Load Up On Nuggets When OKC Visits Denver In Tuesday's Nightcap

Tuesday, February 26, 2019 3:48 PM UTC

Tuesday, Feb. 26, 2019 3:48 PM UTC

The Oklahoma City Thunder are one of the best teams in the league, but the NBA odds for Tuesday night’s game against the Denver Nuggets are a bit much.

<p style="text-align:right"><strong><em>Jason’s 2018-19 NBA picks record through Feb. 24:<br />12-12 ATS, 0-3 ML (minus-8.35 units), 17-8 Totals</em></strong></p><h2 style="text-align:center">Oklahoma City (38-21 SU, 33-26-1 ATS) at Denver (41-18 SU, 32-27 ATS)</h2><p style="text-align:center"><strong>Tuesday, 10:30 p.m. ET<br />Free NBA Pick: Nuggets ATS<br />Best Line Offered: <a href="https://www.sportsbookreview.com/Sportsbook/?v=4429&amp;book=Heritage" rel="nofollow" target="_blank" title="Top Rated Sportsbook ">Heritage</a></strong></p><p>[/]{"component":"oddswidget", "eventId":3569842, "sportsbooksIds":[169,238,180,139,1275], "LineTypeId":1, "PeriodTypeId":1}[/] </p><p>In theory, both the Denver Nuggets and Oklahoma City Thunder are small-market teams. But in the real world, the Thunder have had a national following for the past decade. They almost won a title, too – if only they had kept James Harden. And Kevin Durant. Oh well, at least they still have Russell Westbrook, and he has a new running buddy in Paul George, who’s playing at a near-MVP level. Maybe this will be their year.<br /><br />While everyone makes goo-goo eyes at George, the Denver Nuggets have the real MVP candidate in <a href="https://www.sportsbookreview.com/betting-odds/nba-basketball/oklahoma-city-thunder-vs-denver-nuggets-3569842/odds/" title="Game Odds">Tuesday’s matchup</a>: Nikola Jokic. They also have a better record than the Thunder, and better advanced stats, too. However, the Nuggets are still a regional team, and because people haven’t been paying attention, they’re a bargain as 3.5-point home faves on the <a href="https://www.sportsbookreview.com/betting-odds/nba-basketball/" title="Live NBA Odds">NBA odds board</a> at press time.</p><p> </p><h2>Throw It Down, Big Man</h2><p>Don’t take our word for it. The fine folks at FiveThirtyEight project Denver as a 5-point favorite for Tuesday’s tilt, using their CARMELO formula. That’s pretty close to the 2-point difference between projected odds and actual odds that we use as a rule of thumb (as recommended long ago by Mason Malmuth and David Sklansky) to decide whether a team belongs in our <a href="https://www.sportsbookreview.com/picks/nba/" title="Free NBA Picks">NBA picks</a>. You can get the Nuggets at -105 juice at several of the <a href="http://www.sportsbookreview.com/best-sportsbooks/" title="SBR's Best Books">sportsbooks</a> on SBR’s odds board, so that helps bridge the gap.<br /><br />As for the George vs. Jokic debate that we just started now, since no one else will, here’s the skinny:<br /><br />George: plus-6.2 BPM, plus-4.4 VORP, 24.7 PER, .226 WS/48<br />Jokic: plus-9.7 BPM, plus-5.4 VORP, 26.8 PER, .236 WS/48<br /><br />End of debate. George gets more of the spotlight, of course, partly because of his association with Westbrook (plus-6.1 BPM) and the Thunder, but also because of his offensive wizardry. People don’t pay nearly as much attention to defense. Jokic is actually out-performing George at both ends of the court, but it’s his defense that really separates the two. Maybe more people will start paying attention if Denver go on a deep playoff run this spring.</p><p>[/]{"component": "embedHTML", "code": "&lt;blockquote class=\"twitter-tweet\" data-lang=\"en\"&gt;&lt;p lang=\"en\" dir=\"ltr\"&gt;BEST PLAY EVER&lt;br /&gt;&lt;br /&gt;JOKIC &lt;a href=\"https://t.co/2TdJRvkPp0\"&gt;pic.twitter.com/2TdJRvkPp0&lt;/a&gt;&lt;/p&gt;— KIA en Zona 🏀 (@kiaenzona) &lt;a href=\"https://twitter.com/kiaenzona/status/1097322105748836352?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw\"&gt;February 18, 2019&lt;/a&gt;&lt;/blockquote&gt;\n&lt;script async src=\"https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js\" charset=\"utf-8\"&gt;&lt;/script&gt;\n"}[/]</p><p>In the meantime, we’re getting solid value on a team that’s won 10 of its past 13 games at 7-6 ATS. The Thunder have also been rolling at 12-3 SU and 10-5 ATS since mid-January, but they’ve had some issues of late, going 1-2 SU and 0-3 ATS heading into Tuesday’s matchup. Markieff Morris (minus-2.5 BPM in two games) hasn’t quite worked himself into the fold yet; he’s been an improvement over Patrick Patterson (minus-3.4 BPM), but until he starts gaining some traction, Oklahoma City’s suspect bench will remain suspect. We’ll fade that for a dollar.</p>
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