Warriors vs. Nuggets Odds & Picks: Road Warriors Stay Golden

The Warriors are back. 

After struggling through a regular season that saw Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson, and Draymond Green play a total of 11 minutes together, the Warriors appear back to their elite form. Golden State put on a clinic with consecutive playoff wins by 16 and 20 points, to grab a 2-0 lead in their opening round series against Denver. 

The Nuggets now return home, desperately trying to grab a win to keep hope alive for an opening round upset. Their victory prescription is clear:  supplement a dominant performance from reigning MVP Nikola Jokic with timing scoring from the supporting cast. 

Can the Nuggets find a series-savings performance at Ball Arena on Thursday Night? Or is this Warriors team ready to continue their dominance with a finally healthy lineup?  Let’s take a close look at where bettors should place their money tonight in a battle that carries just a two-point spread? 

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Warriors vs. Nuggets Betting Odds

Warriors Nuggets
Spread -2 +2
Moneyline -130 +109
Over/Under 224 (-110)

*Lines accurate at the time of publication.

Nuggets vs. Warriors Best Bets

Warriors -2 vs. Nuggets (-110, DraftKings)

We have a very limited sample size of a fully healthy Golden State roster, but what we’ve seen this series has been scary. 

Despite playing without guard Klay Thompson for the majority of the year, the Warriors ran out to a 29-7 record prior to Draymond Green’s back injury in early January. Even with Green’s 36-game absence, Golden State was able to provide time for players such as Jordan Poole, Gary Payton II, and Otto Porter Jr. to solidify their roles. That has certainly paid dividends in this series, with all three players making strong contributions. Poole is actually the Warriors’ leading scorer at 29.5 PPG, while shooting a blistering 58.8% from 3P range. 

The interior defense of Green and Kevon Looney has also been able to limit Denver’s Nikola Jokic, who is producing well-below his seasonal averages. In the four regular season games against Golden State, Jokic posted per-game averages of 28 points, 15.8 rebounds, and 8.8 assists. In the two postseason losses to the Warriors, he has only managed 25.5 points, 10.5 rebounds, and five assists per game. The Nuggets have not been able to generate enough perimeter scoring to pull the Golden State defense away from Jokic. Even with solid 3P efficiency (13 of 36) and superior free throw numbers (19 of 21) in Game 2, Denver still lost by 20 points. 

I certainly expect Denver to keep this game close on their home court, but will their supporting cast play well enough to overcome the clear Golden State advantages? I project this game to follow a similar path to last night’s Toronto-Philadelphia battle in Game 3. The Raptors gave a valiant effort but were not able to overcome their struggles (defense on Joel Embiid, defending scoring at the rim) to grab that much-needed Game 3 victory. 

Denver has been surprisingly vulnerable at home, with only a 23-18 (56%) record. The Nuggets greatly miss the outside scoring of Jamal Murray, who is still recovering from a torn ACL. The supporting cast of Will Barton, Monte Morris, Aaron Gordon, and Jeff Green cannot provide enough consistent scoring against an elite Golden State defensive scheme. This line is too low for a Warriors team that has returned to their championship form. I’m laying the small number and backing Golden State to extend to a 3-0 series lead. 

Risk: 1.10 units on DraftKings to win 1 unit. (Bet up to -120)

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Nuggets vs. Warriors Game Total Under 224 Points (-110, DraftKings)

Given the Nuggets limitations on offense, their best strategy is to keep this as a low-scoring game. Golden State’s defense has kept their last three games at 224 points or fewer, and the Warriors have held the Nuggets to 46 percent and 42 percent shooting from the field in the first two games.

As we saw last night, pivotal playoff games will usually play to a lower scoring total. All three Wednesday Night battles landed on the under, even a Brooklyn-Boston battle that projected well over the total midway through the third quarter. 

The Nuggets have been an over team for the majority of the season, but head coach Mike Malone will have to make some adjustments to limit the explosive production of Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson, and Jordan Poole. Even with a hot-shooting start, the two game totals have only crested tonight’s total by six to eight points. 

I’m taking the under in this pivotal Game 3, expecting the NBA playoff under trend to continue. 

Risk: 1.10 units on DraftKings to win 1 unit. (Bet up to -120)

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