Today's Free Picks for
Posted at 2:00 PM EST. Odds subject to change.
Denver/Boston 1Q over 59½
Best Odds: -120 at Sportsinteraction
7:30 PM EST. Friday night not only presents a showcase matchup between two of the NBA's most elite teams, it provides qualifying factors for one of our favorite first quarter angles. When two titans of the association face off, especially in their first battle of the season, we typically see an exhibition of scoring right from opening tipoff. Of course this notion alone is never a fail-safe approach, but there are many other reasons to believe this will be a high-scoring affair, at least early.
The first reason is the most obvious - Denver and Boston are both really good at scoring points, and they're both completely healthy. That is, unless you consider rookie guard Julius Strawther as an essential cog of Denver's offense? Didn't think so. Both programs have been a top 10 unit all season, with incomparable shooting stars filling two championship-caliber rosters. We won't get into the individual prowess of Nikola Jokic or Jayson Tatum or others, but if you're new at this just take our word for it - the Nuggets and Celtics have two of the most potent offensive rosters in the NBA. Boston rests as the 3rd most prolific offense in the NBA over the last three months, while Denver has ascended into a top 5 offense the last two weeks. Both outfits like to explode nice and early, too. Combined, they average a number over tonight's listed total; the Celtics score 31.1 and the Nuggets 29.8 in the first 12 minutes.
We like this angle even more because of Denver's recent form. In SW articles of the past, we've talked about how there are seasons within seasons of a full 82-game NBA schedule, and right now the Nuggets certainly seem to be in a stretch where they don't care much about defense; they're just 25th in defensive efficiency over the last two weeks. That shouldn't worry you or anyone about the champs' potential to win the NBA title again, but it's not great that they haven't been in good defensive practice heading into tonight's big battle. Boston's pace and offensive efficiency increases into an even more dangerous group at the TD Garden Center, probably a big reason why they're 20-0 at home this season.
This game may settle down and get more testy in the second half. After all, Denver is the defending king and Boston sits at the top of the Eastern Conference once again. The Nuggets are only two games back from the #1 spot in the West. Situationally the visiting team has had three days to rest and prepare, while Boston has been at home since Tuesday. This is an ideal confluence of factors for the first quarter to go soaring over the list number and we're here to take advantage.
Denver/Boston 1Q over 59½ -120 (Risking 2.4 units - To Win: 2.00)