Prediction, Preview, and Odds
#517 Philadelphia 76ers 210 vs.
#518 Denver Nuggets -5.5
Friday, November 8, 2019 at 9:05pm EST
Pepsi Center, Denver
Written by Nick Raffoul

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#517 Philadelphia
#518 Denver
5-2
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46-48
49-47
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44-52
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The Philadelphia 76ers will travel to the Pepsi Center on Friday night for a tough Western Conference battle versus the Denver Nuggets.

The 76ers opened the regular season on a five-game winning streak but have since lost two in a row to enter the weekend with a 5-2 overall record. Philadelphia will be concluding a four-game Western Conference road trip on Friday in Denver before returning to the Wells Fargo Center for a quick two-game homestand. Meanwhile, Denver is hoping to build some momentum of their own after notching back-to-back wins of their own to enter with an identical 5-2 mark. Can the Nuggets push their winning streak to three games at home against the 76ers on Friday night?

Simmons suffers AC Sprain in loss to Jazz

Philadelphia was unable to get back on the winning track on Wednesday night, falling on the road in Utah 106-104. Joel Embiid returned from his suspension to score 28 points and haul in 16 rebounds while Josh Richardson added a season-high 24 points for the 76ers, who went 30-for-34 from the charity stripe in the loss. To make matters worse, starting point guard Ben Simmons left the game with an apparent injury and did not return for the second half.

Simmons will miss Friday’s game in Denver and could be looking at an extended absence from the court. The 76ers’ star was diagnosed with a Grade 1 AC joint sprain in his right shoulder and will be re-evaluated prior to Sunday’s game versus the Charlotte Hornets. Simmons is expected to miss three games, leaving his projected return for the team’s back-to-back set against Cleveland and Orlando next week. He comes in averaging 13.1 points, 6.9 assists, and 5.4 rebounds per game this year.

With Simmons out of the lineup, the 76ers will continue to rely on newly-acquired guard Josh Richardson to handle more of the ball-handling duties on offense. Al Horford will also assume more of a play-making role with Simmons out.

Philadelphia comes into the weekend ranked among the top defensive teams in the league. The 76ers have surrendered only 101.6 points per 100 possessions this season, which ranks seventh in the NBA. While they rank only 17th in offensive rating (106.5), their +4.9 net rating is tied for sixth in the league.

Murray off to strong start for Nuggets

The Nuggets put together arguably their best game of the season on Wednesday night, dismantling the Miami Heat 109-89 for their second straight win. Jamal Murray scored a team-high 21 points to lead six Nuggets players in double-figures and Will Barton added a double-double with 15 points and 10 rebounds for the Nuggets. Denver also held Miami to just 36.4 percent shooting on the night and limited the Heat to under 100 points for the first time all season.

The Nuggets are keeping an eye on the status of shooting guard Gary Harris, who was forced to leave the Miami game with an ankle injury and did not return. X-rays came up negative and head coach Mike Malone sounded optimistic that both Harris and fellow starter Paul Milsap would be able to go versus the 76ers on Friday.

Murray is quietly off to a strong start to the year for the Nuggets. The 6-foot-4 guard comes in scoring 18.9 points while averaging 4.9 rebounds and 3.9 assists per game. He’s shooting a career-high 45.2 percent from the field and 35.5 percent from deep while getting to the free-throw line 4.6 times per game, which also represents a career-high.

Best Bets for this Game

Full-Game Side Bet

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I think we’re getting a bit of a bargain here with the Nuggets laying almost six points at home in this spot. Unlike last season, a Simmons’ injury isn’t going to completely derail this group. Even without their starting point guard, the 76ers have more than enough ball-handlers and playmakers to hold down the fort on the offensive end. Playing Richardson at the point guard spot is also going to open up some added floor spacing for the 76ers, which will be beneficial for them in this game. Take Philly to cover the spread on the road in Denver on Friday night. 

Prediction: Philadelphia 76ers +5.5

Full-Game Total Pick

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While most people generally think of the Nuggets as having a high-powered offense, Denver enters the weekend playing at the slowest pace in the league. Philadelphia will also likely play slower with Simmons on the sidelines, so this could end up being a low-scoring affair. Philly barely topped the 100-point mark against a similarly slow-paced Jazz team, so look for this game to stay under the projected total on Friday night. 

Prediction: Under
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Written By Nick Raffoul

Shortly after graduating with an Honors in Business Administration, Nick turned his attention from traditional stocks and bonds to investing in the performance of sports teams. And has now joined our team here at Winners & Whiners. Nick uses a combination of advanced stats and historical data to create sports investment models to identify value and generate consistent profits. Let Nick win for you.