Sunday, 8:00 PM ET
Free NBA Pick: Nuggets – ATS
Best Line Offered: Bookmaker
The Beasts of the East meet the Best in the West on Sunday night and if the Nuggets have it their way, it will be pretty much a repeat of the teams’ December 3rd meeting in which Denver upset the Raptors 106-103 in Toronto as seven-point road dogs, according to the NBA odds board. On that night, Denver’s Nikola Jokic – as an aside, how did 40 other teams pass on this 7-foot wunderkind in the 2014 draft? – notched his second triple double of the season with 23 points, 11 rebounds, and 15 assists. That was also the night that Denver’s leading scorer Gary Harris aggravated a right hip injury and has been sidelined ever since and won’t return until after the New Year.
The Raptors began their four-game road trip with a dominating 24-point victory over the Clippers and the following night, on the second leg of a back-to-back road tilt, stunned the Warriors 113-93 as eight-point road hounds. Not surprisingly, and in a typical letdown spot, Toronto fell 128-122 to the Trail Blazers on Friday after still reveling in their enormous win over the reigning champs. Now the Raps will end their West Coast campaign against the team with the best record in the West and one that has cashed in nine of their last 11 for those backing the Nuggets in their NBA picks.
Denver has been a stellar side to back when playing Toronto. Consider that the Nuggets have covered the number in 17 of their last 22 meetings against the Raps. And if you want something a little more current then know that Denver is 5-0 ATS versus Toronto over the past three seasons. Heading into this Sunday night showdown we know that Gary Harris is out for the Nuggets but let’s not forget that the Raptors have lost an important big body off the bench in the form of Jonas Valanciunas, who is out for at least the next four weeks after undergoing surgery to his thumb. And what about Toronto’s Kyle Lowry? He missed the Friday night game against Portland with a back injury. If he does return against Denver will he be close to full-throttle or will he be used cautiously? There are simply too many questions to back Toronto while Denver has not only dominated their Sunday night opponent in recent memory but is also 11-3 straight up and 10-4 against the spread at the Pepsi Center this season.
Below are a few more reasons to put your money on Denver:
- Nuggets are 5-0 ATS in their last 5 home games.
- Nuggets are 4-0 ATS in their last 4 games vs. a team with a winning % above .600.
- Nuggets are 7-1 ATS in their last 8 games following a straight up win.
- Raptors are 1-5-1 ATS in their last 7 Sunday games.
- Raptors are 1-5 ATS in their last 6 vs. NBA Northwest.
- Raptors are 1-5 ATS in their last 6 games after allowing more than 125 points in their previous game.
Final Score: Nuggets 114 Raptors 107