The Denver Nuggets (42-21) will try to slow down the NBA’s top scoring team when they go head-to-head with the Milwaukee Bucks (53-11) at Pepsi Center. The game will air on NBATV at 9 p.m. ET on Monday, March 9, 2020.
Milwaukee Bucks at Denver Nuggets ATS Prediction
The Bucks were not able to cover as 2-point underdogs in their 140-131 loss to the Phoenix Suns in their last game. The total points for the game (271) were well over the O/U closing total of 228.5 at PointsBet. Phoenix was effective at getting and making free throws. The Suns made 27 of their 31 free throws (87.1 percent), while the Bucks were 16-21 (76.2 percent). Khris Middleton was the game’s leading scorer with 39 points on 13-for-26 shooting.
The last time the Nuggets played, they let one slip away to the Cleveland Cavaliers, 104-102, despite being 9.5-point favorites at most US sportsbooks. The combined points for the game (206) were under the projected point total of 219. Cleveland’s 0.105 free throw rate was their largest strength over Denver, who had a rate of 0.035. The Cavaliers’ mark was below their season average of 0.169, while the Nuggets’ was below their season average of 0.183. Will Barton put together a good game for Denver, leading the team in scoring with 22 points on 9-for-18 shooting.
This is the second game of the season between these two teams. Giannis Antetokounmpo led both teams with 31 points in the first game, in which the Bucks lost 127-115, unable to cover as 13-point favorites. The game finished with a total of 242 points, which was 16.5 points above the projected point total of 225.5 points. The Nuggets had a better effective field goal percentage (0.590 vs. 0.516) and had a better offensive rebounding percentage (15.2 vs. 14.0).
Milwaukee heads into the contest with records of 53-11 straight up (SU) and 36-27 against the spread (ATS). Of the Bucks’ 63 games with betting action, 34 have finished under the O/U total.
Denver is 42-21 SU, but they are just 27-30-6 ATS. Coinciding with Milwaukee, just over half of Nuggets games have finished under the total.
The battle on the backboards could prove decisive, pitting strength against strength. The Nuggets are among the league’s elite on the offensive glass, ranking second in offensive rebounding percentage at 25.1 percent. Meanwhile, Milwaukee ranks first in the NBA at corralling defensive rebounds with a defensive rebounding percentage of 81.7 percent. It will also be a showdown of opposite paces as the up-tempo Bucks rank third in possessions per game, while the slower-paced Nuggets rank 29th.
Milwaukee Bucks at Denver Nuggets Betting Pick
Free NBA Pick: ATS Winner – Nuggets, O/U – Under
On the road, Milwaukee is 17-15 ATS with 18 unders and 14 overs.
Denver is 14-15-3 ATS at home with 17 unders and 15 overs.
Denver is 14-1 when they hold opponents under 100 points, while Milwaukee is 16-0.
The Bucks are 52-10 when they reach the century mark, while the Nuggets are 39-16.
Milwaukee ranks fourth in three pointers attempted per game (38.4) while Denver ranks 26th (30.1).
The Bucks rank first in rebounds per game (51.8) while the Nuggets rank 20th (44.3).
Milwaukee ranks first in points allowed in the paint per game (38.9) while Denver ranks 19th (49.0).
The Bucks rank third in fast break points per game (18.6) while the Nuggets rank 21st (11.5).
Milwaukee ranks third in blocks per game (6.0) while Denver ranks 20th (4.6).
The Bucks rank sixth in assists per game (26.0) while the Nuggets rank 22nd in assists allowed per game (25.1).
Denver ranks fifth in second chance points per game (14.3) while Milwaukee ranks 20th (12.5).
The Nuggets average 8.1 steals per game, which ranks 10th in the NBA. The Bucks rank 12th in steals allowed per game (7.3).
In its last five contests, Milwaukee is 2-3 ATS with 5 unders.
Denver is 1-4 ATS with 3 overs and 2 unders over its last five games.
The Bucks have been outscored by an average of 1.6 points in their last five games. On the season, Milwaukee has defeated opponents by an average of 11.7 points.
During their last five games, the Nuggets have scored an average of 110.4 points per game (0.2 below their season average) and allowed an average of 116.4 points per game (8.8 above their season average).