San Antonio Spurs at Denver Nuggets
|Date & Time||Saturday April 13, 2019, 10:30 PM (EDT)|
The Line: Denver -5.5 -- Over/Under 211
The San Antonio Spurs and the Denver Nuggets duke it out in Game 1 of the NBA Western Conference Playoffs at the Pepsi Center on Saturday night.
The San Antonio Spurs finished the regular season strong as they won 15 of their last 20 games to finish with the seventh seed. LaMarcus Aldrige played 81 games this season and led the team with averages of 21.3 points and 9.2 rebounds per game, DeMar DeRozan averaged 21.2 points with 6.0 rebounds and 6.0 assists while Rudy Gay averaged 13.7 points and 6.8 rebounds. The Spurs were dealt a cruel blow when they lost their starting point guard Dejounte Murray for the season, but they’ve done well with Bryn Forbes, Derrick White and Patty Mills forming a three-man rotation.
Meanwhile, the Denver Nuggets were sitting pretty atop the Western Conference standings for most of the season, but they lost four of their last seven games of the regular season to surrender the top seed to the Warriors. Nikola Jokic led the team with averages of 20.1 points, 10.8 rebounds and 7.3 assists per game, Jamal Murray averaged 18.2 points and 4.8 assists per game while Paul Millsap finished the season strong to finish with averages of 12.6 points and 7.2 rebounds per game. Rising stars Gary Harris and Will Barton were both projected to take the next step in their development this season, but they’ve been halted by injuries as they missed a combined 64 games.
Looking at the betting trends, the Spurs are 5-2-1 ATS in their last eight road games, 4-1-1 ATS in their last six games against a team with a winning record and 2-6 ATS in their last eight games overall. The Nuggets are 6-2 ATS in their last eight games playing on two days rest, 2-5 ATS in their last seven home games and 0-7 ATS in their last seven Conference Quarterfinals games.
Head to head, the road team is 28-13 ATS in the last 41 meetings, the under is 4-0 in the last four meetings and the Spurs are 21-8 ATS in the last 29 meetings in Denver.
The Nuggets are the more talented team with loftier goals for these playoffs, but the Spurs once again proved that they’re a contender no matter who they have available. These two squads met four time this season with the series finishing at 2-2, but the Nuggets are deserved favorites at home where they’ve been hard to beat all season. However, the Spurs are 21-8 ATS in the last 29 meetings in Denver and I just get the feeling they can kick off the series with an upset in Game 1.