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Pacers Primed to Continue Denver's Misery

Pacers vs Nuggets Betting Odds January 19 2020

Not long ago, the Denver Nuggets had hoped to keep pace with the Los Angeles Lakers atop the Western Conference standings. Three key injuries later, the Nuggets would be content to not fall too far down the table as they host Indiana on Sunday. The Nuggets will be without three-fifths of their starting rotation against a Pacers team that has won four straight games.

Indiana Pacers vs. Denver Nuggets

Opening Odds Analysis

The Nuggets opened as 3.5-point home favorites but are now available at -1.5 at most sportsbooks. The total, on the other hand, has held steady at 211.5.

Indiana Pacers News & Notes

The Pacers have lost nine consecutive visits to Pepsi Center, though they were stiff opponents the last two times (those losses came by a combined seven points.) and this might represent their best shot at ending the streak; not only are the Nuggets hurting, but Indiana is playing inspired basketball as they embark on a five-game road trip that ends January 26th in Portland.

The main reason the Pacers are an impressive 12 games above .500 heading into Sunday's encounter? The play of point guard Malcolm Brogdon and big man Domantas Sabonis, who has taken the East by storm in 2019-20; Brogdon averages 17.7 points and ranks ninth in the league in assists (7.5), while Sabonis is fifth in rebounding (12.9) while averaging 17.8 points.

Denver Nuggets News & Notes

It was bad enough for the Nuggets to have to overcome the absences of shooting guard Gary Harris (adductor) and forward Paul Millsap (knee). But the loss of Jamal Murray to an ankle injury will be the most significant of all; the standout point guard, who is out indefinitely, ranks second on the team in scoring at 17.6 points per game while adding 4.6 assists and 4.1 rebounds.

His absence will put more of the onus on All-Star center Nikola Jokic, who has already had to assume a larger role with Harris and Millsap sidelined. He's averaging a season-high 23.8 points to go along with 9.8 rebounds so far in January, but with the team's only other elite distributor sidelined, you can expect to see him build upon his 5.4 assists-per-game average for the month.

Betting Pick: Pacers +2

Indiana is as fresh as it's going to be on this road trip – and while visiting teams traditionally struggle with that Denver elevation, the Nuggets don't have the horses to keep up.

Shark Bites
  • Indiana is 5-1 SU in its last 6 games.
  • Denver is 5-1 SU in its last 6 games.
  • The OVER is 12-6 in Denver's last 18 games.