The 40-33 Denver Nuggets are fighting for their playoff lives right now. They are currently seeded ninth in the Western Conference and need every win they can get. Defeating the 42-30 Philadelphia 76ers on the road today will be a very tough task (7 p.m. ET Monday on NBA TV).
Denver has played decently as of late, but many of the squads around the Nuggets in the playoff hunt are playing really well. The Nuggets are 1.5 games out of a playoff spot at the moment.
Philadelphia was supposed to be a fringe playoff team this year, but the Sixers have now gone 27-11 since December 28 to push their way into the East’s fourth seed. The team is getting great production both from its young stars and its veterans.
The 76ers, winners of six in a row, have a leg up in terms of momentum, but the Nuggets are a talented team. We will explore some questions that might determine the narrative of this game and then make our Denver Nuggets vs Philadelphia 76ers predictions and picks relative to the lines offered by the top betting websites.
Who Wins Joel Embiid vs Nikola Jokic Matchup?
The best player for both of these teams are the centers and they will guard each other. The Sixers’ Embiid is a lethal scorer out of the post and an excellent rim protector. The Nuggets’ Jokic also scores very in the post and has highly advanced passing skills.
On paper, Embiid looks like the winner of this matchup because of his superior size, athleticism and defensive skills. However, he is more prone to both high turnover and foul numbers as compared to Jokic.
A big part of this matchup is who can force the other player into foul trouble. Both guys must be aggressive in the post on offense, but disciplined on defense.
Will Denver Make it a Priority to Locate J.J. Redick and Robert Covington At All Times?
In the last two weeks, the Nuggets have lost three costly games to the Los Angeles Lakers, Memphis Grizzlies and Miami Heat. All three contests were winnable, but poor three-point defense strongly contributed to the losses. In fact, the Nuggets have been very poor at covering the arc even in their wins as of late.
In all, Denver’s opponents have averaged 14.8 made threes on a 44.3 percent success rate in the team’s last six games.
Philadelphia has been shooting the three ball very well as of late. The team has two elite three-point shooters in its starting lineup, Redick and Covington. Redick has averaged 2.7 made threes per game on 46.1 percent accuracy and Covington has made 3.3 threes per contest at a 51.3 percent clip in his last six games.
The 76ers’ offense relies heavily on the shooting and spacing these two players provide. Denver would be wise to pay close attention to them behind the arc, even if it means slightly better production from everybody else.
Can Will Barton Play Aggressive and Smart at the Same Time?
Barton is a bit of a wild card for the Nuggets. He is usually a bench player for the team, but injuries to Wilson Chandler and Gary Harris have pushed him into a starting lineup at various points.
His ideal role is as a supercharged sixth man where he can occasionally take over games with his offensive game and athleticism. He is somewhat of a loose cannon in terms of shot selection and overall decision-making, though.
With Harris out today, the Nuggets need Barton’s production. However, he needs to be efficient. In March, Barton is averaging 18.7 points and 1.7 turnovers with a 69.9 true shooting percentage in Denver’s seven wins. In five losses, though, those numbers drop to 11.6 points and 2.2 turnovers per game with a 39.3 true shooting percentage.
Our Preview’s Denver Nuggets vs Philadelphia 76ers Betting Picks & Predictions
Philadelphia is 24-11 on its home floor and Denver is 13-23 on the road. Combine that with the fact that Gary Harris is out and the Sixers are extremely hot, and this game should be a Philly win by at least a handful of points. So this is the look of our Denver Nuggets vs Philadelphia predictions and betting picks:
- At most sportsbooks, the Nuggets are a 5.5-point favorite. However, you can find the most favorable spread of Nuggets -5pts @ -115 with Bookmaker, so place your bet with them.
- Both teams involved in this matchup are above average in pace and offensive efficiency. Expect a game with plenty of points where both teams will attempt to score a lot in transition. Bet with Bookmaker again, this time on the over 222pts @ odds of -110.