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Indiana Pacers vs. Denver Nuggets
NBA: Sunday, January 19, Pepsi Center, Denver, Colorado, 8:00 PM ET
The Indiana Pacers start a five-game road trip Sunday night when they visit the Denver Nuggets at Pepsi Center. They bring a four-game win streak into this clash, while the Nuggets have won three straight games overall. Denver will hit the road after the clash with the Pacers, playing back-to-back in Minneapolis on Monday night.
Indiana and Denver will close down their regular-season series, as they’ve already met earlier this month. The Nuggets beat the Pacers 124-116 as 1-point road favorites, recording their 15th victory over Indiana in the last 20 head-to-head duels.
The Pacers barely outlasted the T-Wolves twice in a rowAfter a 104-99 victory at Target Center in Minneapolis this past Wednesday, the Pacers outlasted the Timberwolves 116-114 in Indianapolis on Friday night. Indiana had an 11-point fourth-quarter lead in that second clash against the T-Wolves, but the Pacers allowed their rivals to cut the deficit down the stretch. The game was tied at 114-114 with 1:48 to go in the fourth quarter, while Malcolm Brogdon hit the game-winner with 18.7 seconds left on the clock. Brogdon finished the game with a double-double of 12 points and 10 assists, while T.J. Warren had 28 points on 11-for-18 shooting from the field.
"Being the closer, sometimes it's about making the last shot but sometimes it's about making the right play, making the right pass," Brogdon said. "My teammates, this organization, my coach trust me with the ball and I'm going to continue to try and make good decisions."
Malcolm Brogdon arrived from Milwaukee last summer, quickly becoming one of the key players in Nate McMillan’s system. He’s averaging 17.7 points and 7.5 assists per game, while another newcomer T.J. Warren is tallying 18.1 points on 50.9% shooting from the field. The Pacers are scoring 110.5 points per 100 possessions (12th in the league) on 47.2% shooting from the field (5th), surrendering 107.3 points in a return (9th) on 44.4% shooting (7th). Victor Oladipo is still recovering from a knee injury and should have a season-debut in a week or two. With healthy Oladipo, the Pacers could be a dark horse in the East.
The banged-up Nuggets overcame a 19-point deficit in San FranciscoDenver is coming off a 134-131 overtime victory at the Golden State Warriors this past Thursday. The Nuggets trailed for most of the game by as much as 19 points, but they won the fourth quarter 40-28 to force overtime. They hit 17 treys out of 35 attempts from deep (48.6%) and outrebounded the Warriors (56-42) to earn a well-deserved come-from-behind victory. Nikola Jokic led the Nuggets with 23 points, 12 rebounds, and eight assists; Will Barton had 31 points and seven dimes, while Malik Beasley added 27 points off the bench. Michael Porter Jr. also had a good game posting a double-double of 18 points and 10 rebounds.
“It was so fun, it was good to be in there late game like that,” Porter said with a grin. “It was just fun because we were battling back and everybody was playing hard, and we knew, we all knew we were going to come back.”
The Nuggets missed Jamal Murray (ankle), Paul Millsap (knee), and Gary Harris (groin) against the Warriors. All these three starters will remain sidelined Sunday night, so guys like Michael Porter Jr. and Malik Beasley will get more minutes. Still, Nikola Jokic (19.2 PPG, 9.9 RPG, 6.4 APG) and Will Barton (15.1 PPG, 6.8 RPG) will continue to lead the way for the wounded Nuggets. Denver scores 111.5 points per 100 possessions (8th in the league) on 46.2% shooting from the field (14th), allowing 107.4 points in a return (11th) on 45.3% shooting (13th).
The top supporting trends for this game, found on Oddsshark.com, are: Indiana:
- 4-11 ATS in the last 15 road games against the Western Conference
- 4-9 ATS in the last 13 road games played in January
- 5-1 ATS in the last six home games as favorites of three or fewer points
- 6-1 ATS in the last seven home games played in January
The Bottom Line What to bet on this game.
Full-Game Side Bet
The Pacers have lost nine straight games in Colorado and are winless in Pepsi Center since 2007. Now, they have a huge opportunity to finally beat the Nuggets in Denver, considering the hosts’ huge injury problems. However, playing in the Mile High City is always an uphill battle, so I’m backing the Nuggets to cover even though they are without three starters. Denver is 6-1 SU and ATS in its last seven games at home in January, and the Nuggets are always playing well as slight home favorites. As long as Nikola Jokic is healthy, the Nuggets are a tough rival to beat at home.
Prediction: Denver Nuggets -2.5 (-110)
Full-Game Total Pick
The first duel of the season between the Pacers and Nuggets was a firecracker, and I don’t expect to see a similar scenario Sunday night. As I’ve mentioned, the Nuggets will miss Jamal Murray, Paul Millsap, and Gary Harris, so they will have to step up defensively. Denver loves to play at a slow pace, averaging only 97.2 possessions per 48 minutes (29th in the league). Without three important players, the Nuggets will try to slow down the tempo even more. On the other side, the Pacers are tallying 98.3 possessions per 48 minutes (26th), so I expect to see a proper low-scoring affair.
Prediction: Under 211.5 points (-110)