Shai Gilgeous-Alexander and the Oklahoma City Thunder visit Nikola Jokic the Denver Nuggets in a Western Conference battle on Tuesday evening. Oklahoma City is a success story in the early going of the 2020-21 NBA season, posting a 6-6 record after modest expectations. In fact, the Thunder are rolling away from home, posting a 5-1 overall record and winning their last three road tilts. The Nuggets will look to combat that success as they take the floor at Ball Arena, and Denver will aim to improve on a 6-7 overall mark this season. Al Horford (personal) is out for Oklahoma City, while Michael Porter Jr. (COVID-19) is out for Denver.
Tip-off is scheduled for 9 p.m. ET in Denver. The Nuggets vs. Thunder odds from William Hill Sportsbook list Denver as a 10-point favorite. The over-under for total points expected is set at 220. Before finalizing any Thunder vs. Nuggets 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 it returned over $5,000 in profit on its top-rated NBA picks last season. The model is up nearly $8,100 over the past two-plus seasons. Dating back to last season, it is also on a stunning 68-39 roll on top-rated picks against the spread, returning almost $2,500 on those selections alone. Anybody who has followed it has seen huge returns.
- Thunder vs. Nuggets spread: Nuggets -10
- Thunder vs. Nuggets over-under: 220 points
- Thunder vs. Nuggets money line: Nuggets -500, Thunder +400
- OKC: The Thunder are 5-5 against the spread in the last 10 games
- DEN: The Nuggets are 3-7 against the spread in the last 10 games
Why the Thunder can cover
Oklahoma City is performing well in the early going, even with some personnel challenges. The Thunder are above-average at protecting the ball on the offensive end, committing a turnover on only 14.4 percent of offensive possessions, and they are led by Gilgeous-Alexander. The third-year guard is averaging 21.6 points, 6.2 assists and 5.3 rebounds per game, and he will put pressure on Denver's perimeter defense.
On the other end, OKC is a top-eight team in the NBA in defensive rebound rate (75.0 percent) and free throw rate, with an above-average mark in shooting efficiency allowed. The Thunder are also No. 1 in the league in transition defense, allowing only 8.8 fast break points allowed per game.
Why the Nuggets can cover
Denver is an elite offensive team, scoring more than 1.15 points per possession this season. A big part of that is tremendous offensive rebounding, leading the NBA in grabbing 30.7 percent of available rebounds, and Denver also ranks in the top 10 in both effective field goal percentage (55.6 percent) and true shooting percentage (58.5 percent).
The Nuggets also land in the top six in assist rate (63.4 percent) and assist-to-turnover ratio (1.89), even with Porter Jr. sidelined. Defensively, Denver has struggled in a few areas, but the Nuggets are tremendous on the glass, including a top-five mark in second chance points allowed (10.8 per game). The Nuggets also create a turnover on 15.8 percent of defensive possessions, and Denver ranks in the top 10 in steals with 8.4 per game.
How to make Nuggets vs. Thunder picks
SportsLine's model is leaning under on the total, with the teams projected to combine for 217 points. The model also says one side of the spread hits almost 60 percent of the time. You can get that pick at SportsLine.
So who wins Thunder vs. Nuggets? And which side of the spread hits almost 60 percent of the time? Visit SportsLine now to find out which side of the Thunder vs. Nuggets spread you need to jump on, all from the model that has crushed its NBA picks.