NBA Picks 2012: Denver Nuggets vs. Philadelphia 76ers

Denver Nuggets at Philadelphia 76ers
Wednesday, 10/31/12, 7:00 PM EST, TV:  CSP
Opening Point Spread:  Philadelphia -2
Current Betting Line:  Philadelphia -1.5
Opening Total:  201
Current Total:  198.5
Odds Courtesy of Bookmaker

The Denver Nuggets led the NBA in scoring a season ago

Denver is set to open its 2012-13 NBA season in the City of Brotherly Love, as the team has won six of its last nine road games in this non-conference series.  The Nuggets are expected to be one of the better teams in the Western Conference, especially with the addition of former 76ers forward Andre Iguodala joining the fray.  “As a coach, I’m always nervous about all the hype,” commented Nuggets head coach George Karl.  Denver is 40-24 ATS as an underdog the last two-plus seasons.

The Nuggets have won four of their last five season openers, but have gone 11-25 overall when doing so on the road.  Denver wrapped up its 2012 preseason with a 3-4 record, which is an important factor to handicap, considering the franchise owns a 48-23 record in exhibition play over the last 10 seasons.  Danilo Gallinari led the squad in averaging 15.3 points per game, as he’s among 11 of 15 players that return after appearing on the postseason roster a year ago.

Philadelphia practiced on Monday at the Wells Fargo Center in preparation for this contest, as the team tries to refocus after dealing with Hurricane Sandy over the last few days.  “From our standpoint, I talked to our guys about having to focus in situations like this,” stated 76ers head coach Doug Collins.  The 76ers will not have center Andrew Bynum available, who is dealing with lingering soreness in his right knee.  Philadelphia is 6-4 ATS as a home favorite of three or fewer points, with the UNDER going 6-4 in that situation.

The 76ers did manage to win six of seven games in the preseason, as point guard Jrue Holiday looks to build off his breakout season of a year ago, as he averaged 13.5 points and 4.5 assists.  Philadelphia’s biggest challenge in this game will be trying to defend an opponent that averaged 104.1 points per game last year—a figure that led the entire NBA in that category.  After this contest, the team is off until Sunday, which will allow Collins to fix any mistakes that he finds in the opener.

Sports bettors will likely back the Nuggets due to their 38-16 ATS mark on the road, while the 76ers are 2-8 ATS versus Western Conference foes.

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