Nuggets vs. Thunder NBA expert prediction and odds for Wednesday, Jan. 31 (Take Denver as an underdog)

NBA betting preview, prediction and best bet for Nuggets-Thunder. 

Jan 25, 2024; New York, New York, USA; Denver Nuggets forward Michael Porter Jr. (1) controls the ball.
Jan 25, 2024; New York, New York, USA; Denver Nuggets forward Michael Porter Jr. (1) controls the ball. / Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports
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After winning five of its last six games, the Denver Nuggets are just a half-game back of the Minnesota Timberwolves for the No. 1 seed in the Western Conference. Denver also owns a half-game lead over the Thunder for the No. 2 seed heading into Wednesday’s trip to Oklahoma City. Denver could be without star center Nikola Jokic, who is questionable for the matchup with lower back pain. Denver is coming off back-to-back quality wins over Philadelphia and Milwaukee, can they grab another big victory against the Thunder?

Oklahoma City lost outright as a monster favorite on Sunday against the last-place Detroit Pistons on the road, then returned home to fall to Minnesota, 107-101. The Thunder are desperate for a win but are also dealing with injuries to key players. Do they get it as a short favorite against the defending champions?

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Nuggets vs. Thunder odds, spread and total

Nuggets vs. Thunder how to watch

  • Date: Wednesday, Jan. 30
  • Game time: 8 p.m. EST
  • Venue: Paycom Center
  • How to watch (TV): Bally Sports
  • Nuggets record: 33-15
  • Thunder record: 32-15

Nuggets vs. Thunder injury reports

Denver Nuggets injury report

  • Nikola Jokic (back): questionable

Oklahoma City Thunder injury report

  • Jalen Williams (ankle): out
  • Isaiah Joe (bruised sternum): out
  • Chet Holmgren (ankle): questionable
  • Luguentz Dort (ankle): questionable
  • Shai Gilgeous-Alexander (illness): questionable 

Nuggets vs. Thunder key players to watch

Nuggets

Michael Porter Jr.: Outside of Jokic and Jamal Murray, Porter was the only Nugget to attempt double-digit shots in Monday’s win over Milwaukee. Porter needs an elevated offensive performance if Jokic's production is taken out of the rotation. The former first-round pick was just 4-for-13 from the field with 8 total points over two games before scoring 33 combined points over Denver’s two-game winning streak. Against the 76ers on Jan. 27, Porter went 8-of-19 and scored 20 to go with 8 rebounds. The Nuggets are just 7-7 the last time Porter goes for 20-plus. 

Thunder

Josh Giddey: Five of Oklahoma City’s top-6 scorers this season are on the injury report. Williams (18.7 points per game) and Dort (10.6) have already been ruled out. That leaves Giddey, who is averaging 11.6 points and 4.6 assists per game. Giddey has scored in double figures in three of the last four games and has shot 50% from the field (12-of-24) in the last three contests. Will he take more shots? He certainly will if Gilgeous-Alexander’s illness keeps the Thunder’s leading scorer sidelined. Giddey did bounce back from the perimeter in Monday’s loss to Minnesota, hitting three 3-pointers after being held without a triple in the previous five games. 

Nuggets vs. Thunder prediction and pick

On paper, it looks like a great bounce-back spot for a good Thunder squad looking to avoid its first three-game losing streak of the season. However, it’s tough to get there with so many question marks on the injury front. 

Denver owns the No. 8 offensive rating in the NBA this season, but the Nuggets’ defense has been carrying the load of late with the offense struggling outside of Murray and Jokic. They may have to do that tonight, too, if Jokic can’t go due to lower back pain. 

Both of these teams have winning records against teams over .500 (Denver is 13-11, Oklahoma City is 14-8), but Denver is playing its best ball of the year against competitive clubs with wins over Boston (37-11),  Indiana (27-21), Philadelphia (29-17) and Milwaukee (32-15) over the last 12 days. Denver is the healthier team and they keep rolling on Wednesday. Take the Nuggets as short-road underdogs. 


Game odds update periodically and are subject to change.