Philadelphia 76ers vs. Denver Nuggets Pick
Philadelphia 76ers (32-17 SU, 23-26 ATS) vs. Denver Nuggets (32 – 15 SU, 26-21 ATS)
When: Saturday, January 26th, 2019 – 9:00 PM ET
Where: Pepsi Center – Denver, CO
TV: NBA TV
By: Keith Franks, NBA Handicapper, Predictem.com
Point Spread: PHI +8.5 / DEN -8.5
Power Rankings: Denver -2
Takeaways from Philadelphia and Denver’s Most Recent Games
The 76ers step into this contest on the heels of a narrow win at home against the San Antonio Spurs on Wednesday when they edged out their competition by a score of 122-120. The result afforded Spurs takers to green-up as the Sixers closed as a 2.5-point favorite. Overall, Philadelphia has won their last two matches.
The Nuggets come in off a thrashing of the Phoenix Suns last night when they hosted the Suns in the Mile High City. The Nuggets covered a 15-point line with ease as they throttled Phoenix 132-95. The Nuggets are 3-1 both straight up and against the spread in their previous four contests.
How the Public is Betting the Philadelphia and Denver’s Game
Presently, 70% of the consensus like the 76ers here with the points. However, the line movements tell another story as sportsbooks opened the Nuggets as a seven-point favorite and have found themselves spotting an additional 1.5 points to the Sixers at the time this article was written.
The 76ers have won the last three meetings between these two teams. Most recently, Philly and Denver met in March of 2018 in the City of Brotherly Love where Philadelphia defeated the Nuggets 123-104 to cover as a five-point favorite.
There are several injury concerns for Philadelphia in particular. Sixers’ star Guard/Forward Jimmy Butler is listed as doubtful for this contest as he continues to deal with a wrist injury. Philadelphia Forward Joel Embiid will be unavailable for their clash with the Nuggets.
Rest Advantages and Concerns
The 76ers are beginning a four-game West Coast road trip that takes them through Denver and three games in California against the Lakers, Warriors, and Kings which conclude on February 2nd. Philly has an advantage in the rest department as they have had an extra two days to prep for this game compared to Denver who was just on their own court last night. However, Denver made quick work of the Suns so their starters may actually be fairly fresh heading into contest considering the Nuggets went to the bench and coasted once they were up by over 20 in the beginning of the fourth quarter. Denver begins a two-game road trip on Sunday when they head to Memphis.
Can Philadelphia Use Their Offense To Silence Home Crowd?
The Sixers are owners of the fourth-best scoring offense in the NBA as they average 115.7 points per game. They will need to rest their chances of victory on the shoulders of their offensive operations as their defense will struggle to hold serve giving up a 21st-ranked 111.9 points per game. On the contrary, Denver’s defense is one of the better ensembles across the board in the NBA as they are sixth in opponent scoring (106.1 points per game), sit third in opponent three-point field goal percentage (33.9%) and fourth overall in opponent free-throw percentage (75.2%). Given the fact that Denver is also one of the best teams in the NBA on their own court with a 21-4 SU home record, the Sixers are may find themselves easily bullied in the Mile High City.
Can Denver Outmuscle The 76ers?
The Nuggets are the best team in the NBA in defensive rebounding as they give up just 41.6 boards per game to the opposition. For a team like Philadelphia that is a top-four outfit in offensive rebounding (47.6 boards per contest), this takes away one of the Sixers’ calling cards: playing physical basketball to push around their opponents. In addition to their overall rugged defensive exploits, the Nuggets also commit less turnovers and own the deeper bench compared to their opponents. Denver’s bench scores 39.5 points per game while Philadelphia’s bench averages 33.8 points per contest. All of these ingredients put Denver in position to give the Sixers a lot of trouble.
The Sixers have been a cash cow against the Nuggets as of late. Philadelphia has covered in their last three meetings against Denver and have produced a highly-profitable 7-1-1 ATS record in the last nine contests between both parties.
Keith’s Pick to Cover the Spread: Denver -8.5
Despite other books suggesting that the Nuggets maybe supremely overvalued here along with Philadelphia having extra time to recuperate and prepare for this game, swallowing the points with the Nuggets seems like the more viable option here. First off, the Nuggets play at a higher level on their own court and it is hard to get behind Philadelphia with their chief offensive weapon (Butler) listed as doubtful with one of their front court assets (Embiid) being out for the match. The Sixers will need all the help they can get against a Denver bunch that can beat them at the very physical game they play. Despite Denver playing a back-to-back here, we trust that their starters will not be coming in flat given last night’s easy win and even if this game went to a contest of benches, the Nuggets have that covered too as they own a 5.7-point edge in that arena. Most importantly of all, the Sixers look way too easy here as their overall success against the Nuggets in against the spread markets recently sells the points big time here. However, we urge takers not to bite the bait. Denver will win this one by a big margin.