The Denver Nuggets (15-12) and Indiana Pacers (17-9) will tip things off Saturday night inside Bankers Life Fieldhouse.
Denver Nuggets at Indiana Pacers
Denver has lost its last five games in straight-up and against-the-spread fashion, which is shocking due to playing the last three games at home. The Nuggets were handed a 109-101 loss by the Golden State Warriors as six-point favorites last time out. “The last two home losses we’ve had, teams have just hit incredible shots,” stated Nuggets guard Arron Afflalo. Offensively, the team has managed to score just 94.4 points during its recent losing streak, which is quite a ways off from its NBA-leading 103.6 points per game. Denver is 5-2 ATS as underdogs this season and the “over” is 6-1 in those contests.
The Nuggets are 8-5 on the road this season, which includes a perfect 4-0 mark versus Eastern Conference teams. Denver has tallied an impressive 11-3 mark in this series during regular-season action since the 2004-05 campaign, while also winning five of their last seven games in Indianapolis. The team has played its last two games without leading scorer Danilo Gallinari, who is out with a foot injury.
Indiana will be playing the second game of a back-to-back situation after dropping a 98-92 contest to the Memphis Grizzlies as 1.5-point road underdogs last night. The Pacers have dropped their last four games against the spread. “The biggest difference was the willingness to win,” commented Pacers guard Darren Collison. “They wanted it more.” The locker room is likely to rally on the defensive end tonight, holding visiting teams to just 88.8 points per game in nine home games. Indiana is 6-14 ATS as a home favorite of three points or less.
The Pacers are in the middle of one of their toughest stretches of the 2011-12 campaign, playing seven straight games versus teams with a .500 or better record. Indiana will need star forward Danny Granger to have a great game on the offensive end, posting a 9-2 record when he scores at least 21 points, but he’s managed to average just 16.4 points in five games versus the Nuggets inside Saturday night’s venue.
Bettors will likely back the Nuggets due to their 22-4 ATS mark versus Eastern Conference foes, while the Pacers are 7-19 ATS when playing on zero days rest.
Recommendation: Denver Nuggets +3
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