76ers vs. Nuggets Odds
|Time||9:30 p.m. ET|
|Odds via FanDuel. Get up-to-the-minute NBA odds here.|
Editor’s Note: Joel Embiid (calf) has been ruled out for Monday’s game in Denver. For the most up-to-date daily fantasy basketball player news, injury updates, follow our FantasyLabs NBA news feed.
The Denver Nuggets host the Philadelphia 76ers in a massive inter-conference matchup between two powerhouses. Joel Embiid and Nikola Jokic, both MVP candidates, will be sure to bring their A-game as the season comes to a close.
Here’s a look at the odds, as well as a betting pick and prediction for Nuggets vs. 76ers.
After a slow start to the season, the 76ers have rallied strong and have looked unstoppable in the new year. However, this most recent road trip has not been kind — they’ve dropped two games in a row with losses against the Golden State Warriors and the Phoenix Suns.
James Harden has missed two consecutive games with Achilles tendon soreness. He is listed as questionable for Monday’s game. With the possibility he may be out, oddsmakers have priced the 76ers as five-point underdogs. In games that Harden does not play, the 76ers are 13-7-1 to the under this season, per Gimme the Dog.
This game is extremely important to the 76ers — they still have a chance to catch up to the Boston Celtics and Milwaukee Bucks for one of the top two seeds in the East and obtain home-court advantage throughout the playoffs.
In addition, this game has massive implications on the MVP race. Embiid is currently the betting favorite to win the MVP and will be looking usurp Jokic’s reign. At FanDuel, he is currently -145 to win. Jokic isn’t far behind in the betting market.
The outcome and performances of this game could shift those odds and voters’ perception.
The Nuggets defeated the Bucks at home on Saturday night and are looking to flex their muscles against another heavy hitter from the East. This team is unstoppable at home. They have a 30-6 straight up record and 22-13-1 against the spread at Ball Arena this season. They are second in Offensive Rating (117.7) in the league, per NBA Advanced Stats.
The Nuggets are the most accurate 3-point shooting team. The biggest contributor to that is Michael Porter Jr., who is having a bounce-back year. Since the All-Star break, he is averaging 18.7 points per game on 53.9% shooting from the field and 46.7% from behind the arc! The 76ers are excellent at defending the 3-point line, and will force the Nuggets to attack the paint.
Defense has not been a bright spot for this Nuggets team and could prove to be detrimental come playoff time. However, in their previous five games, they are ranked seventh in Defensive Rating. Kentavious Caldwell-Pope and Bruce Brown have played well off the bench with a defense-first approach.
When you think of Jokic, you don’t think defense, but he leads the team in Defensive Box Plus/Minus, per Basketball Reference. He’s strong, quick and most importantly, he is smart and has the awareness to make an impact on defense. This will come crucial when matching up against Embiid.
One of my favorite angles to bet unders is matchups between elite teams (60% win percentage or greater) post All-Star break. These matchups have gone 128-83-9 (60.5%) to the under since the 2015-2016 season, per the Sports Data Query Language at Killer Sports. These teams will have the opportunity to strut their stuff against a potential opponent in the NBA Finals.
Both teams play at a slower tempo, and I expect the same on Monday. Both teams will be feeding the respective big men and MVP candidates as both will be pushing hard for the award. I see a high-intensity defensive game.
The opening total was set at 228.5 and steamed up as high as 231.5 on Monday morning due to the name value and scoring prowess of both teams. My model projections make this 226, and I am backing the under down to 227.