Do the Denver Nuggets deserve a mention in the list of contenders in the West, where they’re currently a whopping 35.00 to take the Conference title? They’re currently fifth in the standings, fuelled by the third-best offense in the NBA, and they can extend their winning streak to five if they defeat the Atlanta Hawks on Monday night.
With a good young core, Denver could be contenders for years to come. But what they do lack is a star, the kind of closer great teams rely upon in the play-offs. But their depth can be a virtue, as they showed in defeating Oklahoma City on Friday, when Wilson Chandler stepped up for a career-high 35 points and Ty Lawson buried the game-winner.
The Hawks come off a last-gasp 99-98 loss to the Lakers on Sunday, but they’re a very respectable 9-5 in back-to-backs so have no fear of a fatigue factor. It’s more that the Nuggets are just an unstoppable machine at home, where they’re 25-3.
Denver are -10 on the handicap but Atlanta have lost only one of their last five on the road by more than that margin. So even though the Nuggets can still shine, look at the Hawks on the handicap in a game that should edge over the total points line of 211.5.
If there’s ever a sure thing in the NBA, it’s betting against the Charlotte Bobcats, winners of a league-worst 13 games and losers of six in a row going into tonight’s trip to Portland. The Blazers haven’t been much better of late, going an identical 2-8 over their last ten games, but they still have slim hopes of making the play-offs, unlike the Cats – who would stun the world if they make the post-season this decade.
Portland are at -12.5 on the handicap at 1.91 and that’s worth a punt. Since losing to Detroit by six on February 20, Charlotte haven’t come closer than 14, giving up almost 108 points during their skid. And it figures to get even worse.
Bet of the day: Take Atlanta over Denver on the handicap at 1.91