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Nuggets vs. Raptors Free NBA Pick (Dec. 31)

NBA Sports Betting Denver @ Toronto

This game was off the board for a while due to uncertainty surrounding the status of the respective centers – Nene and Jermaine O’Neal. The issue isn’t completely settled yet.  

BetUS Sportsbook NBA Basketball Betting Odds: DENVER -1.5, Total 201  

Here are some of the NBA pro basketball sports betting trends as they relate to this matchup:

* DEN has covered two of its last eight games
* DEN has won 16 of its last 24 games SU
* DEN has lost four of its last five road games SU
* DEN has covered one of its last five road games
* TOR has lost seven of its last nine games SU
* TOR has covered three of its last 14 home games
* TOR has lost four of its last five home games SU
* TOR has played six of its last seven home games UNDER the total

Also…

* DEN has covered 17 of the last 25 meetings
* DEN has won eight of the last nine meetings SU
* Four of the last five meetings have gone OVER the total
* DEN has covered nine of the last 12 meetings as the road team
* Four of the last six meetings in Toronto have gone UNDER the total
* DEN has had the rebounding edge in six of the last eight meetings
* DEN has made more three-pointers in four of the last five meetings

Nene missed his first game of the year when Denver played against the Hawks, having suffered a neck strain against New York. The Brazilian is tops in the NBA in shooting percentage, hitting 60.6% of his shots, and was doing a fine job on the offensive end replacing Marcus Camby, who is now with the Clippers. Chris Andersen would get the start at center if Nene can’t go and he is more of a shot blocker.

Jermaine O’Neal, who was acquired from Indiana in the off-season and is having some trouble integrating himself into the lineup alongside Chris Bosh up front, is suffering some flu-like symptoms and will probably remain a game-time decision. O’Neal suited up for the gamer against Golden State on Monday but played only eight minutes. There has been a surge of sorts in O’Neal’s play lately; he exploded for 36 points against Sacramento on the day after Christmas, and that followed totals of 24 and 23 points in the previous two games on the recent road trip.

The Raptors won two of six on that swing, and now they come home, not necessarily a revitalized team, but one that looks more capable of putting a couple in the win column. There is a huge revenge motive here for Toronto as well, because they remember an embarrassing 132-93 pasting the Nuggets put on them on December 2 at the Pepsi Center. Denver also beat them by a 137-105 margin this past March. We certainly appreciate the way Denver has improved defensively, especially since Chauncey Billups came aboard, but the Nuggets are going through a rough pointspread string right now, covering just two of the last eight.

Toronto gets a little revenge here. We take the points with the Raptors, the 1.5-point underdog in the BetUS NBA pro basketball betting odds.

Our PLAY: TORONTO +1.5 **

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