Thunder vs. Nuggets: Follow Betting Trends & Add 'Under' To Your NBA Picks

Jordan Sharp

Tuesday, January 19, 2016 3:15 PM GMT

While this game has the highest NBA Odds of any game on Tuesday’s short slate, with the Thunder coming in as -8½ road favorites, will the Nuggets once again put up a good fight tonight?

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NBA Pick: UNDER 213.5
Best Line Offered: at 5Dimes

 

Nuggets Turnaround?
In a much more shallow Western Conference this season, the Nuggets are still going to be hard-pressed to make the playoffs. However, they have been playing really good recently, and after their win against the Warriors last week, and after their come from behind victory against the Pacers two nights ago, the Nuggets are starting to look like a viable playoff contender. Even though they still have some holes, almost every Western Conference team has holes outside of the top two or three teams, and even though they might still be without the Bosnian Beast, Jusuf Nurkic tonight, the Nuggets should give the Thunder all they can handle.

This will be the third meeting between these two teams this season, and while the Thunder have won both of the first two games pretty easily SU, the Nuggets covered the most recent one as huge +16½ underdogs. With Denver playing better, the sportsbooks have wised up to the Nuggets beginning to shine, and they are only a +8½ dog at home.

A big reason for the Nuggets success this season has been the hiring of Mike Malone. Malone had the Kings looking like a playoff team last season before DeMarcus Cousins went down, and while he was promptly fired for a situation beyond his control, he is now pulling off the same magic in Denver.

Like coaches before him, Malone is getting more out of his team that the average coach, and while the Nuggets do have Emmanuel Mudiay this season, he has been hurt for a while, and the Nuggets have still been playing hard. Basically Malone has the same cast and crew this season as Brian Shaw did last season, and tonight in Denver, he could easily give the Thunder a run for their money.

 

The Sharp Pick
The problem with picking this game ATS other than it’s January and it seems impossible to predict what teams are going to do now that we are 40 games in; neither one of these teams have been good ATS in their respective home/road splits. The Nuggets are only 7-11-2 ATS at home this season and the Thunder are 6-11 against the NBA odds on the road. Denver is also only 5-8-1 ATS at home against the West, while OKC is 4-6 on the road ATS versus their own conference.

However, recent trends could point to the total as a solid wager, and the under could in fact be a great play. OKC’s offense is almost second to none in the NBA, and if it weren’t for the Warriors, we might be talking about it being the best offense in the league. However, slightly unnoticed recently has been their defense.

The Thunder have allowed an average of less than 100 points per game in their last ten games, and even the Nuggets have been improved on offense, if you take away the ABA flashback game against the Pacers two nights ago, the Nuggets have allowed an average of only 97 points per game in their last four before the Indiana game. Denver is also allowing only 101.7 points per game in their last ten games, which is almost a full two points below their season average.

With the under cashing in four of the last five games for the Thunder, and at 4-2 in their last six road games, I am following the trends and going under with this very high total of 213. Even though the Thunder have dropped at least 117 points in two games against the Nuggets, I see that number going down tonight, and much like their first meeting this season, I see the total falling under as the sharp NBA pick.