Following an emphatic victory in commanding fashion against a significantly depleted Hornets roster, the Toronto Raptors are poised to extend their homestand as they brace for a formidable challenge against the reigning champions, the Denver Nuggets, on Wednesday night.
The Raptors, who showcased their prowess in a resounding victory, will strive to carry the momentum into this midweek clash and establish a two-game winning streak. Their opponents, the Nuggets, also enter the contest on the back of a successful win in their previous game, setting the stage for a compelling showdown.
Bet on Nuggets vs. Raptors
Let’s look at the betting odds via bet365 on both teams for this upcoming matchup.
Nuggets vs. Raptors odds
|Nuggets Moneyline Odds
|Raptors Moneyline Odds
|229 points (over -110, under -110)
|Nuggets -4.5 (-105)
|Dec. 20, 7:30 p.m. ET
Stream: NBA League Pass
(How to watch the NBA in Canada?)
About the Nuggets (18-10 SU, 12-16 ATS, 10-17-1 o/u)
In an electrifying display of offensive prowess, the Nuggets showcased their depth in a commanding 26-point triumph over the hobbled Dallas Mavericks on Monday. Despite the absence of key players such as Kyrie Irving, and Dereck Lively II for the Mavericks, the Nuggets didn’t just rely on their Serbian superstar Nikola Jokic to shoulder the scoring load. Rather, it was a trio of standout performances from Aaron Gordon, Jamal Murray, and Reggie Jackson that stole the spotlight.
In a surprising turn of events, Jokic, the usually dominant force, took a back seat in the scoring column. Gordon led the charge with an impressive 21-point contribution. Murray, displaying his scoring prowess, poured in 22 points, while Jackson rounded out the trio with a solid 20 points. Jokic, while not leading the scoring charge on this occasion, still made his presence felt on the court as he concluded the game with nine rebounds, and seven assists. However, it’s worth noting that this marks the second instance in the last four games where Jokic finished with single-digit scoring figures, a somewhat uncharacteristic trend for the prolific centre.
The impending matchup for the Denver duo of Jokic and Murray against the Raptors poses significant challenges, with the Raptors ranking third in the league for allowing the fewest points and the third-fewest made three-pointers to point guards. Additionally, Toronto’s defence concedes the 11th-fewest points to centres. Despite these formidable defensive statistics, the Raptors exhibit a vulnerability, allowing the sixth-highest points in the league to small forwards. This particular weakness opens up a strategic opportunity for the Nuggets, and in particular, for Michael Porter Jr.
About the Raptors (11-15 SU, 13-13 ATS, 13-13 o/u)
With key players LaMelo Ball, Gordon Hayward, and Mark Williams sidelined due to injuries, and the additional setback of Miles Bridges encountering issues at the Canadian border, the odds were undoubtedly stacked against the Hornets on Monday. Toronto trailed through three quarters against the depleted Hornets, though, and needed a 35-point outburst in the final quarter to pull away.
The dynamic duo of Pascal Siakam and Scottie Barnes once again took centre stage, showcasing their formidable skills. Siakam led the charge with a game-high 27 points, complemented by an impressive eight rebounds and eight assists on an efficient 11-of-16 (68.8%) shooting performance. Meanwhile, Scottie exhibited his well-rounded game, amassing 22 points, an impressive 17 rebounds, seven assists, and three blocks on 7-of-14 (50%) shooting, including a remarkable fourth-quarter performance where he scored 10 points and grabbed six rebounds.
Not to be overlooked, Gary Trent Jr. made significant contributions coming off the bench, registering a double-double with 22 points and 10 rebounds. His sharpshooting from beyond the arc, marked by four successful three-pointers, added an extra layer of offensive firepower. The collective effort of these key players secured the come-from-behind victory.
As the Raptors gear up for their clash with the Nuggets, key players face formidable challenges against a defensively adept opponent. Barnes must navigate the Nuggets’ defence which currently ranks 10th in giving up the least points and fifth in restricting made three-pointers for shooting guards. Meanwhile, O.G. Anunoby confronts a similar hurdle as the Nuggets rank fifth in three-pointers made by small forwards. Siakam is set to encounter a resilient Nuggets defence allowing the third-fewest points and fifth-fewest assists to power forwards. The strategic nuances of these matchups add an intriguing layer to the forthcoming game, emphasizing the adaptability and skill of the Raptors’ key players against the defensive skill of the Nuggets.
Scottie Barnes over 20.5 points
- Gordon (heel) is listed as probable.
- Christian Koloko (illness) won’t play.
- The Nuggets have played over the total in four of their last five road games.
- The over is 7-1 in the past eight meetings between the teams.
- The Nuggets are 4-1 ATS in their last five games.
Player prop trends
- Scottie has recorded over 20.5 points in six of his last eight games, averaging 23.3 points per game during that span. His line is -115 to score over 20.5 points.
- Anunoby has recorded at least one steal in seven of his last eight games. His line is a steep -230 to record over 0.5 steals.
- Jokic has grabbed 12.5 rebounds or more just once in the last five games. In the other four games, he failed to grab over nine boards in each contest. His line is -130 to record under 12.5 rebounds.
Wagers to consider
- SGP: Denver Nuggets Moneyline, Porter Jr. to score over 14.5 points: +175. The Raptors have been struggling as of late and the Nuggets are the favourites to win. Porter Jr. is in a great spot to clear his points line against a Raptors team that allows the sixth-most points in the league to small forwards.
- Under 229 Total Points: -110. Both teams play good defence and it’s not expected to be a high-scoring game.