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Nuggets Road Underdog for Just Second Time This Season; Getting 4 Points in Philadelphia on Tuesday

Sam Cox

by Sam Cox in NBA Basketball

Dec 10, 2019 · 6:41 AM PST

Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons
Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons are hoping to advance to the Eastern Conference Finals for the first time. Photo by Keith Allison (flickr) [CC License].
  • Denver has dropped to 14-7 after four losses in their last five
  • Sixers remain unbeaten in Philadelphia
  • Get the odds, our pick, and all the info you need to bet the game below

It’s been a mixed start to the season for these two teams. Both are considered NBA title contenders, but they have fallen off the pace in their respective conferences with the Los Angeles Lakers and Milwaukee Bucks dominating through the first quarter of the season.

The latest Denver Nuggets vs Philadelphia 76ers odds put Philly as the four-point favorites over their visitors on Tuesday night at Wells Fargo Center.

Denver has hit a rough patch, losing four of their last five after a solid winning streak. The Sixers have won six of their last seven, including a home victory over the defending champion Toronto Raptors on Sunday.

Denver Nuggets vs Philadelphia 76ers Odds

Team Spread Moneyline Total
Denver Nuggets +4 (-101) +155 Over 205.5 (-115)
Philadelphia 76ers -4 (-110) -175 Under 205.5 (-105)

Odds taken Dec. 10

Reliant on Defense

There are plenty of similarities between the Nuggets and Sixers. Both teams’ best player is their center. As a result, they’re slower than many teams in the league – Philadelphia rank 17th in pace, Denver are 28th.

They are also two of the best defenses around, while still finding their feet offensively. Their respective offensive ratings have increased significantly of late, thanks to blowout wins of the Cavaliers (for the Sixers) and Knicks (for the Nuggets).

The Sixers are fifth in the NBA in defensive rating, three places behind Denver. Elite defense was always expected from Brett Brown’s team, and even with Josh Richardson missing the last few games, they have kept that standard up. Philly are the fourth-best defense in the league over the last four games. Richardson, who has been dealing with a hamstring issue, is questionable for Tuesday night’s matchup.

It’s no surprise to see the ‘under’ as low as 205.5 for this one. Philly have kept opponents under 100 points on seven occasions this season. Denver have done so nine times. The slower pace is obviously a major factor in that, but there’s also a handful of All-Defense candidates taking the floor at Wells Fargo Center on Tuesday evening.

Previous Meeting

The Nuggets ran out 100-97 victors when these two teams met in Colorado on November 8th. Philly controlled the first half of the game, leading by 15 at the break. The Sixers crumbled in the fourth, however, scoring just 13 points to Denver’s 35 as the hosts charged back to win the game.

With Ben Simmons absent, Philadelphia’s offense struggled mightily down the stretch. For all their spacing issues with Simmons the floor, his passing was missed. They also left a lot of points at the free throw line, hitting just eight of their 17 attempts.

Denver, meanwhile, rode a 16-point fourth quarter from Nikola Jokic. Jamal Murray enjoyed his best playmaking night of the season, frequently finding Jokic on his way to 11 assists in the game, eight of which came in the fourth.

The return of Simmons changes the dynamic for Tuesday night’s encounter. The former first overall pick will be crucial on both ends of the floor.

Home Advantage

This would make for a great playoff series. The Joel Embiid and Jokic duel is one of the best to watch in the NBA, arguably the two leading centers going head-to-head. As their offenses continue to labor, the defenses will cause each other problems. A low-scoring game is to be expected.

The Sixers’ unbeaten record at home is no fluke. They have beaten plenty of good teams along the way – including the Celtics, Timberwolves, Jazz, Heat, Pacers and Raptors.

Denver are at the end of a frustrating east coast road trip, and are unsurprisingly underdogs here. It would be a surprise, considering the Nuggets’ recent performances, to see Philly’s home winning streak end on Tuesday.

Pick: Philadelphia 76ers -4 (-110)

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