Editor’s note: This is the third in a weekly series called “Betting Nuggets” that will offer expert picks and tips when betting on Denver Nuggets lines and props. Make PlayColorado your destination for all information pertaining to the Nuggets.
Smart bets for Nuggets vs Grizzlies
The Denver Nuggets and Memphis Grizzlies not only play on the first day of November, but also will battle it out again on the third day of the month with both games being played in the FedEx Forum in Memphis. For the Nuggets, these two matchups represent a chance to rectify the issues plaguing the early part of their season.
Denver’s reserves have had an incredibly difficult start to the season. They are currently scoring just 27.2 points per game, 29th in the NBA. The Grizzlies are not much better with their bench providing just 28.2 points per game, which is 27th in the NBA. So, most likely, these games will come down to which bench unit provides a bigger spark. In the first of the two games, Memphis won 106-97, in part because of its bench.
Nuggets vs Grizzles
When it comes to Nuggets spreads, they have started the season 3-3 against the spread, but they tend to exceed expectations when playing through adversity. And they definitely face that in the second of this back-to-back in Memphis. Denver is currently a -point underdog tonight.
Their bench has been horrific offensively and continues to struggle, but Nuggets head coach Michael Malone has made alterations that could provide a substantial lift.
First, Malone has staggered Will Barton III and Michael Porter Jr. so that they play with the bench. Against the Minnesota Timberwolves, Malone elected to keep Barton on the floor with the reserves to finish the first quarter and then brought Porter Jr. in to begin the second quarter.
In addition to playing Barton and Porter, he also added rookie Bones Hyland to the rotation as well who has shown they can provide an offensive spark at any moment he is on the court. Hyland’s combination of playmaking and three-point shooting has the potential to add quite a bit of firepower to a bench unit that has extreme trouble just generating good shots.
The key now is to make shots. If that happens on Wednesday, there’s good value in the Nuggets covering.
Under hits again
After Monday’s game, the Nuggets have hit the over in just one of their first seven games.
If you’re looking for a smart bet on Wednesday in the second game, it would be the over. It total for tonight’s game sits The Nuggets have finally found a way to survive the minutes that Nikola Jokic is off the court. Their bench should benefit from Barton and Porter being staggered and the inclusion of Hyland could prove to be fruitful, but the reasons for the over to hit do not end there.
Memphis has the second-worst defensive rating in the NBA at 114.9 so the Nuggets should, in theory, have the opportunity to break out of their offensive slump. With Steven Adams taking on the task of defending Jokic, that leaves Jaren Jackson Jr. to defend Aaron Gordon, which is set to be a great individual matchup, and Desmond Bane battling with Porter Jr. which could be a matchup the Nuggets can exploit, but more on that later.
Memphis is 2-1 hitting the over in their home games this year and their starters average the most points per game of any starting group in all of basketball this season. All of that adds up to the total score being over on Wednesday between Memphis and Denver.
Taking the Nuggets to win on Wednesday is a risk, but there is still decent value to be had with them at and that could makes this a smart bet.
With that being said, when the Nuggets take on the Grizzlies on Wednesday, do not expect the same result. Rarely do teams succeed or fail for the same reasons when playing the same team two games in a row.
Nuggets props bettors could play
- Porter has to break out of his scoring slump at some point. He is simply too talented and too much of a mismatch nightmare to be averaging just 10.8 points per game on 33.3% shooting from the floor and an abysmal 25% from three-point range. Against Memphis, the second-worst defense in the NBA, Porter should have a good opportunity to break out of his slump. Taking Porter to score over 15.5 points tonight against a bad defense and a young defender in Bane is good value for NBA bettors.
- Monte Morris, after a slower offensive start to the season, is starting to come back into his own. Over the last three games, Morris is averaging 14.3 points on 57.6% shooting from anywhere on the floor and 40% from three-point range. He will also be getting less defensive attention than the rest of the starters on the floor so that should give him plenty of room to operate. Taking Morris to score over 11.5 points is good value.
- Gordon should be in the -165 range to hit over 0.5 3-pointers tonight in Memphis, which is not great value, but with Gordon likely being defended by Jackson, the Nuggets game plan will likely be to get Jackson out of the paint by attempting to generate three-point shots for Gordon. That simple fact means the odds of Gordon hitting at least one shot from beyond the three-point arc are high.