The Brooklyn Nets are careening in the wrong direction at the wrong time and attempt to avoid a fifth consecutive loss when they visit the Denver Nuggets on Saturday. The Nets (43-24) owned the best record in the Eastern Conference prior to their current slide that has dropped them to the No. 3 seed with five games remaining in the regular season. Brooklyn is making the fourth stop of a five-game road trip against Denver (44-23), which is in a tight battle of its own in the Western Conference, sitting one game behind the Los Angeles Clippers for third place. James Harden (hamstring) remains out for Brooklyn. Monte Morris (hamstring) and Will Barton (hamstring) are both out for Denver.
Tip-off is scheduled for 10 p.m. ET from Ball Arena. William Hill Sportsbook lists Brooklyn as a three-point favorite, while the over-under for total points scored is 232 in the latest Nets vs. Nuggets odds. Before making any Nuggets vs. Nets picks, be sure to see the NBA predictions and betting advice from SportsLine's proven computer model.
The SportsLine Projection Model simulates every NBA game 10,000 times and has returned over $9,200 in profit on its top-rated NBA picks over the past two-plus seasons. The model is up over $1,200 on its top-rated picks this season and entered Week 20 of the 2020-21 NBA schedule on a stunning 97-62 roll on top-rated NBA picks against the spread dating back to last season. Anybody who has followed it has seen huge returns.
- Nets vs. Nuggets spread: Nets -3
- Nets vs. Nuggets over-under: 232 points
- Nets vs. Nuggets: Nets -150; Nuggets +130
- BKN: The Nets are 20-8 vs. Western Conference foes
- DEN: The Nuggets are 19-8 vs. the Eastern Conference
Why the Nets can cover
Brooklyn has struggled with its shooting during the fourth quarter of its last two losses, an uncharacteristic trait given that it leads the NBA in field goal percentage at 49.1. Kevin Durant was 7 of 21 from the floor and missed all four 3-point attempts while finishing with 20 points in Friday's loss at Dallas. A 53.8 percent shooter for the season, Durant had averaged 38.7 points and hit 13 of 25 3-pointers in the previous three games.
Kyrie Irving had been in a bit of a shooting slump as well, including a dud vs. Toronto on April 27 in which he failed to score in double figures for the only time this season. That drought seems to be over for Irving, who poured in 45 points against the Mavericks two nights after scoring 38 in a narrow loss to Milwaukee. After shooting 5 of 21 from long range over a three-game span, Irving connected on 13 of 25 in his last two.
Why the Nuggets can cover
Playing top-flight opponents on back-to-back nights is no easy task for Denver, but the team has won seven in a row and 13 of 14 at Ball Arena. Center Nikola Jokic came up one rebound shy of a triple-double in Friday's loss at Utah with 24 points, 13 assists and nine boards. That actually snapped a streak of three straight 30-point outings for Jokic, who nearly had a triple-double (23 points, 11 assists, eight rebounds) in the earlier matchup vs. the Nets.
Forward Michael Porter Jr. has elevated his play since the season-ending knee injury to All-Star guard Jamal Murray. He eclipsed 30 points for the third time in eight games with a team-best 31 at Utah and has buried at least three 3-point shots in eight of his last nine. Austin Rivers has been a find since signing a 10-day contract last month. He scored 18 points in Friday's loss and is 11 of 18 from behind the arc in the last two games.
How to make Nuggets vs. Nets picks
SportsLine's model is leaning over on the total, projecting the teams to combine for 237 points. The model also says one side of the spread hits well over 50 percent of the time. You can get that pick at SportsLine.
So who wins Nuggets vs. Nets? And which side of the spread hits well over 50 percent of the time? Visit SportsLine now to find out which side of the spread you need to jump on, all from the model that is on a roll on NBA picks.