Denver Nuggets @ San Antonio Spurs -6
The Spurs might be the most underrated and overlooked elite team in the NBA. They finished last season with the best record in all the NBA, but a stunning first-round loss to the upstart Memphis Grizzlies banished them to an early exit, and a similarly abrupt exit from most sports fans’ collective consciousness.
Well, the Spurs are back at it again this season. They have won 13 of their last 15 (with one loss being a 40-pointer in which Coach Pop benched Tim Duncan, Tony Parker and an injured Manu Ginobili in order to get them some rest for the tough road ahead…but that’s an entirely different column for a different day). So in essence, they have been untouchable, winners of 13 of 14 with the only loss being a well-played game to the team with this season’s best record, Chicago. The Spurs are 14-2 at home this season, and an impressive 24-11-1 ATS this season.
Denver started hot, but has suddenly found themselves on the outside of the Western Conference playoff picture looking in. Denver has dropped five of their past eight, however, none of the five losses were to teams I’d consider “bad losses”. The Clippers, Spurs, Thunder, Grizzlies and Mavs could be considered the top five teams in the West. That’s a tough stretch for anyone to endure. It doesn’t make the Nuggets a ‘bad’ team; but it does highlight a very fundamental truth. They aren’t a very good one either.
Overall, Denver is just 5-10 in their last 15 games, with nearly every loss coming to a Western Conference opponent. Tonight, they take a trip to one of the best of the West and are only getting six points. It feels a little low to me. This has the feel of an eight or nine point line, but has tightened since the opening line of eight all the way to 6.5 or even six in some sportsbooks. Go against the herd on this one. Let the public drive a good line down – we can swim upstream and get a few free points for it.
I don’t see any way the Spurs winning ways are snapped by a reeling Denver squad on the road. The Nuggets have done a good job not getting blown out of games, and I don’t think they will be decimated tonight either, but I like the Spurs by a nice comfortable ten points or so tonight at home.
Free Pick: San Antonio Spurs -6