The 76ers are still the Sixers, but they are 4-0 against the spread over their last four games. Can they make it five in a row when they host downtrodden Denver Tuesday night? And how do we dissect this match-up from a handicapping standpoint?
Nuggets-Sixers Betting Odds
The NBA odds opened this game with Philly favored by six points, the total offered at 193. In the early betting the spread was holding steady, while the total was lowered to 192.
Denver is just 1-9 over its last 10 games, after losing at home to Charlotte Saturday night 104-86.
Playing without F Kenneth Faried (12 points, nine rebounds per game) the Nuggets fell down by 15 after one quarter and never recovered, later trailing by 36, before the Hornets took their foot off the gas.
Denver shot just 36 percent from the floor Saturday, while allowing Charlotte to shoot 47 percent.
Just before that Denver scored just 69 points in a 30-point loss at Memphis. So the Nuggets have put on two terrible performances in a row.
At 19-29 the Nuggets are in 11th place in the Western Conference, eight games behind eighth-place Phoenix.
Philly has lost two in a row, and 10 of its last 13, after falling at Cleveland Monday night 97-84. The Sixers trailed by 20 midway through the third quarter, rallied to within three points with four minutes to go, but ran out of gas. They did, however, hang on for the cover as 17-point underdogs.
Philly shot just 40 percent from the field Monday, and committed 22 turnovers.
But just before that the Sixers lost a close game at Atlanta, covering as 16-point dog, and just before that they won two games in a row, beating Detroit and Minnesota. So Philly is 4-0 ATS over its last four games.
At 10-39 the Sixers sit in last place in the Eastern Conference, 11.5 games behind eighth-place Charlotte.
This is the first meeting this season between these teams; last season these teams split two games, each team winning and covering on the others' home court.
Nuggets-Sixers Key Stats
Denver ranks 26th in the league in FG shooting at 43 percent, and 17th in FG defense, allowing opponents to shoot 45 percent from the floor. The Nuggets also rank 12th in rebounding at +1 per game.
Philly ranks dead last in the league in FG shooting at 41 percent, last in 3-point shooting at 30 percent and last in FT shooting at 68 percent. The Sixers also rank 18th in FG defense, allowing foes to shoot 45 percent, but also last in turnovers at almost 18 per game and in rebounding at -4.5 per game. If this game were being played on paper Philly would be in big trouble.
Nuggets-Sixers Betting Trends
Denver has leaned toward the UNDERS this season by a 27-19 margin, even as Nuggets games have averaged 205 points. They've also played four UNDERS in a row.
Philly has skewed toward the UNDERS by a 33-16 margin, as Sixers games have averaged just 191 points. Philly has played 15 UNDERS in its last 17 games, mainly because it's had such a tough time throwing the ball in the hole.
Denver is 7-16 SU, 9-13 ATS on the road this season.
Philly is 5-18 SU but 14-9 ATS at home.
Philly is a little banged up at the moment; it's already playing without G Tony Wroten (17 PPG), who's out with a knee injury, and G Michael Carter-Williams (15 PPG) turned an ankle Monday night, and is questionable for tonight.
Meanwhile, Denver's Faried missed Saturday's game with an illness, and his status for tonight is uncertain.
Nuggets-Sixers Free Pick
We'd lean toward Philly in this match-up almost by default, because of how badly Denver has been playing lately, but the Sixers could be without two starters. So we can't make a case for either side on the spread in this game. Instead, after looking at those shooting percentages and totals trends we'll go with the UNDER as our NBA pick in this match-up.
Free NBA Pick: UNDER 194 at Pinnacle