Jason’s 2018-19 NBA picks record through Apr. 1: 23-24-1 ATS, 0-4 ML (minus-9.35 units), 32-18 Totals
Denver (51-25 SU, 39-37 ATS) at Golden State (52-24 SU, 32-43-1 ATS)
Tuesday, 10:30 p.m. ET, TNT
Free NBA Pick: Under
Best Line Offered: Bovada
We seem to have hit a snag with our NBA picks against the spread. A 1-5 ATS snag, in fact. That’s the way the cookie crumbles, but it’s also a reminder that NBA totals are where the profit margin is these days, and that’s where we’re going for Tuesday’s game between the Denver Nuggets and the Golden State Warriors.
On the surface, the Nuggets look like the right pick ATS, but things aren’t what they seem. Denver have opened as 8.5-point road dogs on the NBA odds board; according to the projections at FiveThirtyEight, they belong at +10. Should we bet the other side instead? Well, we’re supposed to be looking for at least a 2-point gap between the projections and the actual odds, so even though the Warriors are heating up for the playoffs at 7-3 SU and 6-4 ATS over their past 10 games, we’ll give it a pass, thank you kindly.
The Oracle Speaks
The ‘under’ looks like a much better pick here, in part because of the home/away splits. The Nuggets have the ‘under’ at 24-13-1 on the road this year, and the Warriors have it at 23-15 playing at home. Recent results are good, too: The ‘under’ is on an 8-2 run for Denver, and 12-3 for Golden State. Season series? Yep, the ‘under’ is 2-1 after three games, including their only game at The Oracle, a 122-105 win for the Dubs (Under 235) on March 8.
Too bad the market has adjusted since those heady days. Tuesday’s total opened at 222 points, which certainly doesn’t help our cause. However, this is the first of back-to-back games for Denver, and they could be without Jamal Murray (plus-1.0 OBPM, minus-1.1 DBPM) after he tweaked his left ankle during Sunday’s 95-90 loss to the Washington Wizards (Under 227). Murray is listed as day-to-day.
Monte Video And The Cassettes
Once again, things are not what they seem. It would help if the No. 2 point guard for the Nuggets were a defensive stopper, but instead, it’s Monte Morris (plus-1.4 OBPM, minus-1.3 DBPM). That’s pretty much a wash, and indeed, the totals were split 3-3 during the six-game stretch that Murray missed earlier this year. Phooey.
But wait: Gary Harris (minus-0.4 OBPM, minus-1.0 DBPM) only played the first two of those non-Murray games, both of which went ‘under’ the total, then he sat out the next four. We’re dealing with small sample sizes here, of course, and we don’t want to get lost in granular detail, but in the end, we haven’t found enough reason to go against the larger betting trends in this matchup. Bet the ‘under’ with confidence, and may the sphere be with you.