San Antonio at Denver
Time: 9 PM CT (TNT)
Spread: DEN -6
Odds c/o 5dimes
The San Antonio Spurs won Game 6 on its home court 120-103, forcing a decisive Game 7 in Denver today at 9 PM (CT) on TNT. Denver is 6-point favorites in the series’ final game, with an over/under set at 208.5 points according to NBA oddsmakers at bookmaker 5dimes.
San Antonio dominated Game 6. The Spurs led by six at the half, and it out-scored Denver 30-18 in the fourth quarter to run away with the series-knotting win. Despite the Spurs winning big, there were some red flags that will have to be attended to for Game 7. Biggest of those is the fact that Denver center Nikola Jokic had his way in the loss. Jokic scored a game-high 43 points while dishing out nine assists and grabbing 12 rebounds (six offensive).
Though Jokic was -11 for his 38 minutes of play, it would be hard to assign much blame as he shot 19 of 30 from the field and created a ton of Nuggets offense. The Spurs got big games from its two foremost veterans in DeMar DeRozan and LaMarcus Aldridge. The duo combined to shoot 22 of 34 for 51 collective points. The rest of the Spurs team, however, was good too at 26 of 50. The Nuggets were limited to 45 percent shooting and just 6 of 24 (25 percent) from three, while San Antonio also forced 18 Nuggets’ turnovers and won the battle of the boards plus-4.
The Spurs need to execute these smaller facets of the game to negate Denver’s immense offensive prowess, and holding Denver to just 103 points is certainly the area that Gregg Popovich has aimed for in this series. The issue is not that San Antonio itself lack offense of course, but rather that the slower pace benefits the Spurs as a team more able to play the half court offense than Denver is. Will Barton, Malik Beasley, and Monte Morris—Denver’s top second unit threats shot just 4 of 19 collectively for Denver and managed just eight combined points between them. If the Spurs second unit can repeat that, it is a lower key important factor in this series.
The Nuggets count on those three bench scorers to do a lot of the lifting, particularly while Jokic gets his breathers, and thwarting them is the key to stopping runs by the Nuggs’ second unit. Jamal Murray also must be slowed, but he shot just 7 of 18 from the field in Game 6, and he missed four of his five triples. San Antonio is a good defender of the three-point shot, as a team that rotates on the ball quickly while closing out on shooters.
The Nuggets are one of the league’s most cohesive offensive teams and average the second-most assists per game in the Association (27.4) but Popovich has been successful at getting Denver out of its rhythm some in this series. The Spurs are underdogs to win on the road in an upset game 7, but this game has the feel of one that will go down to the wire with both teams well-prepared for what the other may throw at it tonight after six games split 3-3 thus far.
58 percent of bettors at Covers are picking the Spurs to cover the +6.
ATS TRENDS (C/o Covers):