ESPN’s FPI gives Oklahoma City a 53.4% chance of winning this game. We break down the line and offer our best bets and analysis for Friday’s matchup between the Nuggets and Thunder.
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Nuggets vs. Thunder Game Details
Date: Friday, February 21
Time: 8:00 p.m. ET
Location: Chesapeake Energy Arena (Oklahoma City, Oklahoma)
TV: ESPN, Altitude, FS Oklahoma
Spread: Thunder -1.5
- PF Mason Plumlee (foot) probable
- PF Michael Porter Jr. (ankle) probable
- SF Will Barton (knee) questionable
- Nuggets are 38-17 SU and 26-25-4 ATS this season
- Thunder are 33-22 SU and 36-19 ATS this season
- Under is 29-26-0 in Nuggets games this season
- Under is 28-26-1 in Thunder games this season
Danilo Gallinari exploded for 29 points on 12-of-18 shooting in the 123-118 road victory over the Pelicans as the Thunder entered the All-Star break on a high note. Gallinari leads the Thunder and is tied for 11th in the NBA with 3.0 3-point makes per game.
Gallinari must shoot over a Denver squad that ranks third in 3-point defense at 34.2%. Gallinari shot just 1-for-13 from the floor and 1-for-7 from the 3-point line in a 110-102 road loss to the Nuggets back on Dec. 14. Expect a better performance from Gallinari at home where he makes 0.5 more 3-point field goals per game and his percentage goes up from 37.8 to 42.9.
PICK: Danilo Gallinari Over 2.5 Made Threes (-134)
The Nuggets have excelled at limiting opponents to below their scoring average at home this season. Denver is ranked sixth in the league giving up 108.7 points per game on the road this season while the Thunder are allowing 109.7 points per game at Chesapeake Energy Arena. The Denver offense lacks explosiveness this season and is ranked just 19th in scoring at 110.7 points per game.
The All-Star break has allowed a trio of Nuggets to work their way back in the lineup. Michael Porter Jr. (ankle), Mason Plumlee (foot) and Will Barton (knee) are all expected to return. You would expect there to be some rust on both sides as it’s been over a week since either team has seen the floor in a competitive game. It’s a good bet this one will be played at a slower tempo as both teams settle back in.
PICK: Under 216.5
The Thunder are the best ATS team in the NBA at 36-19 and entered the All-Star break winning 11 of its last 14 games. In a surprise season, Oklahoma City has established itself as a legit playoff team in the West. Shai Gilgeous-Alexander leads the team in scoring (19.5 ppg) and Chris Paul leads the team in assists (6.7 apg).
Over the last 11 games, the Thunder have shot 48.9 percent from the field and have outscored opponents by an average of 6.1 points. The Nuggets have dominated this series of late winning 10 of the last 11 meetings ATS, however, we believe that ends Friday as this upstart Thunder team will get an emphatic victory to start the home stretch of the regular season.
PICK: Thunder -1.5
Follow Jared Smith on Twitter: @jaredleesmith