With the NCAA Tournament taking a break until Thursday to catch its breath, the basketball world’s attention turns back to the pros. Monday isn’t full of great games, but it does have a few good wagering opportunities on tap – as well as a glamorous winning streak on the line on the road. The attention might be on the Heat going for number twenty six, but my focus is on the Denver Nuggets looking to extend their franchise-record winning streak to 16 games in New Orleans.
Let’s dig inside that matchup for tonight’s featured pick.
Denver Nuggets -7 at New Orleans Hornets (Total: 202.5)
The Nuggets are playing amazing basketball – that much is obvious. You don’t amass a 15 game winning streak without stellar play. But let’s also be honest, they have been VERY fortunate to escape a few of these games lately. Philadelphia held a six point lead with less than 10 seconds to play, and managed to LOSE the game (in regulation nonetheless). Yes, Denver had to make some good plays to facilitate the collapse, but I’d give most of the credit to Philly’s ineptness.
Denver has had their fair share of close calls lately, and has failed to cover in three of their last four games. However, they have covered in 8 of 11 overall and have been one of the best wagers in sports during that span. Perhaps even more impressive is their performance on the road. Everyone knew they had one of the best home court advantages in the NBA. It was always the road where they struggled. But not anymore. They have won six straight road games and gone 4-1-1 ATS in those contests. They are on the road tonight against a pretty inferior opponent, so it seems like their chances to extend the streak are decent.
New Orleans has shown a little life at home, winning their last two games against Boston and Memphis. That is likely enough to get Denver’s attention that they are going to need to bring a better effort tonight. However, over the course of the season New Orleans is only 1.2 ppg worse at home than Denver is on the road.
I like Denver to win and extend the streak, but seven points is a lot for a team that has only won by more than seven once in their last six games. New Orleans isn’t a great team, but they seem to have found a little rhythm playing at home lately (perhaps the injury to the least-efficient player in the NBA statistically, Austin Rivers, wasn’t a big “loss” after all…)
Free Pick: New Orleans Hornets +7