Jamal Murray and the Denver Nuggets have a shot at history.
Since Murray seems to make every shot he takes right now, you’d have to think the Nuggets have the momentum. And since history seems to happen with each game in this series with the Utah Jazz, it just adds to the excitement level. Not that you need it for what’s ahead.
After the Nuggets’ 119-107 win in Game 6 on Sunday, Mile High Basketball fans get to experience the two best words in sports. Game 7. It’s the first opportunity for the the sports betting market in CO to wager on a local team in Game 7 since the launch of betting on May 1.
If Denver wins, it will become the 12th team in NBA history to come back from a 3-1 series deficit. The last team to do it was the Cleveland Cavaliers in the 2016 NBA Finals against the Golden State Warriors.
Game 7 tips off at 6:30 p.m. MST on Tuesday. As is the case with all of the NBA playoff games, it’s at the Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando.
We knew we were in for a heckuva series between these two rivals, and it certainly has not disappointed.
“Obviously, we’re not done yet,” Nuggets coach Michael Malone told the media after the Game 6 win. “We have one more game. We want to be the 12th team to ever come from a 3-1 deficit and win a series.”
What do the oddsmakers think?
As of Tuesday afternoon, sportsbook apps in Colorado have tightened up on the odds front.
BetMGM Sportsbook, DraftKings and FanDuel either have the Nuggets as the favorite to win Game 7 or dead even.
Keep it here for any changes to the odds.
Nuggets vs Jazz Game 7 odds
|Nuggets vs Jazz Game Seven odds||BetMGM||DraftKings||FanDuel|
|Point spread||Nuggets -1 -110|
Jazz +1 -110
|Nuggets -0.5 -110|
Jazz +0.5 -110
|Nuggets -1 -110
Jazz +1 -110
|Total points scored||Over 217.5 -110|
Under 217.5 -110
|Over 217.5 -108|
Under 217.5 -113
|Over 217.5 -110
Under 217.5 -110
Murray is in another stratosphere
The player to watch is obviously Murray. If he keeps playing at the level he’s at, the Nuggets will win Game 7.
What Murray has pulled the last three games is straight out of NBA Jam.
In those games, he’s scored 142 points on 52-of-81 shooting (64%), including 22-for-35 from the 3-point line (62%).
According to ESPN Stats and Info, only two players in NBA history have scored more points over a three-game span in the playoffs. Those would be Jerry West (overlapping span in 1965) and Michael Jordan (1988).
There’s more from ESPN Stats and Info.
Murray is the first player since Michael Jordan in the 1993 NBA Finals with three straight 40-point games in a postseason series (Jordan had four straight).
Jamal Murray is the 1st player since Michael Jordan in the 1993 NBA Finals with 3 straight 40-point games in a postseason series (Jordan had 4 straight). pic.twitter.com/SZW13PvTXZ
— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) August 31, 2020
Any time you’re on a list with the NBA logo and Jordan, you’re doing something right.
If Murray makes it four straight games of at least 40 points in Game 7? He would be the first to do it since Jordan in the ’93 NBA Finals.
What will Utah do in response?
If you watched the postgame show on TNT, Charles Barkley could not believe the Jazz didn’t double Murray and just “let him go off.”
You would have to think in Game 7, Utah will do whatever it takes to ensure Murray doesn’t beat them again. That would mean double teams and in-his-face, physical defense. But the way Murray is playing and shooting, good luck with that.
If that is the plan of attack for Utah coach Quin Snyder, that opens the court for Nikola Jokic. The talented big man will have free rein to score or get other players involved on the floor.
Nuggets defense needs to step up
Murray isn’t the only player making history in this series.
Jazz guard Donovan Mitchell has gone for 50 points twice in this series. So, clearly Denver will have to find a way to slow him down.
To the Nuggets’ credit, the defense has been much better in the last two games, both wins. But Denver will have to do it again on Tuesday, and perhaps be even better.
The return of Gary Harris should help on that front, too.
The Nuggets guard saw his first NBA action since March on Sunday, so you could see his minutes expand in this win-or-go-home game.
Murray sports betting promos
As you would expect, sportsbooks are offering a bevy of promos, mainly around Murray.
Fox Bet is offering two for the Nuggets guard: Double your money on Murray to hit a 3-pointer (exclusive to Colorado) and 5 times your money for Murray to score 40 or more points.
BetMGM is offering an odds boost for Murray to score 40 or more points at +400 (it was +280).
DraftKings is also offering an odds boost, but this one includes Mitchell. The boost is both Murray and Mitchell score 35 or more points at +345 (it was +320).
Will Game 7 experience matter?
Tuesday’s game is the third-straight Game 7 for Denver.
In the previous two, the Nuggets defeated the San Antonio Spurs and lost in heartbreaking fashion to the Portland Trail Blazers.
It’s been well over a year, but the sting of that defeat to Damian Lillard and the Blazers has not gone away for Denver.
What better way to get over that loss than with a shot at history?
With how Murray is playing right now, good luck.
But the magic of a Game 7 is anything and everything tends to happen.
In the wide world of sports, it doesn’t get any better than this.