Warriors vs. Nuggets Odds
|Moneyline||+144 / -172|
|Time||Wednesday, 10 p.m. ET|
|Odds via FanDuel. Get up-to-the-minute NBA odds here.|
The Warriors travel to Denver to take on a hot Nuggets team on Wednesday night. Can the Warriors defeat a Nuggets team down Jamal Murray, or will Nikola Jokic continue his historic start to the season?
Let’s get to our Warriors vs Nuggets prediction and pick.
This is a great matchup between two teams that rank among the top 10 in Net Rating through eight games.
The Nuggets have a Net Rating of +15.3 to start the season, second only to the Celtics. The story for the Nuggets this season has been the emergence of a viable bench unit. Over the past few seasons, this team has been completely incompetent with Jokic off the court.
The team had a -11.6 Net Rating (seventh percentile) with Jokic off the floor in 2022-2023 and a -10.6 Net Rating (10th percentile) with Jokic off in 2021-2022. They were +13.2 (98th percentile) with him on the floor in 2022-2023 and +9.0 (93rd percentile) with him on in 2021-2022.
So far this season, the Nuggets are +16.6 with Jokic on the floor and -9.6 with him off, but the bench unit has shown some flashes of competence.
Rookie Julian Strawther is coming off a 21-point explosion against the Pelicans, and Christian Braun look like a legitimately elite defender. Peyton Watson has shown flashes with his elite athleticism as well.
If these three develop into just replacement-level players, the league is in trouble. The bench is the only vulnerability for this Nuggets team, and if it is all of a sudden going to become competent, then the Nuggets pretty much have no holes.
Warriors Better Without Poole
The Warriors’ vibes are much better this season with Jordan Poole off of the team. There was obvious tension between Draymond Green and Poole after their altercation last year; Poole was the guy who was killing them on the court, and the Warriors definitely got better by removing him from their lineup.
Draymond was among the top five in Net Rating last season and top five in Defensive Box Plus/Minus, while Poole was one of the worst players in the NBA.
So the Warriors got addition by subtraction, but Moses Moody and Gary Payton II have really stepped up for the Warriors this season. Both are shooting above 35% from 3 while providing a defensive spark off the bench.
The Warriors’ best player, Stephen Curry, has been lighting teams up as he is currently leading the league in Effective Field Goal % (70.2%) and shooting 49% from 3.
Andrew Wiggins has been killing this team as he is currently shooting 18% from 3 and actually ranks second worst in the NBA in Box Plus/Minus (-9.6). He’s been a complete nonfactor, and the Warriors will need the version of Wiggins from their NBA Finals series against the Celtics if they want to contend this season.
Nuggets Defense Needs to Limit 3-point Attempts
Expect the Warriors to commit to stopping Jokic as they will not have to contend with Jamal Murray on the perimeter. Green has historically done a good job of slightly limiting Jokic, but no one is going to completely shut down the reigning Finals MVP at this stage of his career. The combination of Kevon Looney and Green should at least force Jokic to pass a little bit more in this game.
Defensively, the Nuggets will have to run the Warriors off the 3-point line. The Nuggets defense has the fourth-lowest 3-point Attempt Rate Allowed, so they’ve done a nice job of limiting those looks.
If the Nuggets can harass Curry and get Klay off the 3-point line, they can have success here defensively. Expect Kentavious Caldwell-Pope and Braun to shadow Curry throughout most of the game.
This is a tough one to call, and the Nuggets are going to need a few of their role players to step up. I don’t expect Jokic to go for 40 here, so they will need contributions from Aaron Gordon, Michael Porter Jr. and some of their bench guys.
This is the Warriors’ fourth straight road game, and by far the best opponent they have played this season, but it is hard for me to back the Nuggets in this spot with how many of their young guys are getting minutes.
I’m holding off for now, but if I had to lean one way I would probably opt for over 227.5 as two top-11 halfcourt offenses face each other. I expect the defense to be slightly lacking as guys like Strawther, Reggie Jackson and maybe Collin Gillespie play for the Nuggets.
Lean: Over 227.5