One of the six NBA games slated to be played tonight will feature the Toronto Raptors heading to Denver to take on the Nuggets. It will be a matchup between a team that struggles on the road against a team that has one of the best at-home records in the league this season. We’ll preview the game before going over my best prop play for the action.
In their six games back from the All-Star break, the Toronto Raptors have gone 4-2; however, their overall NET rating in that span of -2.6 ranks 19th in the league. Poor offensive play has led to the negative overall rating, as their offensive efficiency rating across their last six games is the fifth worst in the NBA, while their defensive efficiency rating is the third best in that span.
Toronto will come into tonight off an overtime win against the Washington Wizards, in which they managed to hold the Wizards to just 109 points even with OT. The Raptors allowed Washington to score just four points in overtime, and for the game, they held them to just four fast break points and 42 points in the paint.
Limiting paint scoring has been a strength of theirs since the break, as they rank 10th in the league in average points allowed in the paint per game. Those numbers will be tested tonight against Nikola Jokic and the Nuggets, who have gotten 44.5% of their points from inside the paint since the break. This will be the first time the two teams will match up with each other all season, and Denver will undoubtedly be the Raptors' biggest test post-All-Star break.
In their five games back, the Nuggets have gone 4-1 and managed a 6.6 NET rating during that stretch. Denver also ranks 10th in both offensive and defensive efficiency ratings in that span, so they have a much more balanced attack than Toronto. One of the areas that has helped them remain a solid team on both ends of the floor is rebounding, as they rank 4th in the league in rebounding percentage post-All-Star break, while Toronto is 20th with one more game played.
For my prop play in this one, I’ll be targeting Jamal Murray over 6.5 assists at (-115). The Nuggets' point guard is averaging 7.4 assists over his past ten games and has gone over his total in nine of those games. Murray has benefitted from 71.4% of the Nuggets made field goals since the break coming from assists, and tonight he has a solid matchup to continue his impressive pace.
Since their return, Toronto ranks 27th in the league in assists allowed per game with an average of 27.3, and in their four road games, that average jumps up to 28.3. Limiting ball movement and assists has been something the Raptors have struggled with all year, as they rank 24th in assists allowed per game across the entire season.
Denver has been a juggernaut at home this season, and Murray has benefitted from this, as his assist average increases by 1.1 assists when at home. This is partially due to the Nuggets' shooting percentage increasing by 3% when playing in Ball Arena. With the way Denver has been scoring recently, I think this is an excellent spot to target Murray.
Jamal Murray Over 6.5 Assists (-115)