Western Conference Preview: San Antonio Spurs at Denver Nuggets NBA Predictions

San Antonio Spurs at Denver Nuggets
Thursday, 12/16/10, 10:30 PM EDT, TV:  TNT
Opening Point Spread:  San Antonio -1.5
Current Betting Line:  San Antonio -2
Opening Total:  214.5
Current Total:  212.5

The Denver Nuggets are two-point home underdogs due to dropping both games at the Pepsi Center last year to the San Antonio Spurs

San Antonio is ready to make the first of two visits to the Pepsi Center this season and is coming off a perfect 6-0 home stand.  The Spurs captured an exciting 92-90 victory over the Milwaukee Bucks and celebrated a last second shot by Manu Ginobili.  “It was a tough shot,” Ginobili commented after the game.  “He guarded me really well, I got lucky.”  The team is a dominating 21-3 on the season and has a 7-1 mark against Western Conference foes on the road.  San Antonio holds a 94-60 advantage over Denver in the all-time series and has won two straight.  Last year, the Spurs and Nuggets split the four-game series with each team winning both games on the road.  The squad is 6-2 ATS on the road this season and currently a slight road favorite on the NBA lines page.

The Spurs are set to return home for three more games following tonight’s contest and will likely come out with energy on the road after dropping its last contest away from San Antonio, a 90-85 defeat to the Los Angeles Clippers.  Offensively, the team’s ball movement has been paramount to recording the best start through 24 games in franchise history, dishing out more assists than opponents in 20 games this season.  Point guard Tony Parker is enjoying a solid season and ranks 14th in the league in averaging 7.0 assists per game, while scoring 16.9 points a night.  As a team, the Spurs rank first in the league in three-point field goal percentage (.414) and eight in field goal percentage (.469).

Denver is on the verge of capturing its first 11-game winning streak at home since 2005 and is coming off an impressive 111-94 win over the Orlando Magic at the Pepsi Center.  The Nuggets were led by the 35 points and 11 rebounds of star forward Carmelo Anthony, who is trying to deflect rampant trade rumors of him heading to New York.  “I’ve got a game here Thursday night against San Antonio and that’s what I’m focused on,” Anthony stated.  “All that other stuff, I’m not even paying attention to right now.”  The club is a dominating force at home and leads the league with 45 home wins since the beginning of the 2009-10 campaign.  Denver is 9-14 ATS on the season and 2-0 ATS as a home underdog of three points or less.

The Nuggets have lost two straight to the Spurs in Denver, which represents the only active multi-game home losing streak for the franchise.  In fact, San Antonio became the first Denver Western Conference opponent since the 2006-07 season to win multiple games in Denver.  One key injury may prove critical in the team’s chances of ending its current losing streak to San Antonio, as Ty Lawson is expected to start at point guard for the Nuggets in place of Chauncey Billups, who missed Tuesday’s win with a wrist injury.

Bettors will be interested in the Spurs 3-0-1 ATS mark as a road favorite of 0.5 to 4.5 points, while the Nuggets are 4-10-1 ATS in their last 15 games.

The NBA handicappers at Maddux Sports are ready to drop the hammer on tonight’s hard court action and can’t wait for you to be a part of it!

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