The Nuggets are on their third game in four nights after taking care of the Bulls on Monday. However, things get much more difficult tonight on no rest against one of the East’s best. Can we find value in either team’s spread with the Nuggets playing tired and injured in Milwaukee? Let’s see those NBA odds.
Denver Nuggets vs. Milwaukee Bucks
Tuesday, March 02, 2021 – 09:00 PM EST at Fiserv Forum
Nuggets’ Road Struggles
Home-to-road struggles are real in almost every sport, but there are certain teams who have bigger problems than others when they go out on the road. The Nuggets haven’t been bad on the road going 10-8 SU and 9-9 ATS this season, but their stats show a different team.
With fans in the stands, this had been more pronounced in the past, but even without any fans this season, the Nuggets have struggled when they go away from the Pepsi Center. Denver is allowing 112.4 points per 100 possessions this season on the road, which ranks them 17th in the NBA. They are nearly two points better at home on defense.
Now throw in the Nuggets having to play one of the league’s best teams on the road and playing them in their third game in four nights. It spells bad news for the Nuggets in this one, but that doesn’t mean we should write them off entirely ATS in this game. The Bucks have had their issues this season and a Denver cover would not surprise me. I’m banking on the total here for a few reasons, injuries being one of the bigger ones.
The Sharp Pick
The Nuggets are dealing with some injury issues that have limited their bench production. Paul Millsap, Gary Harris, and JaMychal Green are all out until after the All-Star Break and their backup point guard Fracundo Campazzo will also be out tonight. For a Nuggets team that has dealt with depth issues this season, that’s a lot of firepower, especially in the frontcourt. While Denver has been one of the better over-cashing teams in the NBA this season, I’m banking on the under here with a sky-high total.
The Bucks’ defense has been very good when playing at home. They are allowing just 106.6 points per 100 possessions at home, which ranks third-best in the NBA. Other than the Jazz, they have the best home net rating in the NBA. With Jrue Holiday back in action for the Bucks, their defense will only get better. They slumped some when Holliday was out, but with him back, even if he isn’t in the starting lineup, the Bucks have a much better chance at slowing down Jamal Murray.
As long as the Bucks can slow down either Murray or Nikola Jokic, the under should have some value here. If I were Mike Budenholzer and the Bucks, I would blitz this tired team early and often in this game to build a lead and just clamp down on defense. The Bucks will be playing at a slower pace against this team, so forcing them to defend in the half court and making them even more tired would be a sound strategy.
The Bucks could run some too, but eventually, they should have a lead and should be able to slow things down. I’m hoping the pace and defense are slow and good enough from Milwaukee to prevent the Nuggets from staying in the game too long. Hopefully, the Nuggets have some juice left to play defense too, because we need Milwaukee to avoid dropping 120 or more points.
Assuming Milwaukee brings a similar defensive effort as they did on Sunday afternoon against the Clippers and the Nuggets can play just a little defense, 236 points is too many for these two teams for our NBA picks.
*The pick reflects the line at the moment the writer made the play, the odds at the beginning of this article show the live line movement. Since the lines might vary, don’t forget to refer back to our live odds.