Denver Nuggets (38-18) at Charlotte Hornets (15-41)
Game Info: Saturday, February 11, 2023 at 7:00 p.m. EST (Spectrum Center)
Betting Odds: Nuggets (-9) / Over/Under (TBD)
Pick: Nuggets (-9)
As Saturday night comes upon us, we are going to head to the Tar Heel state to look at an inter-Conference game between the Denver Nuggets and Charlotte Hornets.
Denver has found themselves in a rut of late on the road, losing their last 4 games SU away from home (1-3 ATS in that stretch). Despite this bad run of games for them outside of Ball Arena, they still find themselves 4 games ahead of the Memphis Grizzlies atop the Western Conference. MVP center, Nikola Jokic, is in the midst of maybe the most impressive 3 consecutive regular season years at his position in NBA history. Something he has never accomplished though is finishing the regular season with a triple-double. Currently, he is set to do that, averaging 24.8 PTS, 11.3 REB, and 10.1 AST, on 63.2% shooting from the field. If he is able to keep this pace for the rest of the year, I do not see how the NBA is going to give the MVP to anyone else but him. As a team, Denver must make sure they tighten up their woes away from home, as securing the top seed in the West is crucial come Playoff time.
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I am not totally sure what to say about the Hornets. They have lost their last 5 games (1-4 ATS in that span of games), and sit 14th in the Eastern Conference standings, surely playing for pride at this point. This will be the second night of a back-to-back for them, as they will be playing the Celtics in Boston on Friday night. As they travel home off of what most likely will be another loss for them, it will be difficult for Head Coach Steve Clifford to get his team up for this game. The one bright spot for them is that their key players will all be active for this game (as of now). On their night, the likes of LaMelo Ball, Gordon Hayward, and Terry Rozier can take over a game, but on short rest, I am not sure the legs they will have under them. They are currently a bottom-6 team in Offensive and Defensive efficiency... if they hope to stifle Jokic and the Nuggets, at least one side of the ball will have to pick it up in this matchup.
Betting trends to consider in this matchup:
- Denver is 9-4-1 when playing on a rest advantage against the opposing team
- Charlotte is 8-16 ATS as the home team
- The Hornets are 16-25-2 ATS in non-Division games
- The over has hit in only 8 out of 24 games that the Hornets have played in at home
As I previously mentioned, I am well aware of the recent struggles that the Nuggets have shown on the road. But, with the Hornets being on the second night of a back-to-back, and them not be able to show any signs of life of late, I will hold my nose, look away, and take the Nuggets here. Charlotte just traded away starting Center, Mason Plumlee, the only man who had any slim chance of guarding Nikola Jokic with any hope, which plays into my pick even more. Additionally, since it is a back-to-back scenario, we may get a key player or two that are going to rest this game as they are all in the lineup against Boston.
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