Nuggets vs. Hawks Odds & Picks: A Tale of Two Quarters

One of the best ways to understand the ebbs and flows of how a team plays is to understand their rotations and when a team’s best players and the best combination of players are on the court. In terms of this game, there are two of the starkest contrasts between the rotations and how they change the first and second quarter outcomes.

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Nuggets vs. Hawks Betting Odds

Nuggets Hawks
Spread -2.5 +2.5
Moneyline -142 +120
Total o241 u241.5

*lines accurate at the time of publication

Nuggets vs. Hawks Best Bets

Nuggets 1st Quarter -0.5 (-112, DraftKings)

Denver is mostly thought to have the best starting lineup in the NBA, so it makes sense to start the game, when that lineup gets plenty of time together they would have the upper hand. The Nuggets are number two in first quarter margin this season at +3.9. A big part of that is Nikola Jokic plays a vast majority of the first. He has played at least 10 minutes in 17 of 23 games so far and has played at least nine minutes in every opening stanza.

In contrast, Atlanta is 24th in first quarter margin at -2.1 and opposite of most the NBA, they are worse at home, -3.3. Trae Young comes out of games earlier, having hit 10 minutes in the first just once all year. Young and Dejounte Murray are staggered plenty to raise the floor throughout a half but that does take away from the impact they can have together in the opening part of the game and that shows in their early effectiveness in comparison to the rest of the league.

The Nuggets have continued to struggle some even with the return of Jamal Murray but against a starting defensive unit that lacks in the Hawks, this should be a great spot for a good start for the defending champs.

Risk: .56 units on DraftKings to win .5 units.

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Hawks 2nd Quarter +0.5 (-108, DraftKings)

What was mentioned above about Atlanta valuing consistency throughout the half comes back to roost in the second quarter. Atlanta has the seventh best margin in the second quarter at +2.1, which is +2.7 at home. Having a high-level ball handler on the court at virtually all times in Young or Murray does raise the floor of any individual unit. Atlanta has intriguing players off their bench that can pop in any individual game.

The Nuggets have had issues finding consistency with their bench units and it shows in the second quarter, where they are 27th in margin at -2.7, and that goes all the way out to -5.0 on the road. Reggie Jackson being able to work with the backups again does help but considering the amount of young players being relied upon to make consistent impacts, this team is set up only to survive non-Jokic minutes, not thrive in them.

The two teams play out their rotations very differently and in a game that is lined close, there is room to take advantage on both fronts.

Risk .54 units on DraftKings to win 1 unit.

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