Nuggets vs Thunder Picks and Predictions: Home Underdogs Are Barking

The OKC Thunder are exceeding expectations and could win this game outright. As a result, our betting picks are bullish on the spread with the home dogs catching 6.5 points against Nikola Jokic and the visiting Nuggets.

Robert Criscola - Contributor at
Robert Criscola • Publishing Editor
Nov 3, 2022 • 11:53 ET • 4 min read
Shai Gilgeous-Alexander OKC Thunder NBA
Photo By - USA TODAY Sports

The Denver Nuggets and the Oklahoma City Thunder will meet for the second of four times this season when the clubs collide at Paycom Center tonight.

The Nuggets prevailed 122-117 at home when these teams last met on Oct. 22 (they failed to cover the nine-point spread). However, Denver exits a 121-110 loss to the previously winless Lakers on Sunday. Meanwhile, the Thunder are riding a four-game winning streak, as they’re fresh off a 116-108 Tuesday triumph over the Magic.

Can Nikola Jokic and the Nuggets get back on track against Shai Gilgeous-Alexander and the rest of his red-hot Oklahoma City squad? Find out in our free NBA picks and predictions for Nuggets vs Thunder on Thursday, November 3.

Nuggets vs Thunder best odds

Nuggets vs Thunder picks and predictions

The steady and defensively-sound Thunder have a good chance to win this one outright over the sloppy Nuggets, so bettors should take the points on the home team with glee.

Denver is allowing 123.6 points per 100 possessions through four road games, the worst mark in the NBA. The Nuggets are also allowing the seventh-most points per game (117), and the fifth-highest effective field goal percentage (51.1%). 

Shai Gilgeous-Alexander should make the Nuggets pay in this one, as he’s averaging 31.5 points and 6.8 assists through six games. He’s also improved dramatically on the other end of the court, as OKC has a 102.9 defensive rating when he’s on the floor, good for second in the NBA, and a 116.2 rating when he’s not (24th). Gilgeous-Alexander is ranked 41st in FiveThirtyEight’s defensive RAPTOR rankings, a major uptick from last year when he was 166th.

The Thunder are more than capable of neutralizing Denver’s potent 3-ball attack. The Nuggets are third in 3-point percentage (39.4%), but Oklahoma City is fifth in preventing long-range buckets (32.4%). 

Denver is overachieving in this area to some extent, as Michael Porter Jr. is shooting a career-high 48.9% from deep, while Bones Hyland has gone from a 36.6% three-point shooter as a rookie to 43.8% from beyond the arc in 2022. Regression could begin in this game.

The Thunder have been tough to beat this year because they play smart. They’ve committed the third-fewest turnovers per game (12.6) while forcing the most (18.1). Meanwhile, the Nuggets are committing the 11th-most turnovers (14.1) and forcing the ninth-fewest (13.6).

The early money suggests that this line is out of whack and that bookmakers may be forced to adjust. The Thunder have garnered 61% of all tickets written as of Thursday morning, and 84% of the handle. Jump on this line before it moves.

My best bet: Thunder +6.5 (-107 at PointsBet)

Best NBA bonuses

Looking to do some NBA betting? Here are two of the best bonuses* available:

A) New users at FanDuel can get a no-sweat first bet of up to $1,000! Sign Up Now

B) New users at DraftKings can bet $5 and get $200 in free bets! Sign Up Now

*Eligible USA locations only. Also, check out our full list of best sportsbook promotions for 2022.

Nuggets vs Thunder spread analysis

Another compelling reason to bet on the Thunder is the play of both 2021-22 All-Rookie selection Josh Giddey, and this year’s No. 12 overall pick, Jalen Williams

Giddey had 19 points and 12 rebounds when he faced the Nuggets on Oct. 22, but missed three games soon after that with an ankle injury. He’s fourth on the team in average points (12.5), and first in boards (6.5). Williams (orbital bone) was injured in OKC’s opening game and missed the earlier meeting with Denver. The promising Santa Clara product is averaging eight points over 18 minutes of action.

Their continued presence could serve to make the Thunder even better than they already appear to be this year.

Trend bettors should be all over Oklahoma City, too, as the Thunder have covered in four straight games, as well as five of their last six home contests. OKC is also 8-3 against the spread in its last 11 games against teams with winning records.

Meanwhile, the Nuggets are 2-5 ATS in their last seven road games and 4-11 ATS in their last 15 games playing on three or more days of rest. They’ve also failed to cover in each of their last five meetings with the Thunder.

Nuggets vs Thunder Over/Under analysis

The total is an elevated 228.5 for this game, with some books holding it at 229. It’s not an unusual figure for the Nuggets, who are 4-3 to the Over this year at an average closing total of 228.8. The Thunder have exceeded the total in each of their last three victories, albeit at an average closing number of 218. This one is not an easy call, but the Over should still prevail.

Denver’s defense has left a lot to be desired this year, as we outlined above. We also mentioned that the OKC defense was exceeding expectations, but one area where they’re lacking is down low, thanks to an offseason injury to No. 2 overall pick Chet Holmgren. Reigning NBA MVP Nikola Jokic recorded 19 points, 16 rebounds, and 13 assists when he last faced the Thunder. We won’t call for another triple-double from the Serbian superstar, but a 25-15 night isn’t out of the question. 

The Thunder are at just about full strength now, aside from the Holmgren injury. That means Gilgeous-Alexander will be that much harder to prevent from working his will. He had 28 points against the Nuggets on Oct. 22 and exceeded 25 points in two of three meetings with Denver last season. 

The trends indicate that an Over is in store, as the Nuggets have gone above the total in seven of their last nine road games, and nine of their last 13 overall. The Over is 7-2 in the Thunder’s last nine home games against teams with losing road records, and 23-8 in their last 31 games following an ATS victory.

Nuggets vs Thunder betting trend to know

The Over is 33-16-1 in the Nuggets’ last 50 games following a straight-up loss of more than 10 points. Find more NBA betting trends for Nuggets vs. Thunder.

Nuggets vs Thunder game info

Location: Paycom Center, Oklahoma City, OK
Date: Thursday, November 3, 2022
Tip-off: 8:00 p.m. ET
TV: Altitude, Bally Sports

Nuggets vs Thunder key injuries

Pages related to this topic

Popular Content

Legal Canadian sports betting

Best Canadian betting sites Ontario sports betting
Covers 25 Years Logo Established in 1995,
Covers is the world
leader in sports
betting information.
Covers is verified safe by: Evalon Logo GPWA Logo GDPR Logo GeoTrust Logo Evalon Logo