Warriors vs. Nuggets: Back Dominant Denver at Home

Austin Wang breaks down the NBA matchup between the Golden State Warriors and Denver Nuggets on Sunday, April 2 and shares his betting pick.

Warriors vs. Nuggets Odds

Warriors Odds +120
Nuggets Odds -142
Over/Under 233
Time 8:30 p.m. ET
Odds via FanDuel. Get up-to-the-minute NBA odds here.

Two top Western Conference teams duke it out on Sunday night as the Golden State Warriors visit the Denver Nuggets. Both teams are familiar with one another having faced off in the playoffs last season. The Warriors made quick work of the Nuggets in a 4-1 first-round series victory.

This season, the Nuggets are first seed in the Western Conference and look poised to make a strong postseason run.

Ultimately, the handicap for tonight’s matchup revolves around the status of Nikola Jokic, who is currently listed as questionable with a calf injury.

Here’s a look at the odds, as well as a betting pick and prediction for Nuggets vs. Warriors.

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Golden State Warriors

The Warriors are fifth seed in the Western Conference, which would set themselves up for a first-round matchup against the fourth seed Phoenix Suns if the season ended today. The Warriors are only 1.5 games behind the Suns. Neither team is mathematically alive to catch up to the third seed Sacramento Kings. It is crucial the Warriors secure homecourt advantage because it would be crucial in a potentially tough matchup against Kevin Durant, Chris Paul and the Suns.

The other reason that homecourt advantage is so important to the Warriors is because they are awful on the road. They have a 9-29 record and are 10-28 against the spread away from the Chase Center. They don’t have a dramatic drop-off in offensive performance, but their Defensive Rating is 28th in the league on the road, per NBA Advanced Stats.

The Warriors are always able to stay in a game with their deadly 3-point shooting, but the Nuggets have excelled at stopping the 3, ranking third in the league in 3-point Percentage Allowed.

Denver Nuggets

The Nuggets’ splits at home are the complete opposite of the Warriors’ road splits above. They are 32-7 SU and 20-15-1 ATS at Ball Arena and only trail the Memphis Grizzlies for the league’s best record at home. The Nuggets have the second-highest Offensive Rating at home, which should set them up for success.

The Nuggets punted their last game against the Suns, sitting a handful of key players. Most of those players are now declared probable for tonight’s game (Michael Porter Jr., Jamal Murray, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope), but Jokic is still listed as questionable. With the MVP race so close between Embiid and Jokic, it is hard for me to believe he will sit out again unless his injury is more serious than expected.

Even though the Nuggets have been the first seed for a majority of the season in the Western Conference, the Grizzlies have managed to stay within distance. At the time of this writing, the Grizzlies are two games behind the Nuggets and come within 1.5 games if they beat the Chicago Bulls this afternoon. If that happens, I don’t think the Nuggets can afford to give Jokic another night off.

Warriors-Nuggets Pick

After losing two games in a row, I expect a bounce-back effort from the Nuggets. In addition, the home/road splits point to the Nuggets being the right side here. If Jokic plays and the Nuggets are fully healthy, this line is too short. If he sits, I think the Nuggets can still take care of business.