Sharps Back Spurs -6.5 vs. Nuggets

Darin Zank

Friday, March 28, 2014 11:18 AM GMT

The San Antonio Spurs are rolling once again toward the playoffs, riding a 15-game winning streak into a Friday night bout with the Nuggets in Denver (9 pm ET), the back half of a home-and-home between the teams. Here's our take on how this game might fall along the pointspread, with an NBA free pick for the taking, or leaving.

The Line

As of early Friday morning most books we consulted were chalking San Antonio at -6.5, with a total of 215.5. Those who believe Denver might win this game outright can get the Nuggets at around +250 on the moneyline.

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The Situation
San Antonio has won 15 games in a row, after beating Denver Wednesday night 108-103. So at 55-16 the Spurs lead the West by three games over Oklahoma City, and they lead Indiana by 3.5 games in the battle for the top overall seed in the upcoming playoffs. 

On the homey side of this match-up Denver has lost three of its last four games, but covered the spread in five of its last seven. The Nuggets haven't had much to play for in a while, following a 1-11 stretch in February, but they have been able to pull of some upsets recently, beating, among others, Dallas, Miami, the Clippers and Washington this month. 

At 32-40 the Nuggets will miss the playoffs for the first time in 11 seasons. 

San Antonio has taken two games from Denver already this season. Wednesday night the Spurs built a 24-point third-quarter lead at home over the Nuggets, then had to hold off a Denver rally before going to the locker room with a 108-103 victory. But it was the Nuggets who covered the spread as 13-point dogs. 

San Antonio shot 49 percent from the field Wednesday and made eight of 20 shots from beyond the arc.

In the first meeting this season between the teams back in November in Denver the Spurs rallied from an six-point fourth-quarter deficit to beat the Nuggets 102-94. 

Both of this year's meetings played UNDER the totals, as have the last four meetings in this series. 

Stretching back a little further San Antonio has beaten Denver 11 of the last 15 times they've played.

 

Spurs-Nuggets, Statistically Speaking
The Spurs rank second in the league in FG shooting at 49 percent, lead the league in 3-point shooting at a shade under 40 percent and rank fourth in free-throw shooting at 79 percent. San Antonio also ranks seventh in FG defense, holding opponents to 44 percent shooting. 

Denver is shooting 45 percent from the floor, 36 percent from long-range but just 72 percent from the line, while allowing foes to shoot 46 percent.

 

Spurs-Nuggets Betting Trends
San Antonio is 40-30 on the totals this season, as Spurs games have averaged 203 points. 

Denver is 35-37 on the totals this season, even though Nuggets games have averaged 210 points, second-most in the league. Denver has played three UNDERS in a row, but those totals were posted at 215, 216 and 216. 

San Antonio is 22-13 ATS on the road this season, 5-0 ATS over its last five road games, and 18-10 ATS as favorites on the road. 

Denver has won five home games in a row, going 4-1 ATS in that span, but on the season the Nuggets are only 15-20 ATS at the Pepsi Center. They're also, however, 9-7 ATS as home dogs.

 

Spurs-Nuggets Injury Update
San Antonio G Danny Green left Wednesday's game (after hitting five 3-pointers) with a foot injury, and his status for Friday night is uncertain. 

On the other side of the scorers' table Denver F Wilson Chandler (14 PPG) has missed the last three games with a strained hip/groin, and is questionable for Friday night. The Nuggets are also without JJ Hickson (12/9) who's gone for the season with a torn ACL.

Spurs-Nuggets Free Pick
San Antonio has won its last 15 games in a row by an average of 15 PPG. How neat. And the Spurs are likely to win this game, too. So in believing that by picking the winner of this game we'll be picking the cover we'll go with San Antonio, at the -6.5 points offered at SBR Sportsbook, for one of our free NBA picks for Friday.