Nuggets vs. Raptors: How to Play the Total With Both Defenses Struggling

Action Network contributor Jacob McKenna previews how to bet Nuggets vs. Raptors, including updated odds, picks & predictions for Tuesday's game.

Nuggets vs. Raptors Odds

Nuggets Odds +1
Raptors Odds -1
Over/Under 227
Time 7:30 p.m. ET
Odds via FanDuel. Get up-to-the-minute NBA odds here.

The Denver Nuggets will kick off a five-game road trip on Tuesday night with a trip north of the border to take on the Raptors.

Denver still remains atop the Western Conference standings, but things have been far from smooth for the Nuggets lately. Denver enters this one riding a three-game losing streak, slowly causing its lead in the conference to dwindle.

Toronto is in a similar position to Denver, coming into this matchup on a three-game losing streak as well. The Raptors have lost four out of five games this month and are clinging to the ninth spot in the Eastern Conference.

Neither one of these teams is playing great basketball right now, but one squad will turn things around as every win matters at this stage of the season. Stick around to see the odds and prediction for the Denver Nuggets vs Toronto Raptors matchup.

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Denver Nuggets

Nothing has gone right for Denver in the last seven days.

A 117-96 loss to the Bulls last Wednesday marked the start of the Nuggets’ losing streak. Since then Denver has suffered losses to San Antonio and Brooklyn in what has been a disappointing stretch of basketball after winning eight of nine games prior to the losing streak.

The main theme for Denver in that three-game stretch has been an inability to perform on the defensive end of the floor.

Brooklyn ranks 11th in Offensive Rating and scored 122 points on Sunday against Denver, while Chicago and San Antonio rank in the bottom six of the NBA in that category and still managed to put up 117 and 128 points, respectively, against the Nuggets last week.

Defense has been this team’s biggest flaw this season, and things get a lot worse on the road. As the home team the Nuggets own a Defensive Rating of 110.6, but while on the road that rating rises to 116.8. Denver combats that spike with a road Offensive Rating of 113.6, giving this team the 12th-worst road Net Rating (-3.2).

Toronto Raptors

The month of March has not been kind to Toronto, something that will need to change if this team wants to make the NBA Play-In Tournament.

The Raptors are just 1-4 overall this month, the second worst record in the NBA in front of only the Pistons. In that five-game span Toronto owns a point differential of -27, a sign of struggles on both ends of the floor.

Similar to Denver, Toronto’s performance on the defensive end of the floor is what has kept it out of the win column. According to the Raptors have posted a Defensive Rating of 116.1 in the month of March, an increase from their 113.4 rating through February.

That 2.7-point increase may not raise too many red flags, but there are still plenty of concerns for Toronto on the defensive end. In five games this month Toronto ranks 30th in Opponent Field Goal Percentage (52.5%) and 29th in Opponent Three-Point Percentage (43.8%). This team is getting exposed on all levels.

Nuggets-Raptors Pick

Neither Denver nor Toronto can figure things out on the defensive end of the floor, and as a result I think the over is in play for this matchup.

Plenty of trends suggest to back the over here. According to TeamRankings the over is 15-8 in games in which the Nuggets play and Eastern Conference opponent, and when Toronto goes head-to-head with an opponent from the West the over is 17-10.

Additionally, these two teams met last Tuesday and combined for 231 points.

There are a few key players on the injury report, most notably Jamal Murray, but I still think there will be plenty of opportunities for both teams to pile on the points. I like the over to 231.

Pick: Over 227 — Play to 231