While both the Denver Nuggets and Indiana Pacers have been winning with regularity of late, only one team has also been a good NBA odds bet.
Just like that, the holiday season is in the rear-view mirror and it’s back to the business of basketball, with the NBA coming out of New Year’s Day with nine games on Thursday. That opens up more NBA odds options, but there is one game out there that at first glance appears to be almost like stealing.
The Indiana Pacers have won seven of their last 10 games, but according to information provided courtesy of The Action Network, are just one-point favorites at home Thursday night over the Denver Nuggets.
On the surface, that’s not unreasonable. Denver has won eight of its last 10 games. But this is where it gets dicey for the Nuggets. Over those 10 games, Denver is just 2-6-2 against the spread. Conversely, the Pacers are 7-3 ATS over their last 10 games and have covered five of their last six at home.
The Nuggets are 3-2 straight up in their last five, but are just 0-4-1 ATS. Throw in Denver potentially being without backcourt defensive ace Gary Harris and it gets more dire. The only potential positive for the Nuggets is that Indiana will likely be without Malcolm Brogdon again — he is listed as doubtful with a sore back.
This is the first meeting between the teams this season, but recent trends in the series mirror the performance over the last couple of weeks. Denver has won two of the last three meetings, the Pacers are 3-0 ATS in that span.
So yeah, take the Pacers.
Denver Nuggets at Indiana Pacers
TV: Altitude Sports (Nuggets), Fox Sports Indiana (Pacers)
Tickets: Bankers Life Fieldhouse, 7 p.m. local (7 p.m. Eastern)
Records: Denver 23-10 (13-17-3 ATS, 6-7-1 road ATS), Indiana 22-12 (18-13-3 ATS, 10-5-3 home ATS)
Availability report (information as of 8:30 p.m. on Wednesday)
Denver: OUT–Bol Bol (left foot injury management, PJ Dozier (two-way, G League); QUESTIONABLE–Gary Harris (left shin contusion).
Indiana: OUT–Naz Mitrou-Long (right ankle sprain), Victor Oladipo (right knee rehab); DOUBTFUL–Malcolm Brogdon (sore lower back), Edmond Sumner (sore right knee).
Looking at the rest of Thursday’s busy slate, there is:
Charlotte Hornets at Cleveland Cavaliers
TV: Fox Sports Southeast-Charlotte (Hornets), Fox Sports Ohio (Cavaliers)
Tickets: Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse, 7 p.m. local (7 p.m. Eastern)
Records: Charlotte 13-23 (16-19-1 ATS, 8-9-1 road ATS), Cleveland 10-23 (14-17-2 ATS, 7-8-1 home ATS)
Charlotte: OUT–Robert Franks (two-way, G League), Caleb Martin (G League), Jalen McDaniels (G League), Kobi Simmons (two-way, G League).
Cleveland: OUT–Tyler Cook (two-way, G League), Dean Wade (two-way, G League), Dylan Windler (stress reaction, left lower leg).
Notable: While this looks like a matchup of Eastern Conference bottom feeders at first glance, the Cleveland Cavaliers have been playing fairly well of late. The Cavs are 5-5 SU over their last 10 games and 6-4 ATS in that same span. The Charlotte Hornets are only 3-7 in their last 10, with a 4-5-1 ATS mark.
But the Hornets are 0-4-1 ATS over their last five and have lost six games in a row straight up. Cleveland has covered four times in its last five games and has won four of its last six. In the first meeting between the teams, also at Cleveland, the Cavaliers got a 100-98 win on Dec. 18, but Charlotte got the cover as three-point road underdogs.
Toronto Raptors at Miami Heat
TV: SportsNet 1 (Raptors), Fox Sports Sun (Heat), NBA TV (national)
Tickets: AmericanAirlines Arena, 7:30 p.m. local (7:30 p.m. Eastern)
Records: Toronto 23-11 (18-14-1 ATS, 7-7-1 road ATS), Miami 24-9 (19-13-1 ATS, 11-5 home ATS)
Toronto: OUT–Marc Gasol (left hamstring strain), Dewan Hernandez (right ankle sprain), Norman Powell (left shoulder subluxation), Pascal Siakam (groin strain), Matt Thomas (left middle finger fracture).
Miami: OUT–Daryl Macon (two-way, G League), KZ Okpala (G League), Justise Winslow (lower back, bone bruise).
Notable: For as beaten up as the Toronto Raptors are, they’ve been remarkably resilient. The Raptors are 7-3 SU and ATS over their last 10 games. The Miami Heat have also won seven of 10, but are just 5-5 ATS in that span and 1-5 ATS in their last six games (a stretch during which they’ve won five of six SU).
The teams met in Toronto on Dec. 3, with the Heat getting a 121-110 win as 5½-point underdogs. The Heat are 5-2 ATS in their last seven home games against the Raptors, while Toronto is 2-7 ATS in the last nine games overall against Miami. The Raptors have won two of the last three meetings with the Heat and are also 2-1 ATS.
Utah Jazz at Chicago Bulls
TV: AT&T SportsNet-Rocky Mountain (Jazz), NBC Sports Chicago (Bulls)
Tickets: United Center, 7 p.m. local (8 p.m. Eastern)
Records: Utah 21-12 (16-17 ATS, 8-9 road ATS), Chicago 13-21 (18-16 ATS, 9-9 home ATS)
Utah: OUT–Jarrell Brantley (two-way, G League), Mike Conley (not with team), Miye Oni (G League), Nigel Williams-Goss (G League), Justin Wright-Foreman (two-way, G League).
Chicago: OUT–Otto Porter (left foot fracture), Max Strus (left knee, ACL injury); QUESTIONABLE–Chandler Hutchison (right shoulder soreness); PROBABLE–Ryan Arcidiacono (right elbow discomfort), Wendell Carter Jr. (left abdomen maintenance), Cristiano Felicio (illness), Zach LaVine (right shoulder maintenance), Tomas Satoransky (left ankle soreness).
Notable: The Utah Jazz have been trending up of late, winning eight of their last 10 games and going 6-3-1 ATS after a stretch where they were fairly dismal for bettors. The Jazz are 4-0-1 ATS in their last five games to further back that upswing. The Chicago Bulls, however, are 7-3 ATS in their last 10 while splitting the SU decisions.
Chicago has been money lately, with an 11-4 ATS mark over its last 15 games. This will be the first meeting between the teams this season, with Utah winning two of the last three games between the two. The Bulls, however, are 2-1 ATS in those three games and are 5-1 ATS in their last six games against Western Conference opponents.
Golden State Warriors at Minnesota Timberwolves
TV: NBC Sports Bay Area (Warriors), Fox Sports North (Timberwolves)
Tickets: Target Center, 7 p.m. local (8 p.m. Eastern)
Records: Golden State 9-26 (17-17-1 ATS, 9-9 road ATS), Timberwolves 12-21 (13-18-2 ATS, 3-11-1 home ATS)
Golden State: OUT–Willie Cauley-Stein (illness), Stephen Curry (left hand fracture), Kevon Looney (left abdominal soreness), Jordan Poole (G League), D’Angelo Russell (right shoulder contusion), Klay Thompson (left ACL rehabilitation).
Minnesota: Not required to submit report until 2 p.m. Eastern Thursday. In their loss Wednesday at Milwaukee, the Timberwolves did not have Treveon Graham (flu-like symptoms), Jake Layman (left toe sprain), Jordan McLaughlin (two-way, G League), Jeff Teague (right knee sprain), Karl-Anthony Towns (left knee sprain), Noah Vonleh (left gluteal contusion) or Andrew Wiggins (flu-like symptoms).
Notable: The Golden State Warriors have been fairly good for bettors lately, going 5-1 ATS in their last six games. The Minnesota Timberwolves are on the first SEGABABA of 2020 after a loss in Milwaukee on New Year’s night, but won at home on Monday — their first win at Target Center since Nov. 13, snapping a nine-game losing streak at home.
Minnesota is 4-10-1 ATS in their last 15 games, with all four of those covers coming in their last 10. They’ve split two meeting this season, with Minnesota getting a 125-119 home win on Nov. 8 but Golden State getting the cover as 11½-point underdogs. On Dec. 23 in San Francisco, Golden State won 113-104 and covered as one-point favorites.
Brooklyn Nets at Dallas Mavericks
TV: YES Network (Nets), Fox Sports Southwest-Dallas (Mavericks)
Tickets: American Airlines Center, 7:30 p.m. local (8:30 p.m. Eastern)
Records: Brooklyn 16-16 (16-16 ATS, 7-10 road ATS), Dallas 21-12 (18-15 ATS, 6-10 home ATS)
Brooklyn: OUT–Nicolas Claxton (left hamstring soreness), Kevin Durant (right Achilles rehab), Kyrie Irving (right shoulder impingement), Caris LeVert (right thumb surgery), David Nwaba (right Achilles tear); QUESTIONABLE–Garrett Temple (right knee contusion).
Dallas: OUT–Ryan Broekhoff (left fibula fracture), Antonius Cleveland (two-way, G League), Tim Hardaway Jr. (left hamstring strain), Josh Reaves (two-way, G League), Isaiah Roby (right plantar fascia); QUESTIONABLE–Kristaps Porzingis (right knee soreness).
Notable: These are two teams that have been on matching trajectories of late, with both the Brooklyn Nets and Dallas Mavericks just 1-4 ATS in their last five games, respectively. The Mavericks have managed to win two of those games, but have dropped their last two. Brooklyn is just 1-4 over those five games and have lost three straight.
It’s the first meeting of the year between the teams, with the Nets winning and covering in two of the last three meetings. Dallas may be without Kristaps Porzingis, who is dealing with a sore right knee. Brooklyn may not have Garrett Temple (bruised knee), which may not be the worst thing — he has shot 17.1 percent over the last three games (6-for-35) and is just 3-for-19 from deep.
Oklahoma City Thunder at San Antonio Spurs
TV: Fox Sports Oklahoma (Thunder), Fox Sports Southwest-San Antonio (Spurs)
Tickets: AT&T Center, 7:30 p.m. local (8:30 p.m. Eastern)
Records: Oklahoma City 18-15 (21-12 ATS, 10-5 road ATS), San Antonio 14-18 (11-20-1 ATS, 5-13 home ATS)
Oklahoma City: OUT–Luguentz Dort (two-way, G League), Kevin Hervey (two-way, G League), Justin Patton (G League), Andre Roberson (left knee injury recovery).
San Antonio: OUT–Drew Eubanks (two-way, G League), Keldon Johnson (G League), Luka Samanic (G League), Quinndary Weatherspoon (two-way, G League).
Notable: Both teams have been going pretty well, with the Oklahoma City Thunder winning seven of their last 10 and posting a 5-1 ATS mark in their last six games. The San Antonio Spurs still have the fewest covers in the NBA with 11, but five of those have come in their last seven games (5-2 ATS).
The first time the teams played was also in San Antonio, back on Nov. 7. The Spurs came away with a 121-112 win, covering as five-point favorites. Oklahoma City has won seven of its last eight straight up, while the Spurs have three wins in their last four games and are 6-0 ATS the last six times they’ve hosted the Thunder.
Memphis Grizzlies at Sacramento Kings
TV: Fox Sports Southeast-Memphis (Grizzlies), NBC Sports California (Kings)
Tickets: Golden 1 Center, 7 p.m. local (10 p.m. Eastern)
Records: Memphis 13-21 (16-17-1 ATS< 7-7-1 road ATS), Sacramento 12-22 (17-17 ATS, 5-10 home ATS)
Memphis: OUT–Andre Iguodala (not with team), Josh Jackson (G League), John Konchar (two-way, G League), Yuta Watanabe (two-way, G League); QUESTIONABLE–Jae Crowder (left ankle soreness).
Sacramento: OUT–Marvin Bagley III (left foot sprain), Kyle Guy (two-way, G League), DaQuan Jeffries (two-way, G League).
Notable: The Memphis Grizzlies are not one of the top clubs in the NBA, but compared to the Sacramento Kings, they are downright dynastic of late. Memphis is 8-3-1 ATS in its last 12 games and has two covers and a push in its last four road games.
The Kings? How about 2-8 ATS in their last 10 (with just one straight-up win), eight straight losses and they have failed to cover in five straight home games. It was the Grizzlies who came away with a win and cover when they hosted Sacramento on Dec. 21, getting a 119-115 decision as two-point home underdogs.
Detroit Pistons at LA Clippers
TV: Fox Sports Detroit (Pistons), Fox Sports Prime Ticket (Clippers), NBA TV (national)
Tickets: Staples Center, 7:30 p.m. local (10:30 p.m. Eastern)
Records: Detroit 12-22 (12-21-1 ATS, 4-11-1 road ATS), LA 24-11 (19-15 ATS, 10-6 home ATS)
Detroit: OUT–Jordan Bone (two-way, G League), Reggie Jackson (stress reaction, left lumber spine), Luke Kennard (bilateral patella tendinitis), Markieff Morris (left foot sprain), Khyri Thomas (right foot surgery); DOUBTFUL–Blake Griffin (left knee soreness).
LA: OUT–Patrick Beverley (right wrist sprain), Mfiondu Kabengele (G League), Terance Mann (G League).
Notable: The Detroit Pistons have opened a six-game road trip with a 27-point loss at San Antonio and a 23-point loss at Utah … and now they get to visit the LA Clippers, who have alternated wins and losses in their last eight games. Detroit is just 1-7 ATS in its last eight games, while the Clippers have gone 10-5 ATS over their last 15.
The teams haven’t met yet this season and the Clippers were 2-1 SU and ATS in their last three against the Pistons before they added Kawhi Leonard and Paul George. It’s doubtful Blake Griffin gets to play for just the second time in Los Angeles against his former club, as he continues to be plagued by a sore left knee. Griffin has played 18 games and missed 16 this season.