Spurs at Nuggets NBA Lines & Expert Prediction - February 23rd

Spurs at Nuggets NBA Lines & Expert Prediction – February 23rd

Written by on February 23, 2018

Were the NBA playoffs to start today, the San Antonio Spurs would be the No. 3 seed and face the No. 6 seed Denver Nuggets in the first round. Those potential foes square off in the Mile High City on Friday night coming out of the break. Oddly, it’s San Antonio’s second straight game there but not Denver’s. The Nuggets are favorites in the NBA betting lines for Friday night.

Spurs at Nuggets NBA Lines & Expert Prediction – February 23rd

When: Friday, 9 PM ET Where: Pepsi Center, Denver TV: NBA League Pass, FSSW, ALT Stream: NBA.tv Radio: WOAI 1200 AM (San Antonio) / AM 950 (Denver) NBA Lines: Nuggets -3.5 (209.5)

Season Series

San Antonio leads 2-1. On Jan. 13, the Spurs won 112-80. Kawhi Leonard scored 19 points, Davis Bertans had 18 and San Antonio never trailed. Leonard is now out injured. The Spurs raced to a 23-12 lead in the first quarter despite getting just one point from Leonard. San Antonio opened the game by shooting 6 for 7 on 3-pointers, including three consecutive 3s by Bertans. Nikola Jokic had 23 points and nine rebounds for Denver. On Jan. 30, the Spurs won 106-104. LaMarcus Aldridge scored 30 points and San Antonio tied a season high with 33 assists. Kyle Anderson and Pau Gasol each had 18 points. Every Denver starter scored in double figures with Jamal Murray leading the way with 18 points and Gary Harris adding 17. It was the Spurs’ 11th straight win at home in the series. Denver’s last win in San Antonio was March 4, 2012, when Richard Jefferson started for the Spurs. Jefferson is now a reserve for Denver. In the final game for San Antonio before the break, the Nuggets beat the Spurs 117-109 in Denver on Feb. 13. Nikola Jokic had 23 points, 13 rebounds and 11 assists, and Will Barton scored 20 points. Denver outscored the Spurs 30-19 in the fourth quarter to rally from seven down late in the third. Joffrey Lauvergne scored a career-high 26 points and grabbed 11 rebounds, and Tony Parker had 17 points for San Antonio.

Latest NBA Lines Trends

  • San Antonio is 2-5 ATS in its last 7 games
  • San Antonio is 1-5 SU in its last 6 games
  • The total has gone OVER in 5 of San Antonio’s last 5 games
  • Denver is 7-1 ATS in its last 8 games
  • Denver is 6-1 SU in its last 7 games
  • The total has gone OVER in 5 of Denver’s last 5 games

Why Bet on San Antonio?

The Spurs have lost five of six and could now be without superstar Kawhi Leonard the rest of the season. Leonard has been medically cleared to return from a right quad tendinopathy injury, but since shutting down a nine-game return to the team that ended Jan. 13, he has elected against returning to the active roster. Leonard missed the first 27 games of the regular season, and he returned to participate in nine contests before the Spurs made the decision last month to sideline the forward indefinitely. Coach Gregg Popovich said this week that his star likely won’t return this season. That ends any slim chances the Spurs had of winning a title. Kyle Anderson should remain in the starting lineup. He has scored in double figures in 20 of 51 contests after scoring in double digits in 4 of 72 games last season. Anderson ranks second on the team in FG% and is tied for third in double-doubles with five. In one piece of good news, Rudy Gay (heel) will return on Friday night against the Nuggets. Gay’s heel injury has been a problem for him throughout the season and he’s been out since Dec. 28. Popovich also has said the Spurs “need to find exactly what we have” with Dejounte Murray. Murray has started every game he’s been active since Jan. 21, averaging 10.5 points, 7.5 boards, 4.2 assists, 1.4 steals and 0.6 blocks on 48.6 percent from the field. Friday’s contest is the second of two consecutive games during which the Nuggets will host the Spurs at the Pepsi Center. The last time two teams played each other at the same arena in consecutive games was the Washington Bullets vs. Philadelphia 76ers on Jan. 24, 1988 and Jan. 25, 1988 at USAir Arena.

Why Bet on Denver?

Nikola Jokic turned in one of the best stat lines of the year during a 134-123 win over the Bucks last Thursday, 11-of-14 from the field for 30 points with 15 boards, 17 assists, one steal, two blocks and three 3-pointers in 34 minutes. He recorded the quickest triple-double based on his playing time at just 14:33 played to break Jim Tucker’s record of 17 minutes back in 1955. Jokic also hit the triple-double mark with 1:54 left in the second quarter to make it the quickest in the last 20 years based on game-clock time. He joined James Harden and Larry Bird as the only players with at least 30 points, 15 boards and 15 assists in a game over the last 35 years. Are the Nuggets a safe bet on Friday? Over the Joker’s last 15 games, he is averaging 19.1 points, 11.5 rebounds and 7.3 assists while shooting 48% from the field, 39% from three-point range and 80% from the charity stripe. Jokic is the only player in the entire NBA to average at least 19, 11 and 7 during this stretch. Additionally, he has now recorded 10+ points, 7+ rebounds and 5+ assists in 12 consecutive games, tied for the sixth longest streak since 1983. Center Mason Plumlee (calf) said he’s available to play vs. the Spurs on Friday. Plumlee won’t have any limitations after resting through the All-Star break. He was ruled 2-4 weeks after getting hurt on Jan. 29, so this is in line with initial expectations. Forward Paul Millsap (wrist surgery) could return in “two weeks … [but] it could be four weeks,” according to coach Mike Malone. The Nuggets expect more clarity after Millsap visits doctors next week. He went through practice on Wednesday and Thursday this week. He’s not expected Friday but it looks to be soon. Will Barton (illness) is dealing with strep throat and is on antibiotics. He is still likely to play on Friday.

Expert NBA Betting Pick & Prediction

The Spurs look shot this season, frankly. Denver wins its second straight home game in this series.
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