Nuggets vs. Thunder NBA Picks and Odds Analysis

profile image of Jordan.Sharp
063_1354340430-aspect-ratio-16-9
Aaron Gordon #50 of the Denver Nuggets. Matthew Stockman/Getty Images/AFP

The Denver Nuggets start the first night of a road-to-home back-to-back on Wednesday as they play the Oklahoma City Thunder. Will OKC show up enough to get the cover here? Read on to check the NBA odds and the best online sportsbook to bet with today. 

Denver Nuggets vs. Oklahoma City Thunder

Wednesday, December 22, 2021 – 08:00 PM EST at Paycom Center

Nuggets’ Defense Falling off a Cliff

Denver has been known as a defensive powerhouse for several seasons now, but, for whatever reason, their defense has fallen way down this season. It could definitely be personnel-related, but there are other factors involved as well that could make for a higher-scoring affair here in Oklahoma City.

For starters, the Nuggets play tomorrow at home against the Hornets, another game that could be higher scoring. With that in mind for your NBA pick, the Nuggets may not take the Thunder too seriously tonight, especially on defense.

Denver’s defense when traveling this season has been atrocious. They rank 27th in road defensive efficiency, allowing over 113 points per 100 possessions, and things don’t get much better in the first halves of their games either.

However, their offense on the road, especially in the first halves, has been amazing this season. Denver is averaging 118 points per 100 possessions on the road in the first half this season, which ranks number one in the NBA.

Furthermore, the Thunder’s defense has been inconsistent and not up to the task in their first-half games this season, which leads me to think that the Nuggets’ first-half team total has a lot of value here.

The Sharp Pick

So far this season, the Thunder rank 24th in the NBA in first-half defense, and while they do get better when playing at home, their offense is so bad that the Nuggets are going to have a lot of opportunities to run off of missed shots here.

They will want to get this game over as early as possible so they can get ready for tomorrow night and that plays right into their overall strategy on the road this season. Denver has been known as a slower-paced team too in the past, but at least for first halves on the road, that has not been the case.

They rank 13th in first-half road pace this season and considering the Thunder play pretty fast too in first halves, we could see a run and gun first half in OKC tonight. Over their last five first halves, all against similarly bad teams as the Thunder, the Nuggets are playing at a pace of 104, while scoring an average of 126.1 points per 100 possessions.

Even with Aaron Gordon questionable tonight, the Nuggets have the bodies to make up for him being out if that’s the case and if he plays, it only helps us over here. At 56.5 first-half points, the Nuggets’ team total here is a nice value going up against a team that is below average defensively and above average in pace for first halves.

NBA Pick: Over 109.5 1st half (-110) with BetOnline (visit our BetOnline Review)

BetOnline logo
Over 109.5 1st half (-110)
Visit Site

*The line and/or odds on picks in this article might have moved since the content was commissioned. For updated line movements, visit BMR’s free betting odds product.