San Antonio Spurs at Denver Nuggets odds, picks and prediction

USA Today Sportsbookwire

The San Antonio Spurs (1-0) are in "Mile High City" Friday to play the Denver Nuggets (1-0) at Ball Arena. Tip-off is scheduled for 9 p.m. ET. Below, we look at the Spurs vs. Nuggets odds and lines, and make our expert NBA picks, predictions, and bets.

San Antonio crushed the Orlando Magic 123-97 Thursday. The Spurs outshot the Magic 50.0-40.7 percent from the field and had way better ball security. San Antonio threw 32 assists to 8 turnovers while Orlando had just 17 assists with 16 turnovers.

Denver rallied back from a 7-point first-half deficit to beat the Phoenix Suns 110-98 Thursday. Reigning NBA MVP Nikola Jokic put up 27 points on 13-of-22 shooting with 13 rebounds vs. the Suns.

The Nuggets have beaten the Spurs in five of their last six meetings, including two of three last season but are just 3-3 against the spread in those games.

Spurs at Nuggets odds, spread and lines

Odds provided by Tipico Sportsbook; access USA TODAY Sports' betting odds for a full list. Lines last updated at 3:30 p.m. ET.

  • Money line: Spurs +290 (bet $100 to win $290) | Nuggets -380 (bet $380 to win $100)
  • Against the spread (ATS): Spurs +7.5 (-108) | Nuggets -7.5 (-112)
  • Over/Under (O/U): 220.5 (O: -110 | U: -110)

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Spurs at Nuggets key injuries

Spurs

  • Nothing affecting gambling odds.

Nuggets

  • PG Jamal Murray (knee) out

Spurs at Nuggets odds, lines, picks and predictions

Prediction

Nuggets 121, Spurs 117

Money line

PASS with a slight "lean" toward the Spurs (+270) because I "like" San Antonio plus the points and generally sprinkle on the underdog's money line when taking them to cover.

However, the Nuggets are 5-1 overall vs. the Spurs in their last six meetings and Jokic balled vs. San Antonio last season. In three Spurs-Nuggets meetings last year, Jokic averaged 28.7 points, 10.7 rebounds and 9.7 assists per game.

Since Jokic is by far the best player on the court and the Nuggets are playing in their home opener, I'll just bet the Spurs to cover the spread.

Against the spread

BET the SPURS +7.5 (-108) for 1 unit because this is a "Pros vs. Joe's" game in the betting market and I don't trust Denver's defense.

For instance, according to Pregame.com, more than three-fourths of the cash wagered is on San Antonio but nearly 60 percent of the bets placed are on the Nuggets at the time of publishing. It's can profitable in sports betting to follow the money when it's counter to the public.

Also, the Spurs have a lot of three-point shooters on the roster and the Nuggets have ranked 19th or worse in opponent 3-point volume in each of the past four seasons (according to CleaningTheGlass.com).

If Denver doesn't run San Antonio off the 3-point line then the SPURS +7.5 (-110) is cashing and they can steal the game outright.

Over/Under

"LEAN" to the OVER 220.5 (-110) for a half unit because I'm much more confident in San Antonio covering than the total in this contest.

But, the Over has cashed in four of the past five Spurs-Nuggets meetings. Plus there's been sharp line movement towards the Over since the total has been bet up from the 219-point opener.

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