonight, while snapping the Nuggets hot streak and also further separate themselves in the division if they can come away with a victory on their home floor this evening.

OKC is much better and more balanced on both sides of the ball than the Nuggets.

They own the second highest offense in the NBA, averaging 105.1 points per game and their defense surrenders fewer than 96 points per matchup (95.9), which is 8th best in the league.

However, OKC’s defense has been even better during their last seven games. In fact, they have allowed opponents to score and average of just 90.9 points on a dismal 41.2% shooting during that span.

Betting Trends

Denver is 15-7 against the spread in their last 22 games versus Western Conference opponents and 7-3 ATS in their last ten when facing a team in their own division.

Denver has gone over the posted total in 13 of their last 19 games played on the road.

Oklahoma City has covered the point spread in 23 of their last 34 contests versus Western Conference opponents.

The Thunder have kept the final score under the posted total in their last four games overall.

The Pick

The Thunder have been virtually unbeatable at home, winning a staggering 18 of 21 games played at the Chesapeake Energy Arena this season. Meanwhile, Denver owns a losing record on the road this season and only seems to get the job done at the Pepsi Center.

Unfortunately for the Nuggets, this is a road game and OKC will come out motivated and win this matchup, while also covering the point spread.

NBA Picks: Thunder -8.5