|10 OKC (-110) @ Fanduel|
8* Take Oklahoma City (#569)
OKC has played five previous road games this season. They’ve won four of them in SU fashion as underdogs, knocking off the Nets, Magic, Knicks ad Pelicans. OKC rallied from the dead in the final two minutes against Chicago in their last contest; erasing a ten point deficit in the final 65 seconds to win in OT. From a talent standpoint, OKC lags behind most teams in the NBA. Their statistical profile is downright lousy – near the bottom of the NBA in offensive efficiency and outside the top half of the league in defensive efficiency. But from an effort, character and physicality standpoint, OKC offers real ‘bet-on’ potential, especially in this inflated pointspread range – this team fights! And that lousy statistical profile ensures that OKC isn’t going to attract much wiseguy support; a team primed to hold their value.
Denver’s level of ‘fight’ has been rather limited this season, not a team that has been able to erase deficits like OKC has done. You could make an argument that the sub .500 Nuggets have been the single most disappointing team in the NBA so far this season; a far cry from the squad that battled the Lakers in the Western Conference Finals just a few months ago.
Nuggets head coach Mike Malone knows exactly why his team has gotten off to a slow start – major offseason roster changes: “To be brutally honest, we lost a guy in Mason Plumlee that has over 530 NBA games, was a starter on a playoff team. You lost a guy in Jerami Grant that’s got 450 NBA games under his belt; a bunch of playoff games. You lost Torrey Craig, who has been a rotational player for us and started 11 playoff games a year ago.”
Michael Porter Jr is still out, dealing with COVID protocols. Bol Bol isn’t ready for regular rotation minutes yet. The loss of bench depth, the lack of low post depth and Denver’s consistent struggles putting together 48 minutes of quality basketball has this team very much in the ‘don’t ask them to beat anybody decent by margin’ category here in mid-January. Too many points! Take the Thunder.