The Denver Nuggets and Oklahoma City Thunder are preparing for their second match against each other this season on Friday night. The first one wasn’t even close as the Nuggets finished off the Thunder 119-101. In fact, it looks like Friday night’s matchup won’t be that close either.
The Oklahoma City Thunder are currently playing without their star player Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, among several others — including George Hill, Trevor Ariza, and Theo Maledon. Isaiah Roby is also listed as questionable with a foot injury. It’s clear they’ll need several players to step up if they want to win.
The Thunder aren’t the only team dealing with injuries right now. The Denver Nuggets have three players listed as out — including Gary Harris, PJ Dozier, and Greg Whittington. Harris is a big part of what Denver does, especially defensively. He averages 10.1 points, 2.5 rebounds, and 1.7 assists per game.
Oklahoma City Thunder Betting Preview: Can the Thunder win without Gilgeous-Alexander?
The Oklahoma City Thunder just finished a two-game, back-to-back road trip against the Los Angeles Lakers. Both games went into overtime, but the Thunder couldn’t get it done in either one. They’ve now lost three of their last four games and five of their last seven games — bringing their record to 10-14 on the year.
Without Shai Gilgeous-Alexander out there, the Thunder are forced to run their offense through Al Horford and Luguentz Dort. Horford is currently averaging 14.4 points, 7.1 rebounds, 3.3 assists, 1.1 steals, and 1.0 blocks per game. Dort is chipping in 11.7 points, 3.3 rebounds, 1.4 assists, and 0.9 blocks per game.
Denver Nuggets Betting Preview: Will the Nuggets win their second-straight?
The Denver Nuggets might not have Gary Harris on Friday, but they still have their big-three of Nikola Jokic, Jamal Murray, and Michael Porter, Jr. They’re starting to build some real chemistry together, which will come in handy come playoff time. Of course, they still need to win often to get themselves there.
So far this season, Jokic is averaging 26.9 points, 11.3 rebounds, 8.6 assists, 1.6 steals per game, while Jamal Murray is putting up 18.1 points, 3.9 rebounds, 4.4 assists, and 1.0 steals per game. Though he has only played 14 games, Porter Jr. is averaging 14.9 points, 6.4 rebounds, 1.0 assists, 1.1 steals, and 1.1 blocks per game.
Thunder vs. Nuggets Betting Odds & Lines
Will the Nuggets take advantage of a Shai-less Thunder on Friday night, or will they get too complacent? BetOnline has the Denver Nuggets (-8.5) over the Thunder on Friday.
Free Betting Pick
The Denver Nuggets haven’t quite lived up to their expectations this year, but they still find themselves with a 13-11 record that’s good enough for 7th place in the Western Conference. They’re in a better position than the 10-14 Oklahoma City Thunder, who find themselves in 14th place in the West.
With plenty of games left to play, anything can happen for these two teams. Unfortunately, winning this one is going to be extremely difficult for the Thunder, especially considering the big-three they’re going against and the fact that they won’t have Shai Gilgeous-Alexander on the court. I’ve got the Nuggets by a lot in this one.
Final Score Prediction 109-94, Denver Nuggets.
Spooky Express Free Pick: Denver Nuggets (-8.5)