In tonights Western Conference match-up, we will see Denver Nuggets hosting Oklahoma City Thunder at Pepsi Center in their 2nd H2H match this season, after the first one ending 98:105 in Denver’s favour.
The home side, Denver Nuggets are currently the leading team in the West with an exceptional record of 18-9. In their last 10 matches, Denver has lost only 2 against Hornets (113:107) and Hawks (106:98), which ended their 7 games winning streak. Nonetheless, they still performed well in recent games and with their road trip coming to an end, we can expect them to continue putting up good results at Pepsi Center. Looking at their most recent match against Memphis Grizzlies, Denver won by 6 points (105:99). That was a much-needed win after 2 consecutive defeats they suffered against Hornets and Hawks. In the match against Grizzlies, Denver was a better side in each quarter, except the 3rd, when they were outscored by 4 points. The match as a whole was relatively close. Grizzlies held a 4 point lead in the last quarter, but Denver managed to close the gap and held on to the lead for the remainder of the match. Going into this match, Denver will be without Barton, Harris, Milsap, Porter, Thomas and Vanderbilt. With Millsap out of the team, Denver offence has not been as potent as it could be, still, they managed to win games due to their great defence. Their defensive strength is even more noticeable at home games, where they managed to prevent their opponents from scoring 100 points or more in their last 4 games.
The visiting side, Oklahoma City Thunder are currently 3rd in the West with an overall record of 17-9 and are 7-3 in the last 10 games. As for away games, Oklahoma has lost their last 2 against Bulls (114:112) and New Orleans Pelicans (118:114), which means they are 3-2 in the recent 5 away games. The match against Pelicans was also Oklahoma’s most recent match. The match as a whole was close throughout, with teams only 1 point apart by the end of the 2nd quarter (57:56). In the 3rd quarter, we saw Pelicans taking the lead and they did not let it go for the remainder of the match. Oklahoma did come close to closing the gap on several occasions and even in the final minutes but failed to catch up to New Orleans. Final score: 118:114.
These two teams have proven to have one of the best defences in the league, in fact, Oklahoma is ranked as the best team when it comes to defensive efficiency, whereas Denver sits at 5th place. These two teams let opponents score on average only 103.7 and 105.2 ppg and on average manage to score 110 and 111.7 ppg. As mentioned Denver is coming into this match without their main scorer which as seen in previous matches did affect their efficiency in the offensive end. With a match against Oklahoma, Denver can expect to not have an easy time scoring points. On the other side, Oklahoma will play at Pepsi Center, which saw an average of only 94.6 points being scored in the last 5 games. All in all this match should be a low scoring one, and I would be surprised if teams went well over 100 points.
Prediction: Under 218.00 points
Odds: 2.00 Matchbook