Denver Nuggets vs. Charlotte Hornets 12/7/18: Starting Lineups, Matchup Breakdown, Odds, Daily Fantasy, Betting
Denver Nuggets vs. Charlotte Hornets Preview
The Charlotte Hornets (11-13) host the Denver Nuggets (17-7) tonight in the first game of the season series between the teams. The Hornets will be hoping to end their three-game skid, but it won’t be easy with the Nuggets on a roll coming into tonight’s game, having won their last seven.
To make matters worse, the Hornets have not won a single game over a Western Conference opponent this season, including their last three games, and the conference’s top team is their opponent tonight.
On paper, the most intriguing matchup is that of Hornets point guard Kemba Walker and Denver’s Jamal Murray. Walker is having a career year, and Murray is also averaging career highs almost all across the board in his third season.
Time: 7:00pm ET
Arena: Spectrum Center, Charlotte, NC
Channel: Fox Sports SE/Altitude
Denver Nuggets Starting Lineup
Whereas several Western Conference would-be contenders have stumbled out of the gates in the first quarter of the season, the Denver Nuggets have been the surprise, with the second-best record in the league. They’ve also done it with several players being sidelined by injuries, including Isaiah Thomas, Will Barton, rookie Michael Porter Jr. and more. But with Jamal Murray putting up career numbers, Nikola Jokic averaging a near triple-double, and Paul Milsap having a resurgent season, especially lately, the Nuggets have been rolling right along.
Their winning streak was nearly halted on Wednesday as they needed overtime to secure a win over the Orlando Magic, but Murray took over in the extra period and the Nuggets clamped down on defense.
They also had a win over the top team in the NBA, the Toronto Raptors, earlier this week on the road. Jokic delivered with a triple-double, and he had plenty of support, with the Nuggets turning in a solid performance on both ends of the court.
Any time a team does this well and goes on a big winning streak, fans are always left wondering when it’s going to end. The Nuggets are in good shape to finish off this road trip against Charlotte and Atlanta with a nine-game winning streak, but they’ll have to defend Walker and assure he doesn’t go for one of his 40-point games to keep the streak alive.
Charlotte Hornets Starting Lineup
It’s been a season of ups and downs for new head coach James Borrego, and while the Hornets are under the .500 mark, they are still in position for a playoff seed, but there’s still plenty of season left to go.
But there has been some positive for Hornets fans this season. Borrego, who was hired from Gregg Popovich’s coaching staff in San Antonio, was able to come to North Carolina with a familiar face. Longtime Spur Tony Parker signed a free agent contract with Charlotte, and the guard play has seen a big difference with the infusion of a proven leader and winner. Aside from Walker having the season, he is having, Jeremy Lamb is enjoying his best season as a pro.
Malik Monk has also taken significant strides, crediting Parker along the way, and the Frenchman himself has turned back the clock on several occasions to show that he’s still got some in the tank.
Marvin Williams is out, which has hurt the Hornets, and Borrego is experimenting with several different players. He used Michael Kidd-Gilchrist recently, but with Paul Milsap in town, it’ll be a tough task for any of the Hornets’ stopgaps at power forward to matchup with him.
Nuggets vs. Hornets Betting Odds
While the Nuggets seem like easy favorites here, playing on the road and against a player in Walker, who has even scored 60 points in one game this season makes this a bit closer in Vegas.
The Nuggets are a -1 favorite for tonight’s game. The over/under opened at 218 and is now 220.
The Nuggets are 8-12-4 against the spread and the Hornets are 8-11-5.
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DraftKings & FanDuel Fantasy Picks
A player that can regularly boost six different categories has to be a stud pick, and that’s Jokic for the Nuggets. His FanDuel salary of $9,200 is projected to net you 43.17 points ($9,300/43.55 on DraftKings), and he has been over that figure twice this week alone. It’s hard to go to anyone else but Walker for Charlotte. At a salary of $8,700, he’s projected for 40.88 points ($8,000/42.33 on DraftKings).
In terms of value picks, I’d go with the hot hand in Millsap. His $6,400 salary is expected to be good enough for 30.34 points, and he’ll likely be looking at a mismatch all night. He’s also at a $6,400 salary on DraftKings with a slightly lower projection of 29.72.
Lamb has been a solid second option for the Hornets, and he definitely fits the tag as a value, with a $6,600 salary on FanDuel with a projection of 30.28 points($6,100/30.46 on DraftKings).
Find all of our Fanduel and Draftkings projections here: https://www.lineups.com/nba/nba-fantasy-basketball-projections