The Warriors return to Denver on Thursday for the first time since last April when they faced the Nuggets in a playoff series.
This is the second of three games this season between the two teams with the best odds of winning the Western Conference. Denver won the first matchup on the road in October, 128-123, and it is a sizable favorite to take a 2–0 lead in the series with the next meeting set for the final week of the regular season.
Golden State is fresh off an overtime loss Wednesday in Minnesota. With this being the second night of a back-to-back, Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson and Draymond Green are all listed as day-to-day. The Nuggets' last game was a home win over the Pelicans on Tuesday, and Aaron Gordon (ankle) is questionable.
Keep an eye on the status of the Warriors' Big 3 as tip-off approaches. If one or more of Golden State's All-Stars suits up against Denver, there's little reason this spread should be as wide as it is. But as of now, the indication is that the Dubs will be without their best players on the road against the top team in the West.
Golden State Warriors vs. Denver Nuggets Odds
Time: 9 p.m. ET
Spread: Warriors +11.5 (-110) | Nuggets -11.5 (-110)
Moneyline: GS (+450) | DEN (-599)
Total: 232.5 — Over (-110) | Under (-110)
Warriors Betting Profile
Straight-Up Record: 26–25
Against The Spread Record: 24–26–1
Over/Under Record: 29–20–2
Points Per Game (Rank): 118.0 (3)
Points Allowed Per Game (Rank): 118.0 (26)
Nuggets Betting Profile
Straight-Up Record: 35–16
Against The Spread Record: 26–24–1
Over/Under Record: 24–27
Points Per Game (Rank): 116.6 (6)
Points Allowed Per Game (Rank): 112.7 (13)
Spread Bet: Warriors +11.5 (-110)
This matchup pits a team with one of the worst road records in the NBA against the toughest team to knock off at home. The Warriors are a dismal 7–19 in away games this season, and the Nuggets are 23–4 at home, the best mark in basketball.
For its part, Golden State went 4–2 on the road in January and is 6–4 against the spread this season on no rest. The Dubs are 2–2 against the spread as double-digit underdogs this season. They won outright on the road in Cleveland two weeks ago without Curry, Thompson, Green or Andrew Wiggins (though the Cavaliers were missing Donovan Mitchell).
Few teams have had any answer for Nikola Jokić over the last few years, including the Warriors. He tripled-doubled against them in October and was a one-person show in their playoff series. Jokić can take over a game like few players can, especially against an understaffed roster with Jamal Murray and Michael Porter Jr. flanking him.
In the end, though, this is a lot of points—too many. Jordan Poole and Wiggins are both capable scorers, and Denver is not an infallible team against the spread, though it has covered its fair share of double-digit spreads this year. The Nuggets should win handily, but a backdoor cover is entirely possible in this scenario.
Over/Under Bet: Over 232.5 (-110)
The home and away over/under trends for the Nuggets and Warriors are at odds with one another. Denver home games stay under about 60% of the time, the fourth-highest rate in the league. On the other hand, Golden State road games see the over hit a league-high 75% of the time.
Both teams are in the top six in points per game and outside the top 10 in points allowed. Even if Curry and Co. are out, the Dubs' secondary scoring options have shown they can still put up points. The over is 7–2–1 over the last 10 games for the Warriors, though it's just 4–6 over that same stretch for the Nuggets. In conjunction with Golden State staying close enough to cover, I expect a healthy number of points from either side.
Prop Bet: Nikola Jokić Over 10.5 Assists (-105)
January was Jokić's best passing month of the season. He averaged 11.3 assists per game to bring his season average up to an even 10 dimes. Jokić has gone over this total in four of his last 10 games, including 15 assists last time against New Orleans. In a game with a high over/under in which the Nuggets are heavily favored, the back-to-back MVP won't necessarily need to score all that much, and he can fall into his role as a distributor.
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