Take Nuggets To Cover ATS With Your NBA Picks vs. Pacers

Jason Lake

Saturday, January 30, 2016 12:47 AM GMT

The Indiana Pacers got Ian Mahinmi back, but they're still going to have a hard time beating the basketball odds Saturday night against the spunky Denver Nuggets.

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NBA Pick: Denver +8.5
Best Line Offered: at BetOnline

 

If there was any question about what Ian Mahinmi means to the Indiana Pacers, we got the answer on Tuesday. Mahinmi returned from a two-game injury layoff and did a fine job against the Los Angeles Clippers; the big man posted a double-double and finished the night at plus-3 while holding DeAndre Jordan in check. Très bien.

Alas, the Pacers lost 91-89 as 1-point home dogs, down from –1 when we suggested betting on L.A. if Mahinmi didn't play. And we're obviously not very confident about Indiana's chances this Saturday (7:00 p.m. ET) versus the Denver Nuggets. Denver has covered six of its last seven games despite going just 3-4 SU; the Nugs have opened as 8.5-point road dogs on our NBA odds board with a total of 204.5 points.

 

I've Got Nothing Against Your Right Leg
Last time around, we touched on how Pacers swingman Paul George (20.6 PER, +4.2 BPM) has cooled off since playing at an MVP level to start the season. George recently admitted that he had hit a wall around the 30-game mark, and didn't have the same explosion he did earlier in the year. But there hasn't been much further discussion about the swelling in his formerly-broken left leg.

Maybe he's over it. George had 31 points and 11 rebounds against the Clippers, but then he had a poor shooting night in Thursday's 111-92 win over the Atlanta Hawks (+3 away), hitting just 2-of-11 from the floor – although George did drain all seven of his free-throw attempts. We'd like to see some more consistency here; we're also wondering why George was moved back to small forward after playing so well at the 4-spot. Squeaky wheel, perhaps.

 

Strength in Numbers
That could be a moot point already. Thursday saw PF Myles Turner (20.4 PER, –1.4 BPM) get his first NBA start for the Pacers, and the rookie scored 20 points against Atlanta on 9-of-17 shooting. This is a very promising step forward for the former Texas Longhorn. Again, though, we need to see more of that here at the ranch before we're convinced. That negative Box Plus/Minus is a bit scary.

Meanwhile, did we mention the Nuggets (18-29 SU, 24-21-2 ATS) are 6-1 ATS in their last seven games? That's a hot NBA pick right there. The streak began on January 17 with a 129-126 victory over the Pacers (–2.5 away); Turner and George combined for 44 points in that game, but the Nugs had seven scorers in double figures, and they used their bench strength to wear Indiana out and make an impressive second-half comeback. Denver won't have that Mile High air to help out on Saturday, but we'll roll the dice anyway, and may the sphere be with you.

Jason's 2015-16 record as of Jan. 29: 16-18-1 ATS, 5-1-1 Total