• Denver Nuggets vs. Washington Wizards
• Sunday, January 21 at 9PM ET
• Capital One Arena in Washington, D.C.
As the reigning NBA Finals champions, it’s easy to see why the Denver Nuggets have looked so sharp once again this season. Powered by a tremendous amount of talent, Denver is near the top of the Western Conference standings and they’ve been able to post plenty of statement victories thus far this year. More of the same should be on the way this weekend, as the Nuggets will have loads of confidence facing the Wizards on Sunday.
With all due respect to Washington, goodness, they’ve been a major letdown this year and they’re easily considered one of the worst teams in the league. As of this writing, the Wizards hold a 7-32 record. If it wasn’t for the Pistons, the Wizards would be dead last in the Eastern Conference standings. This is a team that won’t even come close to the playoffs and they’re also a team that not a lot of people take seriously.
|Nuggets vs. Wizards odds
|Nuggets to win
|Wizards to win
|Over 195 points
|Under 195 points
Denver is too smart and well-coached to look past the Wizards, but that doesn’t mean that we expect the home side to make things interesting. From the opening tip, look for Denver to dominate on both ends of the floor, with Nikola Jokic (more on him below) ready to put on a show. Denver surprised a lot of people last season with the way they were able to play and this has once again been the case in 2023-24. They’ve been incredible.
According to the best-rated sportsbooks, which includes the reliable Bovada review, the Wizards hold -110 NBA betting odds for this meeting. The Wizards indeed are the home team, but their +125 betting odds tell you that the Vegas oddsmakers don’t have a lot of trust in them getting things across the line. This is an easy decision for us: we’re going with the Nuggets as our pick to post a big-time victory.
Left their mark from the first half
Jamal: 13 PTS / 7 AST
Mike: 13 PTS / 5 REB / 1 AST pic.twitter.com/OBkLKSRBPI
— Denver Nuggets (@nuggets) January 17, 2024
Nikola Jokic and Joel Embiid are in a battle for NBA MVP
With the first part of the season wrapped up, it’s quite clear that Nikola Jokic and Joel Embiid are in a battle for NBA MVP. These two are without question the top players in the league and the stats back that up. On the season, Embiid, a superstar for the 76ers, is posting 35.1 points a night and more than 10 rebounds. With Embiid playing so strong, the 76ers are hoping to reach the NBA Finals this year.
As for Jokic, goodness, he’s been sensational and he picked up right where he left off to close out last season. This year, Jokic, AKA The Joker, is posting 25.5 points and 11.9 rebounds a game. While Embiid is averaging more points per game, it’s important to remember that the voters pay close attention to how a player’s team does as well. If the Nuggets go on to repeat as NBA champions, then it could help out Jokic.
3.4 million and counting…
— Denver Nuggets (@nuggets) January 18, 2024
“I just told him he’s the best player in the league,” Embiid said after a recent game between the 76ers and Nuggets that people can’t stop talking about and for good reason. “Like I told you earlier, he won a championship, that’s the best team in the league. He’s the Finals MVP. So I was just telling him, ‘Keep going, I’ll see you in two weeks, keep doing your thing, that’s why you’re the best in the league.'”
What makes this MVP rivalry so great is that there’s a tremendous amount of respect between these two. Per the oddsmakers, Embiid holds +300 NBA betting odds to win MVP, while Jokic is right behind him at +350. This is a race that’s going to go back and forth for the rest of the year. From our chair, this could end up being a coin flip, but if we had to make a pick, we’re going to go with Embiid to edge out Jokic.
Will the Nuggets be able to repeat as NBA Finals champions?
Will the Nuggets be able to repeat as NBA Finals champions? That’s a question a lot of people all over Denver continue to ask themselves. Last spring, Denver made history by winning it all, but with the way they’ve looked this fall and winter, there’s no reason to believe they can’t bring home another title.
If that does happen, there’s no question that Jokic will play a major role in things. He’s not the only primetime player on the roster, though, as the Nuggets also feature Jamal Murray, Michael Porter Jr., Aaron Gordon and others. Right now, it feels like the Celtics and Bucks will be the biggest threats to prevent Denver from repeating.
Per the Las Vegas sportsbooks, Denver has +420 NBA Finals betting odds. The Celtics are No. 1 on the list with their +290 odds. If these two teams were to meet in the Finals, it would be a thrilling series, there’s no doubt about that. We’re going to have to wait and see how things play out, but Denver 100 percent will be in the running for the ultimate glory once again.