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    09/07/2011 10:47 PM
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    Yesterday - 10:19 PM

NBA Friday New Orleans Hornets vs Denver Nuggets: Odds, Free Pick

Pro Hoops on Friday and we will see the New Orleans Hornets travel to the Mile High City to take on the Denver Nuggets. The game is scheduled for a 9:00 pm (Eastern) start time and will be televised on Fox Sports New Orleans and Altitude (Denver)Currently the odds for the game have Denver favored by 7 points while the total sits at 204.  Check out Sportsbook Spy to see who the Public is taking on all of today's games.

Analysis: The New Orleans Hornets appeared to be having a breakthrough month before struggling the second half of January. After winning six of seven during their best stretch of the season in January, New Orleans has lost five of seven and two in a row. The Hornets, however, are expected to have Eric Gordon back in the lineup after missing a 104-99 loss at Utah on Wednesday. Gordon has been held out in the second game of back-to-backs while he recovers from a knee injury that caused him to miss the first third of this season. Gordon has averaged 17.4 points and is coming off a season-best 25-point effort in a 111-106 road loss to the Los Angeles Lakers on Tuesday. New Orleans has won eight of the 14 games the guard has played. Greivis Vasquez is averaging 11.7 assists over his last seven games, but he's shot 18 for 59 (30.5 percent) in his last four for New Orleans. Without Gordon, the Hornets' starting guards shot 11 of 30 (36.7 percent) from the floor against the Jazz. New Orleans is 15-31 on the season and 8-16 on the road where they've lost three of their last four.

With a 118-110 victory over Houston on Wednesday, Denver (29-18) won its fifth straight to finish 12-3 in January. That matched the team's 2010 mark for the best January record in franchise history. After being saddled with the heaviest road schedule in the NBA in 28 years with 22 of their first 32 games away from home, the Nuggets have taken advantage with 15 of 18 at home since the schedule turned in their favor Jan. 1. The Nuggets have one of the league's best home records at 19-3, and they've won the first three on their six-game homestand. "We knew from the beginning of the season January was the most important month of the season," said Danilo Gallinari, who had a game-high 27 points against the Rockets. "I thought we responded well." Gallinari, the team's leading scorer at 17.0 points per game, heads into Friday's contest with a hot hand after totaling 54 points on 19-of-33 shooting - 7 for 15 from 3-point range - in his last two games. Ty Lawson has totaled 39 points in his last two against the Hornets, scoring 17 on 8-of-10 shooting in a 102-84 home win Nov. 25. Denver ranks near the top of the league in scoring at home with 108.0 points per game, and has averaged 113.4 during its five-game winning streak. 

Free Pick: I like the Over in this one. The Nuggets are in high gear offensively right now as they come in averaging 108.3 ppg in their last 9 games overall (Regulation). The Nuggets also average 108 ppg at home, including 110.4 ppg (Regulation) in their last 6 at home. They now take on a New Orleans team that has allowed 103.4 ppg in their last 7 games, while allowing 104 points or more in 5 of those games. This is also New Orleans 4th in a row on the road and 2nd in high altitude, so they may be a bit tired and that should show on the defensive end. New Orleans is not a great offensive team, but they have put up 102.3 in their last 2 games and Denver has allowed 104.1 ppg in their last 7 games at home. No defense from either team here should lead to about 210 points. 

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Check out each week to get Videos with analysis, handicapping tips and Free Plays. Pro Webinar: Steve Fezzik
Little about Steve Fezzik: In 2000, he moved to Las Vegas, and has been betting for a living ever since. During the next 10 years, Fezzik sharpened his focus in several areas including Proposition betting, and Football Contests.

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