Denver Nuggets (3-2 SU & ATS) vs San Antonio Spurs (2-3 SU & ATS)
Thursday, April 25, 8:00 PM EST
Free NBA Pick: Nuggets +3 (-107)
Recommended Sportsbook: Pinnacle
Arguably, this has been the most captivating series in the first round of the NBA playoffs simply because it’s the only first-round series that is still on the NBA odds board (until this happened). Back and forth action saw both teams trade leads in the series, beginning with the Spurs upsetting the Nuggets at home in game 1 101-96. Denver leveled the series with a 114-105 win in game 2, but they quickly slipped in game 3 with a 108-118 loss in San Antonio. Since game 3, however, the Nuggets reeled off back-to-back wins to return into ascendancy and take the 3-2 series lead.
On the cusp of clinching the series, the No.2 seed Nuggets enter NBA betting markets as the +3 underdogs on the road. The market outlook goes against their lofty seeding and their recent run of form that includes back-to-back wins over the Spurs (on the road and at home, respectively). What’s more, the Nuggets blew out the Spurs in both games scoring a combined 225 points and conceding just 193 points. That makes for an average 16 point win margin in their last two games.
In game 4, the Nuggets won 117-103 to cover as the +3.5 road underdogs with plenty of units to spare. In game 5, they won 108-90 to cover as the -5.5 home favorites with plenty of units to spare as well.
Yet, despite this recent surge, the NBA odds makers tip the Nuggets as the road underdogs. Indeed, the Nuggets opened as the +2.5 road underdogs but bettors have bet up the line to +3 with the bulk of betting going towards the Spurs. Almost 60% of early betting has gone to the Spurs as the home faves in spread markets.
Granted, the Nuggets struggled early on in the series. Imposing their game on the Spurs and underscoring their lofty seeding wasn’t straightforward. Perhaps, it was their youthfulness and lack of experience at this level. However, we can’t overlook the manner in which they bounced back to take the lead in this series ahead of game 6. Something must have clicked and they are one win away from advancing into the second round.
Defensively, they were sound in the last two games. Overall, they are holding the Spurs to an average of 103.4 points per game. In their last game they stifled the Spurs offense to a mere 90 points, the lowest output thus far.
Let’s not forget the other side of the coin. The Spurs had the 2-1 lead in the series and looked poised to mastermind the upset. Only to let the lead slip, demonstrating their own inability to rise to the occasion. Now they are faced with a must-win game and all the pressure that entails.
NBA Betting Verdict: This has been a close series. On one hand, there is an argument to be had for it being anybody’s game considering how it has seesawed thus far, and understandably the public is captivated and wants it to go to a thrilling showdown in game 7. However, that’s not a sound premise for betting. If we go by recent form, the momentum is with Denver. Plus they do have the deeper talent and defense has been superb in recent games. If they can build on those factors they should win game 6 and put this series to bed.