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Bryan Power

Bryan Power

(503) Denver Nuggets at (504) Minnesota Timberwolves

(503) Denver Nuggets at (504) Minnesota Timberwolves
May 10, 2024 9PM EDT
Play Rating:
3% – Denver Nuggets +4.5 (-110)

3% Denver (9:30 ET): I am not ready to write off the defending NBA Champs just yet. Admittedly, it is never good to lose the first two games of a best of seven series, especially at home. But there’s been quite the sizable swing for Game 3 with the Nuggets now 4.5-point underdogs (after they closed -6.5 for Game 2). Obviously, this series now shifts to Minnesota, but that alone cannot justify an 11-point swing in the number. Rudy Gobert will be back for the T’wolves, but the line closed Denver -4 for Game 1 when Gobert played. So I’m seeing a bit of value here on the road team and if ever there was a situation to expect them to be at their best, it would be here. 

At the risk of “beating a dead horse,” the Nuggets need to get off to better starts. They are 2-5 SU/ATS in 1st quarters and 1-6 SU/ATS in first halves this postseason. That’s very unlike them as they were an excellent 1Q (best net rating) and 1H team during the regular season. With three days to prepare and down 0-2, one could reasonably state “if not now, WHEN” when it comes to the Nuggets getting off to a good start. One thing is for certain: you’ve got to expect Denver to shoot better than they did in Game 2 when they were 34.9% overall from the field, including 9 of 30 (30%) from three. 

Jamal Murray was the biggest offender in Game 2. He’s averaging 20.4 PPG in the playoffs, but finished the last game a dismal 3 of 18 shooting overall and 0 for 4 from three. Only one way to go from that performance (up!) We should also talk about the fact Denver is a dog here. That’s only happened 10 times previously this season. They actually closed +1 at the Lakers in Game 3 of the 1st round and obviously won that outright (112-105). There have been only three previous instances of the Nuggets being +4 or higher all season. They went 3-0 ATS in those games, with two outright wins (one of them at Boston) and one of them Jokic didn’t even play. Given the sense of urgency and the number, Denver plus the points is the only way to play this. 3% Denver (Play +3.5 or higher)

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