Denver Nuggets vs Oklahoma City Thunder Preview (11/3/22): Prediction, Starting Lineups, Odds

The Oklahoma City Thunder will look to increase their four-game win streak on Thursday night at home against the Denver Nuggets. You can check out the projected starting lineups, betting odds, updated injury report, and my current prediction for the game below!

Denver Nuggets Vs. Oklahoma City Thunder Betting Odds

Denver is a six-point road favorite over the Oklahoma City Thunder, one of the league’s best teams against the spread last season and, so far, this season, too. Ish Smith and Bones Hyland are questionable for the Nuggets, and Collin Gillespie will again not suit up. The Thunder only have Chet Holmgren, the No. 2 pick in the 2022 NBA Draft, listed on the injury report thus far.

Meanwhile, the point total rests at 228.5 in most sportsbooks. Oklahoma City and Denver rank fifth and 12th, respectively, in PACE, making this a potentially high-scoring matchup. These two teams have an over record of 4-3 through seven games of the 2022-23 regular season.

Denver Nuggets Vs. Oklahoma City Thunder Prediction

When Oklahoma City is fully healthy, it can be a bit of a disruptor in this Western Conference. Already, the Thunder have beaten the Dallas Mavericks and the Los Angeles Clippers (twice). OKC is riding an impressive four-game win streak, and while making the playoffs might be a bit far-fetched, it can be a competitive team this season.

The Thunder are led by future star guard Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, who’s averaging roughly 32 points, seven assists, five rebounds, and three steals through his first six games of the season. Injuries have slowed down SGA’s progression throughout the past two seasons, but he is undeniably good at this point; he might be able to be the franchise cornerstone for the Thunder.

However, Oklahoma City has a glaring weakness that Denver can exploit: its frontcourt. The Thunder are not deep at the power forward and center positions and will likely be constantly rotating and trying new lineups to mitigate this issue all season; however, against a team like Denver, I don’t expect anything to work.

Despite that, Oklahoma City is scorching hot, having won four straight games. With Shai Gilgeous-Alexander at the helm, this offense can exploit Denver’s overall weak defense that ranks 25th in defensive efficiency, 26th in opponent eFG%, and 23rd in opponent 3P%. Sure, I like Denver to sneak away with a win, but a six point-spread is too much. I’ll stick with OKC against the spread.

Betting Trends

  • Denver is 1-3 ATS on the road in 2022-23
  • Oklahoma City is 3-1 ATS at home in 2022-23

Key Matchups

The key matchup between the Denver Nuggets and Oklahoma City Thunder is Nikola Jokic versus the Thunder’s frontcourt. OKC has one of the weakest frontcourts in the NBA; it was looking to solve that issue after drafting Chet Holmgren with the second pick in the 2022 NBA Draft. Unfortunately, Holmgren is out for the season after a freak injury in a pro-am game, so now opposing centers salivate at this potential matchup. Check out further analysis for this matchup below!

Nikola Jokic vs. OKC’s Undersized Frontcourt

While Jokic and the Nuggets haven’t had the start to the 2022-23 season they were hoping for, he’s still averaging 21 points, 11 rebounds, and eight assists. Jokic makes the game look simple, even against the best defenders in the world; however, when he’s going against a frontcourt like OKC, it turns into even more of a bloodbath than usual.

The Thunder are allowing the second-most points and rebounds to opposing centers through their first seven games; Jokic posted a 19/16/13 line against them in their first matchup on October 22nd, despite only taking ten shots. The Joker’s stat sheet may not look as mindboggling this season since Michael Porter Jr and Jamal Murray are back from injury and will relieve some of the usage from him. Still, you can always expect him to play super efficiently, causing problems in all facets of the game. Advantage: Jokic.

Denver Nuggets Starting Lineups

PG: Jamal Murray
SG: Kentavious Caldwell-Pope
SF: Michael Porter Jr
PF: Aaron Gordon
C: Nikola Jokic

Oklahoma City Thunder Starting Lineup

PG: Shai Gilgeous-Alexander
SG: Josh Giddey
SF: Lu Dort
PF: Aleksej Pokusevski
C: Jeremiah Robinson-Earl

Key Injuries

Denver Nuggets Injuries: Bones Hyland (Q), Ish Smith (Q), Collin Gillespie (Out)

Oklahoma City Thunder Injuries: Chet Holmgren (Out)

Drew is one of the NBA Lead Writers at Lineups.com, specializing in betting content such as game predictions and player props. With a deep knowledge of players and prospects, Drew has an extensive edge in covering everything NBA.

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