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Denver at San Antonio Odds, Pick & TV Info

Written by on January 18, 2017

The San Antonio Spurs might not be totally focused on Thursday’s home game with the Denver Nuggets. Why? Because the Spurs’ next game is a big one, a national TV showdown on Saturday night at defending NBA champion Cleveland. But San Antonio will be a sizable NBA odds favorite vs. the Nuggets.

Denver at San Antonio Odds, Pick & TV Info

When: Thursday, Jan. 19, 8:30 PM ET
Where: AT&T Center, San Antonio
TV: NBA League Pass
NBA Odds: Spurs favored by TBA

Why Bet on Denver?

The Nuggets have been one of the NBA’s most efficient and effective offenses since sticking with Nikola Jokic as the team’s starting center. Over the last month, the Nuggets are top-10 in the league in field goals made, field goal accuracy, 3-point accuracy, 3-point field goals made. Jokic has been the centerpiece of the offense, and the engine driving them forward. Over his last 14 games, Jokic is averaging 19.2 points, 9.1 rebounds and 5.4 assists.

The Joker has handed out at least five assists in 14 games this season and currently ranks fourth in the NBA among all centers in assists per game. He recently registered a career-high 11 helpers to go with 16 points and eight rebounds vs. MIN on 12/28. It was the second time since 1984 that a Nuggets center has had 11 assists (Marcus Camby also had 11 in 2008) and it was the first time in Denver’s NBA team history a center has posted 16 points, eight rebounds and 11 assists.

Additionally, Jokic is one of just eight players this season to average 13.5 points, 8.0 rebounds and 3.9 assists per game, with the others being James Harden, Kevin Durant, Giannis Antetokounmpo, Russell Westbrook, DeMarcus Cousins, Paul Millsap and Blake Griffin.

Denver was without guard Gary Harris and forward Darrell Arthur on Tuesday vs. the Lakers. X-rays on Harris' sprained right ankle came back negative, but he’s out a while most likely. Harris has played just 17 of the Nuggets 38 games this season due to a variety of groin and foot injuries.

“I don’t think this is nearly as serious or severe as the previous injury,” coach Mike Malone said. Arthur missed a third straight game with a knee injury.

Why Bet on San Antonio?

The Spurs have led by 10 points or more in each of their three losses so far this month, and lost by a total margin of seven points in those games. What’s the common thread?

“Guys are competing. That’s never an issue,” said Spur power forward LaMarcus Aldridge. “Just playing, being locked in more, not falling asleep on certain plays, not giving up easy baskets, at times. Those guys made tough shots, too, so it wasn’t all bad defense. We just have to limit times we make mistakes out there.”

San Antonio leads the league in three-point shooting percentage (.415) and is second in free throw percentage (.818). These are also the best averages through 41 games in franchise history as the Silver and Black went .399 from long range in 2013-14 and .817 from the charity stripe in 1977-78. The Spurs are also second in field goal percentage (.480) behind Golden State (.499).

The Spurs are one of the NBA’s deepest teams. Their reserves are first in the league in assists per game (10.2) and three-point percentage (.398). They are tied for second in blocks per game with Toronto (2.3, Miami- 2.4). They are also third in steals per game (3.8, Toronto- 4.1, L.A. Lakers- 4.0) and field goal percentage (.469, Golden State- .526, Houston- .478).

The Spurs are 1-0 against the Nuggets this season. San Antonio was victorious over Denver 127-99 on 1/5 at Pepsi Center. Aldridge led the victors with 28 points (11-18 FG, 1-1 3FG, 5-6 FT) while Tony Parker recorded a game and season-high 9 rebounds to go with his 21 points (10-11 FG, 1-1 3FG). The Spurs shot a season-best 56.7% (51-90) from the floor and 50.0% (12-24) from long range while holding the Nuggets to 28.0% (7-25) from beyond the arc. San Antonio had a season-low 7 turnovers while scoring a season-high 37 points in the fourth quarter.

Denver at San Antonio Pick: San Antonio Spurs

The Spurs have won the past seven home meetings and will make it eight in NBA betting.