Nuggets vs. Warriors Odds
|Time||10 p.m. ET|
|Odds via BetMGM. Get up-to-the-minute NBA odds here.|
The Warriors are down a few players due to health and safety protocols, and the Nuggets remain battered and held together by the incredible play of the reigning MVP, Nikola Jokic.
Who has the edge in this matchup?
Jokic Continues to Carry Nuggets
The Nuggets have the listed the following players on their injury report: Aaron Gordon (Hamstring – Questionable), Monte Morris (Knee – Probable), and Bol Bol (Health and Safety – Questionable). Despite this, they sit in fifth in the Western Conference with their 16-16 record.
Jokic has been a monster once again this season, and he is on an absolute tear as of late. This month he is averaging 25.5 points, 14.0 rebounds, and 8.3 assists while commanding a whopping 34.2% Usage Rate but the Nuggets remain just 6-6 this month.
On the season, the Nuggets have truly struggled when Jokic is off the floor and they have a -16.1 point differential per 100 possessions when he is off, per the FantasyLabs On/Off tool.
The offense grinds to a halt, and Jokic has actually played great team defense this season as well. Denver just does not have the depth to keep up behind Jokic this season due to their injuries. So, while Jokic should have a big game against a depleted Warriors’ frontcourt, the Nuggets do not have the firepower on the perimeter to hold the Warriors accountable.
Warriors Will Miss Green
The Warriors will be without Draymond Green who was entered into the league’s health and safety protocols on Sunday. While both Jordan Poole and Andrew Wiggins cleared protocols, only Wiggins is listed as Probable for tonight’s matchup. In their absence, Otto Porter Jr, and Gary Payton II should see more run. Andre Iguodala (Knee) is also listed as Probable.
The Warriors remain elite whenever Stephen Curry is on the floor, but the absence of Draymond Green could loom large in this matchup. Draymond has been incredible on the defensive side of the ball and he is rightfully the leader for Defensive Player of the Year.
He’s a perfect complement to Curry in that he can switch, hedge, and defend literally any position on the floor. Moreover, his incredible passing ability opens up buckets before they are even recognized by the defense. Despite this, the Warriors’ incredible depth should mitigate Draymond’s absence, especially with the length and athleticism that Wiggins can provide on the perimeter.
The issue becomes the non-Curry minutes tonight due to the absence of both Poole and Green. There have been only 149 non-garbage time possessions this season where Curry, Poole, and Green were all off the floor, and they were ugly. The Warriors held a -15.5 Net Rating in those possessions, and while it’s a small sample size, it’s something to take note of.
The Nuggets have generally struggled to close out games this season. They have the second worst Net Rating in the second half, -7.4 and this is likely just due to their depth. Contrarily, the Warriors dominate in the second half, especially in the third quarter, where they are 20-12-1 ATS, with a +18.4 Net Rating. They make incredible adjustments mid-game and adapt on the fly due to Coach Kerr. This is an edge against a depleated Nuggets team.
While I think losing Draymond Green hurts the Warriors’ ceiling tonight, they still have the league’s best Net Rating of +10.5 compared to Denver’s mark of -0.6, per NBA Advanced Stats. This is a significant edge, and we have seen the Warriors’ bench and replacement players fill in and perform well when Golden State has had absences in their lineups.
The Warriors are the better team, and in this clash between MVP candidates, I’ll take the Warriors on the full game and also expect them to blow things open in the third quarter.
Pick: Warriors -7 | Warriors 3Q -1.5 (FanDuel)