Nuggets Need To Keep Their Focus Against The Spurs

Monday, March 4, 2019 4:17 PM UTC

Monday, Mar. 4, 2019 4:17 PM UTC

It's important for Denver to bet the victor tonight, win against the imploding Los Angeles Lakers, and then look to upset the Golden State Warriors in Oakland this Friday.

Denver Nuggets (42-28) at San Antonio Spurs (35-29)

Monday, 8:35 p.m. EST
Free NBA Pick: Nuggets ATS
Best Line Offered: BetOnline

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The Spurs are in 8th place in the last playoff seed in the Western Conference standings entering tonight’s showdown with Denver, who is in second place and just 1.5-games behind conference leader Golden State. The good news for the Spurs right now is that they have a 3-game lead over 9th place Sacramento and 4.5-games over the imploding Los Angeles Lakers. The bad news for the Spurs is that if the season ended today, they would be facing the World Champion Warriors.

The Nuggets are comfortably in second place with a 3.5-game lead over Oklahoma City and Portland, who are tied for third place. The Nuggets will not overlook the Spurs having those imploding Lakers on deck. The more important focus is to win tonight, win against the Lakers, and then look to upset Golden State in Oakland this Friday. That winning path would give the Nuggets at least a tie for the conference lead with the Warriors.

The advantages for the Nuggets are that they better defense and ball control. Let’s look first at the defensive metrics where Denver ranks 7th in the NBA allowing an average of 107.2 points-per-game (PPG) overall and 109.2 PPG in road games. The Spurs defense ranks 15th allowing 111.2 PPG overall and ranks 23rd allowing 115.70 PPG in road games.

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BUSINESS TRIP!

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— Denver Nuggets (@nuggets) March 4, 2019
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Denver ranks second in the NBA averaging 27.6 assists-per-game (APG), third with a 0.652 assist-to-field goal made (AFGM) ratio, and second with an exceptionally strong 2.019 assist-to-turnover ratio (ATR). The Spurs defense ranks worst in the NBA with a 2.036 opponent ATR and this illustrates a clear and significant matchup advantage for Denver.

Denver also does a great job in transition defense allowing an average of 11.6 PPG, which ranks 5th-best in the NBA. The Spurs offense ranks 25th averaging just 10.5 PPG and will allow Denver to protect the paint and force the Spurs into many perimeter shots. Moreover, the Nuggets do a great job in minimizing an opponents’ second chance scoring opportunities by defending their glass ranking 8th allowing opponents to get an offensive rebound on 21.8% of their possessions. On the offensive end Denver is aggressive and ranks best averaging 12.3 offensive boards per game and getting second chance scoring opportunities on 27.5 of their missed shots.

Let’s look at a database situational queries that support the Nuggets and works against the Spurs in this matchup. This database situational query has earned a 97-42 against the spread (ATS) record for 70% winners over the last 22 seasons. The query instructs us to play on any team using the money line that are off an upset loss as a favorite of 10 points or more and is well rested team playing 6 or less games in the past 14 days.

From the machine learning side of this game the pivot point is that the Nuggets will score a minimum of 112 points. The Nuggets are a solid 20-5 straight-up (SU) when scoring 112 or more points in a game this season while the Spurs are a money-burning 8-18 when allowing 112 or more points. The Spurs are 18-4 SU at home and win the game by an average of 10.6 PPG and 16-6 ATS covering the spread by an average of 6.1 points this season. So, you can see how important is for the Nuggets to look to play fast and look to out score the Spurs in order for us to get the winning ticket.

Place a wager on the Nuggets.

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