San Antonio Spurs at Denver Nuggets
The Spurs emerged with another win last night against Portland, making it two in a row after dropping three games previously. San Antonio will be out to make it three straight wins, this time in the Mile High City, where things could hardly be any lower for the struggling home NBA franchise.
Denver acquired Allen Iverson to make it through arguably the franchise’s most difficult time and he has to feel like he’s back in Philadelphia, except at a higher altitude. The Nuggets are 3-6 since acquiring A.I. including a five game losing streak. "That was tough to lose five in a row, but I kind of learned a lot about this team, just going through some adversity with them early instead of everything being peaches and cream," Iverson said. "The morale around the team wasn't great but it wasn't negative. It wasn't to the point where everybody was pointing fingers at each other and blaming each other." A few of the suspended players are coming back to help. Marcus Camby returned in victory over Milwaukee on Monday and J.R. Smith is back in the fold starting tonight. Smith returns after sitting out 10-game suspension for his part in the brawl.
San Antonio has had nagging injuries to Tony Parker and Manu Ginobili, along with both centers missing time. The Spurs head to Denver, one of only three teams to have a better overall record on the road then at home. Their 12-5 mark, which also happens to be the best road record in the league, is matched by a nearly flawless matching record against the spread that is also the best in the NBA.
The opening line on this Western Conference contest has not been released; however it is presumed Denver will open as 6-point home underdogs. This will mark just the fourth time the Nuggets are in this role and they are 1-2 and 2-1 ATS. On the bright side for those preferring the home dog, Denver is 10-3 ATS with a day between games.
Many bettors will assume San Antonio is in a bind tonight, playing back to back games. While not an advantageous position, the Spurs are not performing nearly as poorly as before. The Spurs are 5-4 both SU and ATS with no days rest and actually 2-0 playing away after being home.
The Live Betting Odds page will have the updated line later today, with NBA action starting at 9 Eastern on ESPN. Incidentally, San Antonio is currently favorite by 5 (12pm ET).
About the Author: Bob is an experienced sports writer and handicapper who has written for the sports industry for over a decade. He has been a regular contributer to Sports Scene, a sports consultant for television's 33 Made and other major motion pictures.