Thursday TNT NBA Picks: San Antonio Spurs at Denver Nuggets Betting Odds
by Alan Matthews - 12/16/2010
All you have heard about so far this NBA season is the Big 3 of Miami, the great start of the Boston Celtics, the Lakers simply being the Lakers, a Knicks resurgence and maybe even a Carmelo Anthony trade rumor or seven. Unless you are a true NBA fan, really how many “column inches” (old newspaper term) have you seen dedicated to the San Antonio Spurs other than the entertainment Web sites when Eva Longoria and Tony Parker announced their divorce?
Yet there the Spurs are at 21-3 (clinching their best 25-game start regardless of tonight) and with the best record in the NBA. Shoot, they are even on pace to win 70 games although that’s obviously not going to happen.
San Antonio Spurs at Denver Nuggets: How the Teams Enter
San Antonio traveled up from Texas after beating Milwaukee, 92-90, on Manu Ginobili’s buzzer-beater for its sixth win in a row – all coming at home. In fact, oddly, after this one the Spurs then go back home for three more games. In fact, they have only four road games in all of December, so you know that will catch up with them at some point with a road-heavy stretch.
The Nuggets are a completely different team at home and that showed on Tuesday night when they thumped Orlando, 111-94. Anthony, who it seems could be traded to either the Knicks or Nets any day, had one of his best games of the season with 35 points and 11 rebounds. Prior to that Denver had lost three of four, all on the road. That’s a theme for this team.
San Antonio Spurs at Denver Nuggets Storylines
The fact San Antonio is on the second of a back-to-back and has to play in altitude should, of course, be a huge break for Denver. The Nuggets have the NBA’s best home record at 11-1 entering Thursday’s action while San Antonio is tied with Dallas for the best road record at 8-1.
Denver handled Orlando without star point guard Chauncey Billups because of a wrist injury that never healed after he injured it way back on Nov. 20. Apparently there are a couple of ligament tears in that wrist and he’s out at least until Saturday and probably longer. Ty Lawson started at the point for Denver against the Magic and had 16 points and six assists. Denver also remains without big men Chris Andersen and Kenyon Martin; the former might return next week, while Martin hasn’t played this year and doesn’t seem in a big hurry to get back (yeah, he’s hurt but so are his feelings because he doesn’t have a new contract).
Spurs backup forward/center Tiago Splitter left Wednesday’s game in the third quarter with a bruise on his right side. He is day-to-day. Ginobili has been the Spurs’ best player this year, but he averaged 14.5 points and shot just 34.2 percent vs. Denver last season. Tim Duncan is averaging only 7.3 points and shooting less than 30 percent in the second of back-to-backs.
This is the first meeting of the season between these two. Last year they split, with each winning twice in the other’s arena. Denver is 11-9 against the Spurs since George Karl took over as coach.
San Antonio Spurs at Denver Nuggets Betting Odds
San Antonio is a two-point favorite with the total at 212.5. About 57 percent of the lean is on the Spurs. The side hasn’t really moved but the total has dropped two points at some books. San Antonio is 6-2-1 ATS on the road while Denver is 4-7-1 ATS at home.
Spurs at Nuggets Key Trends
This has to be one of the more odd rivalries in the NBA in terms of trends. The road team has won the last four meetings in this both SU and ATS, and all four have gone ‘under’. In fact, the road team is 8-0 ATS the previous eight.
San Antonio is 7-1 ATS in its past eight vs. a team with a winning record.
Denver is 4-0 ATS in its past four as a home dog.
The ‘under’ is 6-1 ATS in the Spurs’ past seven games.
The ‘under’ is 7-1 ATS in the Nuggets’ past eight following an ATS win.
Spurs at Nuggets NBA Picks for TNT Thursday
San Antonio simply will have to be winded following a draining game against the Bucks, so I love the Nuggets to not only cover but win outright. At this point Lawson might be better than Billups anyways. Also take the ‘under’.
Doc’s Sports has three straight Big Play winners for NBA handicapping and they will have a hot card of NBA picks for Friday that will include a 6-Unit NBA Game of the Month. For this week only, one-day and one-week packages are half price. Now is a great time to check out Doc’s picks!
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