Nuggets vs. Nets Preview: Points At A Premium In Brooklyn

Jacob McKenna previews Sunday's NBA game between the Nuggets and Nets, including betting odds and a prediction.

Nuggets vs. Nets Odds

Nuggets Odds -9
Nets Odds +9
Over/Under 217
Time 7:30 p.m. ET
Odds via PointsBet. Get up-to-the-minute NBA odds here.

The Denver Nuggets continue their three-game road trip on Saturday as they head to Brooklyn to take on the Nets.

Brooklyn has been ravaged by COVID and now has to play its third game in four nights. Denver has some key players of its own out, but is in much better shape than the Nets.

Without many of their impact players in the lineup, can the Nets defend their home court or will Denver pick up another win on the road?

Nuggets’ Depth A Strength

Denver will enter this matchup a bit shorthanded, but that has not proven to be too much of an issue recently. The Nuggets have won three of their last four games and enter this one fresh off an 18-point win over the Hawks.

Despite being without Michael Porter Jr., Jamal Murray and PJ Dozier for most of the season, Denver has managed to stay afloat and has performed well recently. Over the last four games, Denver has an Offensive Rating of 117.9 according to NBA Advanced Stats, the third-best mark in the league over that stretch.

A lot of that offensive production is coming from Nikola Jokic, but Denver has also gotten significant production from guys like Monte Morris, Aaron Gordon, Will Barton, Jeff Green and even rookie Bones Hyland. Those five guys combined for 86 points in the Nuggets’ most recent win against Atlanta.

This is a team that has lost much of its star power due to said injuries, but the Nuggets’ depth has helped them stay competitive and remain a threat in the Western Conference.

Brooklyn’s Lineup Ravaged By Protocols

The Nets are in unimaginable position coming into this game. They played Saturday night against the Magic and lost 100-93, and on top of that they have a total of 13 players who are listed on the injury report for this game, most of whom are likely not going to play.

One of those players is Kyrie Irving, who was recently introduced back to the team because of the COVID issues that Brooklyn is facing. However, shortly after being told that he was likely going to be back in the lineup, Irving immediately entered the health and safety protocols. Since this is a home game for Brooklyn, he would not have suited up regardless.

Kevin Durant and James Harden join him in the protocols, and now the big three will all be stuck at home instead of playing in this game.

As a result, much of the offensive production is going to divert toward guys like Patty Mills, Cam Thomas and even David Duke Jr.

It’s not ideal, but Brooklyn doesn’t have much of a choice at this point. Those three guys combined for 56 points on Friday night, so the potential is certainly there.

Nuggets-Nets Pick

COVID-19 is making its way around the NBA, and the Brooklyn Nets have been hit as hard as any team.

They have weathered the storm up to this point and have won four of their last five games, but the biggest reason why they have been able to win those games is because Durant was averaging 37.5 points per game over that stretch. The Nets won’t be able to count on that tonight.

Brooklyn is simply too shorthanded for this game and we already saw what the offense would look like in this situation against the Magic. I think we see a low-scoring affair in this one.

Pick: Total under 217 (-105)