The Denver Nuggets and Brooklyn Nets are both coming off games on Tuesday night. So, with neither team rested and likely holding some of their guys out, how should we attack the NBA odds for this one?
Denver Nuggets vs. Brooklyn Nets
Wednesday, January 26, 2022 – 08:00 PM EST at Barclays Center
B2B Leads to Less Defense
We have reached the last week of January in the NBA. We are well over halfway through the season and things are starting to catch up to these teams, namely, the amount of back-to-backs being played. Early in the season, a game played on no rest doesn’t mean as much. However, as we reach the second half point and before the All-Star Break, some of these games played on no rest are going to get ugly.
While some teams perform better on no rest than others, one constant that you’ll find at this point in the season is a lack of execution on both ends of the court in these spots. Most of these teams have played seven or eight games so far on no rest, but for the rest of the season, these games will start to hit differently.
Teams that aren’t in the playoff hunt, as well as some that are, will rest players with little to no warning when playing on the first or second night of a back to back. We saw it last night with Denver and Will Barton. The Nuggets’ swingman was probable all day and then for whatever reason, an hour before tipoff, Barton was ruled out of the game.
I don’t know if the Nuggets just forgot they were playing the Pistons last night or what, but whatever the case, I think Barton will be back for this one and he was just rested last night.
However, that’s going to become more common and with both teams not releasing their injury reports Wednesday morning as they come off a game the night before, it makes finding value for this one hard. So what's the right NBA pick?
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The Sharp Pick
While finding value is hard, it’s not impossible. Both of these teams have struggled at times on no rest, especially lately.
With Kyrie Irving out again due to this being a home game and Kevin Durant out as well, it would not surprise me to see the Nets rest James Harden too. Harden has expressed frustration living in Brooklyn lately and while I doubt it has an effect on this season, it’s just more distractions for this big market title contender.
On the other side, Denver has really struggled on no rest this season and playing on the road will not help that tonight. In their last two games played on no rest this season, the Nuggets have posted an offensive rating of 104 or less and their defense has gotten smacked up in those games too.
The Nets have also started to falter on both ends of the court on back-to-backs. Over the Nets’ last three games played on no rest, they have posted an average defensive rating of 124.3 against the Thunder, Blazers and Rockets. That’s not reassuring at all.
The Nets have also had an effective field goal percentage less than 50 percent in five of their seven games played on no rest this season.
All of this considered, I can’t back either of these teams ATS. They are a combined 2-11-1 ATS playing on no rest. Only Houston has a worse record playing on no rest.
Instead, the total is where I’m attacking tonight. While Denver is 5-2 cashing the over on no rest, the Nets are 5-2 cashing the under when playing on no rest.
Considering the possibility of missing pieces that we don’t yet know about, combined with both team’s offensive struggles on no rest, I think we see a pretty sloppy game tonight. Defense may be worse, but I expect offense to be even harder to come by once those legs get tired and jump shots fall short.
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