Denver Nuggets vs. San Antonio Spurs Preview and Pick

Denver Nuggets (37-25) +7, 203 at San Antonio Spurs (43-19), 8:30 pm Eastern Monday, NBA TV
by Zman of

One team in the chase for the best record in the Western Conference takes on another team just trying to get to the playoffs when the San Antonio Spurs host the Denver Nuggets Monday night in Alamo City.

NBA betting boards list San Antonio as seven-point home favorites for Monday’s game, with a total of 203. Also, the Spurs are posted at anywhere from -280 to -400 on various Vegas moneylines, with Denver getting from +220 to +300 as road underdogs.

The Nuggets fell hard at Utah Saturday 132-105, their fifth loss in their last nine games. So going into this week’s action, Denver sits in second place in the Northwest Division, four games back of the first-place Jazz. But more importantly, the Nugs are in ninth place in the Western Conference standings, two games behind the Golden State Warriors, who own the eighth and final playoff slot at the moment.

San Antonio lost at Phoenix Sunday 94-87, its second straight defeat after winning 11 in a row. So heading into Monday’s play, the Spurs occupy first place in the Southwest Division, a game ahead of both the Houston Rockets and New Orleans Hornets, and sit in second place in the West, a half-game behind the conference-leading Los Angeles Lakers.


Denver has taken two of three games from San Antonio this season, including a 109-96 decision in the Mile High City Friday night. But the Spurs took two of three games from the Nuggets during the regular season last year, and their loss to Denver came in an absolutely meaningless game on the final day of the season. San Antonio then dispatched the Nuggets in five games in the first round of the Western Conference playoffs. So over the course of the last 10 meetings between these two teams that have meant something, the Spurs are 7-3 both straight up and against the spread. Also, the o/u is 1-9 in those 10 games, which have averaged just 182 total points.

This season, Denver is 30-31 against the spread, and 12-18 both straight up and vs. the numbers on the road. Meanwhile, San Antonio is 29-32 ATS this season, 26-5 SU and 16-13-2 vs. the numbers at home.

Statistically speaking, the Spurs rank 6th in the league in point differential at +5.0 per game, the Nuggets 13th at +2.5.

Denver is shooting 46% from the field as a team this season, 34% from 3-point range and 75% from the free-throw line. At the other end of the court, San Antonio is shooting 45% from the floor, 38% from long range and 76% from the line.

Also, the Spurs rank 7th in the league in rebounding at +1.7 boards per game, the Nuggets 20th at -1.0. And both teams are allowing opponents to shoot 45% from the field.

On the injury front, Denver forward Kenyon Martin is a bit banged up, and is listed as questionable for Monday’s game at some news outlets.

The Sagarin PREDICTOR ratings at ranks the Spurs 7th at 94.8, the Nuggets 13th at 91.9. Sagarin’s current NBA home-court advantage figure is 3.2.

The o/u is 35-27 in Denver games this season, which are averaging 213 total points, while the totals are 25-37 in San Antonio games, which are averaging 187 points.

Zman’s Pick: Under 202.