Welcome to my newest edition of Bales' Best NBA Bets. In this article, I will outline my favorite bet for August 3, 2020. You can also find all of Bet Karma's staff bets through our NBA Premium Package.
The Denver Nuggets are one of the best and deepest teams in the NBA. They are struggling early in the restart with injuries, though. Will Barton and Gary Harris have already been ruled out while it’s unlikely that Jamal Murray will take the court tonight. If he does, it will be at less than full health.
The Nuggets are coming off of a 20-point loss to the Miami Heat, and the Oklahoma City Thunder project similar to Miami. The Nuggets were up 1 at halftime but were outscored 69 to 48 in the second half. The lack of depth from the injuries played a role but Miami pulled away in this game through three-pointers and free throws. They outscored Denver by 18 in those categories.
Denver’s young group of players likely played a role in Miami attempting 37 free throws. Oklahoma City may not see that number but they currently rank fifth in the NBA in free throw attempts per game. They also rank seventh in the league in free throw percentage. Denver, a team that doesn’t get to the line often, could struggle once again tonight, as Oklahoma City ranks second in the NBA in free throw attempts per game to opponents. On average, the Thunder attempt 6.2 more free throws per game than their opponents, and I expect that total to widen as Denver’s young group of players is forced into minutes.
The Nuggets attempted 35 three-pointers against Miami, making only 22.9%. It’s far from a surprising number, as Murray, Harris, and Barton have combined to average 5.1 of Denver’s 10.8 three-pointers made per game. Oklahoma City also ranks fourth in the NBA in opponent three-point percentage.
The Thunder aren’t a dominant three-point shooting team, as they rank as roughly average in percentage. They also don’t take a ton of threes, which is a major concern. Still, Miami shot 44.8% from beyond the arc. They’re a significantly more efficient three-point shooting team, but Oklahoma City has a number of players that can hit the open three.
If Steven Adams can handle Nikola Jokic tonight, I expect this game to play out similarly to Denver’s first game. The Nuggets will stay in the game early, but the Thunder will take over later as hey play behind their veterans. Fouls and turnovers could play a major role, as well, as Oklahoma City is a safe team that generally doesn’t beat themselves.
Bet 1.1 units on Oklahoma City Thunder -4.5 (-110) to win 1 unit
2020 NBA Season Record - 1-3 (+1.05 units)