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The Denver Nuggets will host the Oklahoma City Thunder in a divisional showdown Friday evening from the Pepsi Center. The Thunder dropped a 118-114 decision in New Orleans on Wednesday night, and the Nuggets are coming off a 105-99 home win over the Grizzlies. The Nuggets notched a 105-98 road win against the Thunder last month. Denver holds a 0.5 game lead ahead of OKC for first place in the Northwest division.
Paul George’s Double-Double Not Enough in Loss to Pelicans
The Oklahoma City Thunder will attempt to avoid their third straight road loss in this contest. They did not rebound well in a 118-114 road loss to the Pelicans on Wednesday night. The Thunder did shoot a solid 48% from the field, although they were out-rebounded by a wide 63-50 margin. Russell Westbrook tallied 20 points on 8 for 16 shooting in the defeat. The 10-year veteran point guard is only averaging 19 points on the month, and 22 points on 45% shooting on the season. Paul George continued his strong play with 25 points and 11 rebounds in Wednesday’s defeat. The 28-year old small forward is playing well, recording three double-doubles in his last five games, and he is averaging a solid 24.3 points on 43.5% shooting. George netted 24 points along with 11 rebounds in OKC’s loss to Denver last month.
Back to back steals! It's a ball game folks. pic.twitter.com/pcikZ0ezX2
— OKC THUNDER (@okcthunder) December 13, 2018
The Thunder stand at 7-6 on the road this season. Overall, the Thunder are trending in the right direction, winning seven out of their last ten games overall. OKC is clicking offensively, and they are currently scoring an average of 111.7 points on the season, ranking them 11th in the NBA. Their defense hasn’t been quite as sharp recently, and they are allowing an average of 105.2 points, placing them fifth overall.
Nuggets Snap Two Game Slide
The Denver Nuggets will resume a four-game homestand in this one. They feature a 10-3 home record on the season. The Nuggets snapped a two-game slide with a 105-99 home win over the Grizzlies in their latest contest on Monday night. The Nuggets were able to sink 50% of their field goals, and they out-rebounded the Grizzlies 45-36. Nikola Jokic registered his third consecutive double-double with 27 points and 12 rebounds in the winning effort. The 23-year old center has collected 17 double-doubles on the season, and he is averaging 20.4 points on the month. Jokic is up to 17.1 PPG and 9.8 RPG on the season.
Nuggets’ leading scorer Jamal Murray contributed with 16 points on 6 for 10 shooting in Monday’s win. The 21-year old point guard has reached 20 points in three out of his last five games, and he is averaging 17.4 points on 41% shooting. Murray netted 22 points along with eight boards in the Nuggets win over the Thunder last month.
— Denver Nuggets (@nuggets) December 11, 2018
The Nuggets are playing well, winning eight out of their last ten games overall led by outstanding defensive play. They are currently averaging 110 points, pegging them 17th in the NBA. Denver is holding opponents to 103.7 points, good for fourth in the NBA. Denver will be playing without Paul Millsap and Gary Harris in this one, while Jamal Murray is questionable.
The Denver Nuggets are:
- under is 19-7 in their last 26 games against the Northwest division.
- under is 15-7-1 in their last 23 games after scoring over 100 points in their previous game.
- under is 5-2 in their last 7 games against the Thunder.
The Oklahoma City Thunder are:
- 4-0 ATS in their last 4 games following a straight up loss.
- 4-1 ATS in their last 5 road games against a team with a home winning percentage above .600.
- 12-4 ATS in their last 16 games after allowing 100 or more points in their previous game.
The Bottom Line What to bet on this game.
Full-Game Side Bet
I am taking the Thunder in this contest. The Nuggets are dealing with multiple injuries, and it will be tough for them to have their usual success as a result. Paul Millsap (13.6 PPG, 7 RPG), Gary Harris (16.6 PPG) will not be playing, and Will Barton who has only played two games all season remains out of the lineup.
Furthermore, the Thunder are playing well, winning seven out of their last ten games overall, and they are averaging a solid 114.6 points in their last five road games.
Prediction: Oklahoma City Thunder
Full-Game Total Pick
The under is a solid option in this contest. These two teams played to a low-scoring 105-98 decision in their lone meeting late last month, and I expect another defensive battle. The Thunder only managed 98 points against Denver last month, and they are shooting a weak 31.8% from three-point range, plus the under is 6-1 in their last seven road games against a team with a winning home record.
In addition, the Nuggets have only averaged 103.3 points in their last three games overall, and the under is 7-2 in their last nine home games against a team with a winning road record.
Full-Game Prop Bet
The under on the Nuggets team total is a solid option. The Nuggets haven’t been quite as productive with Gary Harris and Paul Millsap out of the lineup. They recently only scored 98 points against the Hawks, plus the Thunder held them to 41% shooting from the field in the lone meeting this season.
Prediction: Nuggets Team Total: Under
Half-Time Total Bet
I am staying with the under on the halftime total. Both teams are playing exceptional defense in the first half. The Thunder are holding opponents to 52.3 points, and the Nuggets are limiting opponents to an average of 52 points in the first half, good for fourth in the NBA.