And we’re back. A new 3-0 run began last night and taking the night off certainly proved a wise decision Sunday, as it gave me a day to relax and have a longer think about Sunday. I dumbed it down and went a little more off instinct last night, and it’s probably the best thing to do when the schedule is throwing up indifferent results. Tonight however there are some good match ups and stats to look at, and 99% of them come in the Denver Nuggets game.
Milwaukee Bucks @ Denver Nuggets (2.00am)
It’s hard to stick your neck out with any tip and give it a likeliness, especially in the NBA, but I really do have to stick my neck out here slightly and say this is a good play. Actually, this is my favorite play of the season so far. That’s a big statement, and I’m always going to look a bit silly should it lose, but the simple fact is there are just so many factors that benefit the Nuggets here, and everywhere I look on the court I just see match ups that the Bucks can’t win. The first thing to note is that the Nuggets have now won 6 straight and they’ve covered in 5 of those contests. They’re also a seriously strong home team with a 20-3 record and for me they are far more reliable than any other NBA team at home, purely because their road form is so in-different. It simply means they can’t really afford to take a night off and they have to play hard every night to make the most of home court advantage, and on the win front it’s also important to note the Nuggets have won 22 of the 30 when playing the Bucks – at home or on the road.
I personally think the Nuggets can score a seriously high number tonight, and here’s where it gets a little bit more technical than my usual reports – but it’s good for you to all understand what I do also. The Nuggets average 108 points per game at home, right? Whilst the Bucks average below 100. Throw those two numbers together and you don’t even come up with a total of 208, so why is the points total for tonight’s game set so high at 215, when the Bucks have been a really STRONG side on the road and they’re good at covering spread. There are some favorable match ups in this game and two contrasting team styles. Whilst the Bucks are slightly more methodical in their play, the Nuggets will always want to play at a very fast pace on their home court. Now, being that the Nuggets are the far superior side, I can see the Bucks getting pulled in to a game that’s faster than a pace they are comfortable with.
So – does that account for the total? Yes. But what’s interesting to note about this with us expecting the Bucks to score around the 100 mark or below, that the Nuggets have a 7-0 winning record and a 7-0 record at covering the point spread when the total is over 210 points – usually when the total is this high it means the bookmakers are expecting the Nuggets to hit 115+, and when they expect they it generally happens and they drop somewhere between the 120-130 mark. That could happen tonight. And with that stat and that record, I don’t understand a -6.5 spread which seems fairly small. I think the Bucks are going to be forced to play at an uncomfortable pace at times and it’s only natural that will affect their durability late on as well as their shooting percentages. Also, the Nuggets haven’t dropped a single game at home this season to a team with a winning record and 5 of their last 6 straight wins have been by over points. Blowouts. A lot more than usual went in to this report, but this is basically closer to what my own reports look like in preparation, before I essentially give you the simplest version. Tonight however this is my favorite play of the season as I’ve said, and I thought it’d be good to justify the full extent of that.
Denver Nuggets -6.5 @ 1.92 with Matchbook