The sizzling Denver Nuggets are riding a six-game win streak.
Even more good news: They also begin a four-game homestand this week.
It will provide Colorado Nuggets bettors with multiple avenues to line their pockets with some winnings.
So with the Nuggets taking on the Oklahoma City Thunder, Houston Rockets, New Orleans Pelicans and the Golden State Warriors, what can bettors expect?
Let’s dive in.
Homestand tips off Wednesday night
After tacking on three more wins to the previous three-game run, the Nuggets have indeed come streaking out of the NBA All-Star break.
Still, when Oklahoma City visits Wednesday to tip off the homestand, the Nuggets will be looking to right their past wrongs.
Denver has struggled against the Thunder this season.
The Nuggets lost the first meeting by 14 points. In the second contest, they barely scraped together a four-point victory.
Denver didn’t eclipse the 100-point mark in either game and shot far worse than its season averages. The Nuggets’ only saving grace in their 99-95 win on Jan. 9 was 18 offensive rebounds, including eight by Nikola Jokic.
So what can the Nuggets do Wednesday to make life easier for themselves?
The simple answer is take the game seriously.
Denver head coach Michael Malone has implored his team to approach all games with a sense of urgency. And that’s especially important against opponents who aren’t completely invested in winning to better boost their draft lottery odds.
The Nuggets have done a good job of this throughout the year.
They are 21-6 against teams under .500. But they have had their issues as well, such as losing to the Thunder 108-94 on Dec. 22 when Shai Gilgeous-Alexander put up a 27-point, 11-rebound and 12-assist triple-double in the win in Oklahoma City.
It would be easy to overlook Oklahoma City, which entered the week 22 games under .500. But Denver ill afford to do that.
The Nuggets need every win they can get to avoid the play-in tournament.
The smart bet here on Colorado’s online sports-wagering apps would be to trust Jokic to take the game seriously and demolish any and all who stand in his way. Plus, unless the Nuggets elect to tire out Aaron Gordon by putting him on Gilgeous-Alexander all night, it seems likely that the Thunder’s prized lead guard has the potential for a big game as well.
In short, Denver has no business losing this game.
As for the total, bettors should expect a high-scoring shootout with both offenses breaking out.
Nuggets will be heavy favorites vs. lowly Rockets
There are no excuses Friday night for the Nuggets.
They will have a rest day after playing the Thunder. And then the Rockets, arguably the worst team in all of basketball, pays a visit to Ball Arena.
Houston has been starting Christian Wood and Jae’Sean Tate in the front court, with Kevin Porter Jr. and Jalen Green making up the backcourt. Rounding out the Rockets’ starting group is Eric Gordon on the wing.
If it is not clear, there is little-to-no defense on the Rockets’ roster. That makes the “over” on the total extremely viable.
Not only should Denver score at will. But the Nuggets could struggle containing the Rockets’ athletic backcourt and offensively-versatile frontline players as well.
Wood has given Denver issues over the years. Green can get into the paint at will.
Porter has fantastic size and will be a walking mismatch. Gordon is still a threatening shooter, and Tate blends it all together.
At least on offense.
Denver should win handily, but this game figures to be a high-scoring affair.
Plan your Nuggets-Rockets wagers accordingly.
New-look Pelicans pay visit Sunday
New Orleans is in a strange spot.
As of Monday, the Pelicans held down the final spot in the Western Conference play-in tournament.
Brandon Ingram has taken a substantial leap forward toward becoming a more complete offensive player. And new addition CJ McCollum has given the team another dynamic creator.
Because of that, New Orleans will come into Denver focused and with a clear goal. That is win at all costs to keep its playoff hopes alive.
The hopes of the Pelicans fall on the shoulders of Ingram. The 6-foot-8 forward has been fantastic this season and continues to grow by leaps and bounds.
Ingram’s biggest improvement is his passing and ability to create shots for himself and teammates despite being prioritized by opposing defenses.
Even with Ingram shooting under 30% from 3-point range since Jan. 1, he is averaging 21.2 points, 5.1 rebounds and a fantastic 6.2 assists per game against only 2.3 turnovers.
He has stepped up and become the leader of the Pelicans. His play has only improved since taking on those responsibilities.
Will Denver take on the Pelicans with focus and intent? Or will the Nuggets overlook New Orleans with Golden State looming the next day for the second night of a back-to-back?
Do the Nuggets have the defensive ability to limit Ingram with how well he is playing?
The difficulty in answering those questions makes this a tough game to bet on.
Especially when considering the Nuggets could rest some of their core rotation players either against New Orleans or the following night against Golden State.
Challenges aplenty with Warriors in town
At first glance, this might seem like a loss for the Nuggets on paper.
Taking on the Warriors, currently sitting second in the Western Conference, on the second night of a back-to-back with another back-to-back looming after a single rest day?
That is a tough ask.
Still, the Nuggets seem to thrive in these moments. They almost always find the energy to take on teams they view as on their level or better.
So while the circumstances might not be ideal, Denver’s players likely will take this matchup seriously.
That could swing the tide of the battle.
Denver is uniquely difficult for Golden State to handle.
The Warriors’ defensive ability, even with Draymond Green on the floor, is dramatically minimized. That’s mainly due to the attention Jokic garners from Green and the rest of the defense, limiting Golden State’s ability to create turnovers by getting into passing lanes and create easy baskets.
This contest will likely come down to which team can out-offense the other. And not which defense can control the game.
Still, this matchup is a tough one to quantify for bettors considering that Denver could potentially be resting players.
The Nuggets follow their four-game homestand with a March 9-10 back-to-back which also concludes in the Mile High City against the Warriors.
Taking bets on any odds before knowing who is active is not ideal. Especially considering the Warriors and Nuggets could face each other in the playoffs as well.
Resting players in a head-to-head regular season game could be a strategic decision for either team.