NBA: Denver seeks net profit against New Jersey



2009-11-24

The Denver Nuggets haven't lost a regular-season home game in nearly nine months. That winning streak shouldn't be in much danger against the New Jersey Nets. Denver looks to improve to 6-0 at the Pepsi Center on Tuesday night when it faces a Nets team that is approaching the worst start in NBA history. Sportsbook.com oddsmakers have reacted as expected, installing Denver as a 13-point favorite. Expect bettors to be backing the hosts big-time by tip-off.

Coming off a 106-99 road loss to the Los Angeles Clippers on Friday, the Nuggets (9-4, 7-6 ATS) rebounded with a 112-93 victory over visiting Chicago on Saturday.

"This was a tough win for us, especially coming off a tough loss, tough loss," point guard Chauncey Billups said after scoring 21 points. "We feel like we need to get as many games at home as we can, and the only way we can do that is try to win as many games at home as we can. There's going to be some tough nights, but we do focus on establishing a great home court."

Denver has gone undefeated in 15 games at the Pepsi Center since a 97-95 loss to Houston on March 9 and is 30-13 ATS off a home win over the last two seasons.

The Nuggets will try to extend that home-court dominance against the Nets (0-13, 4-9 ATS), who are four losses from tying the league's worst start shared by Miami in 1988-89 and the Clippers in 1998-99.

New Jersey, which opens a four-game western trip Tuesday, lost 98-91 to New York on Saturday.

"I've never been in a situation like this," said guard Chris Douglas-Roberts, averaging 18.1 points and 5.5 rebounds. "I really can't describe the feeling I have right now. I take every loss very hard, but this many losses without a win, I really don't know what to feel. I don't know where I'm at right now. Mentally, it's tough."
New Jersey has lost 12 in a row for the first time since a 14-game skid from Jan. 19-Feb. 20, 1990 and is 21-39 ATS in non-conference games the last few years.

The Nets got back All-Star point guard Devin Harris after he missed the previous 10 games with a strained right groin. He came off the bench and contributed 12 points and seven assists. "It's frustrating all the way around and you can see it on guys' faces," Harris said. It's also frustrating to Nets backers who are 10-22 ATS playing against teams with win percentage of 60 to 70 percent over the last three seasons.
With a chance to avoid matching the franchise's worst start, the Nets fell to 0-5 with a 122-94 loss to the visiting Nuggets on Nov. 4. Denver trailed by one at halftime but outscored New Jersey 44-26 in the third quarter, with Billups scoring all 12 of his points in the period and Carmelo Anthony adding 11 of his 22.

Anthony, the NBA's leading scorer at 30.5 points per game, shot 58.8 percent from the field in his last four games after hitting 36.4 percent or less in five of his previous six contests. With New Jersey lacking any offensive continuity, the Nuggets are 12-2 ATS in home games versus poor passing teams, averaging 20 assists or less game.

Denver guard J.R. Smith is shooting 43.7 percent, and his ability to score in bunches from long range makes him a consistent threat. Smith scored 12 of his 19 points in the fourth quarter Saturday, hitting two 3s in the period. "He's an explosive player," coach George Karl said. "I thought we ran a couple of plays that got him going."

Sportsbook.com has Denver as heavy chalk at -13, with total of 203. The Nuggets are 13-3 ATS vs. poor rebounding teams, being outrebounded three or more per game and are is 7-0 UNDER after a combined score of 205 points or more this season. New Jersey is 5-14 ATS as an underdog of 10 or more points and is 11-2 UNDER this season.

This matchup is on the YES Network at 9:00 Eastern, with the Nuggets having won and covered five of six against the Nets.

The StatFox Power Line shows Denver by 16, meaning there is still some wiggle room in the Sportsbook.com price.

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