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Denver Nuggets at Oklahoma City Thunder Betting Preview

Both the Denver Nuggets and Oklahoma City Thunder have both started the season 4-3. One of those wins for the Nuggets was a 122-117 victory over OKC in which the Thunder had no answer for Nikola Jokic, who had 19 points, 16 rebounds, and 13 assists.

Denver did not cover the -9 point spread at home in the first meeting with Oklahoma City this season, and that number has dropped a bit to the Nuggets’ -6 on the road.

OKC is hot with four straight wins, which include taking two from the Clippers and getting a win in Dallas, so they have some value getting points at the Paycom Center.

Nuggets Well Rested

Denver has had some early season downtime coming into Thursday’s matchup, as they haven’t played since Sunday’s 121-110 loss to the Lakers.

That gave L.A. their first win of the season as the Denver defense couldn’t stop Lebron James (26 points), Anthony Davis (23 points, 15 rebounds), or even Russell Westbrook coming off the bench for 18 points.

The Nuggets have some defensive concerns coming into this matchup, as their 117.0 ppg allowed is 24th in the NBA. Denver has the sixth-worst defensive efficiency so far in this young season, and they just gave up 121 points to the Lakers, who have the league’s worst offensive efficiency.

Regardless of if the Denver defense struggles here, they still have Jokic, who dropped the triple double in the first meeting with OKC. Then again, the 2X MVP just had 23/14 vs. the Lakers, and the Nuggets still lost by double figures, so a big game from him doesn’t guarantee a win.

Thunder On a Nice Run

It looked like the same story, new year when Oklahoma City started off the season 0-3, but this young team has found its groove with four straight wins. Shai Gilgeous-Alexander is healthy and is averaging what is so far a career-high 31.5 ppg.

Lu Dort is also healthy and back to playing the type of lockdown defense that has the Thunder a surprising fourth-best in defensive efficiency.

OKC does rank 25th defensively vs. the C position, so Jokic is going to get his, but the Thunder have a top seven defense vs. backcourt players, so Jokic may not receive a lot of help.

Nuggets at Thunder Pick and Prediction

Denver is fresh after being off since Sunday, but OKC is in a nice rhythm and will be playing their fifth game in the last six at home. The only time the Thunder have traveled since the October 22nd loss to the Nuggets, they went into Dallas and picked up a six-point OT win.

The Nuggets only won by five against Oklahoma City at home, and that was just the second game of the season for the Thunder, who took a bit to get into a rhythm. They’re grooving now and should not be getting +6 points in this game because this isn’t last year’s OKC squad.

Pick: Thunder +6

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