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NBA Focus: Don't Sleep on the Nuggets

Emmanuel Mudiay Denver Nuggets

When talking about the most efficient teams in the NBA, squads like the Golden State Warriors, San Antonio Spurs and Cleveland Cavaliers rightfully top the list. But one franchise that’s quietly gone under the radar as a razor sharp play at the betting window is the Denver Nuggets.

The Nuggets (19-31 SU), who were sitting at 11th in the Western Conference as of February 4, won’t excite you at first glance. They’re a young group that’s in the process of a rebuild under a head coach (Mike Malone) who’s doing the best he can with an unproven roster.

In the absence of superstars, Denver boasts a lineup that features talented players that are slowly learning to play together under Malone’s system. Kenneth Faried, Nikola Jokic and Danilo Gallinari aren’t exactly household names, however, they are proving to be effective in a year where the Nuggets will very likely miss the playoffs for the third time in as many seasons.

The Nuggets are great at keeping games close

Surprisingly, Denver has been the most profitable team in the Association since the calendar turned to 2016. The Nuggets won just six of 15 January games outright, but covered the spread in 11 of those affairs while tabbed as underdogs in each tilt. During that span, they lost by an average of 5.7 points while facing some big spreads.

They followed that up with two covers over the Utah Jazz and Toronto Raptors to begin February, stretching their ATS streak to five in a row ahead of Friday’s matchup with the Chicago Bulls.

Road warriors (of sorts)

On the season, Emmanuel Mudiay and company are 27-21-2 ATS – the fifth best mark in the league. They’ve been sub-par at home (11-13-1 ATS) but have been phenomenal on the road, going 16-8-1 ATS away from Colorado. Only the high-flying Golden State Warriors have been a better bet on the road.

While the Nuggets aren’t going to be competing for the Larry O’Brien Trophy anytime soon, sports bettors seeking underdog value would be wise to pay close attention to them for the duration of the campaign.