Though everyone had pretty much written off Steph Curry and his Golden State Warriors after two brutal losses to start the season, they have managed to put together a 6-5 record so far. After dropping their last contest at home to the Indiana Pacers in a game they were favored to win, the Warriors will ship out to the Rockies on Thursday to take on the 5-6 Nuggets in what should be a high-flying matchup.
Free Picks: Denver Nuggets vs. Golden State Warriors
Two Terrible Defenses Means Big-Time Scoring (Season Betting Record: 11-12)
That Pacers loss would seem to be nothing but a hiccup if recent trends hold for Curry and company, however. Their past ten games have gone like this: loss, back-to-back wins, loss, back-to-back wins, loss, back-to-back wins, loss. Following this pattern would lead us to believe that the Dubs are due for another dub. Golden State is currently sitting as +5 point underdogs at -103 odds on sports betting site 22Bet and we believe that could be one of the safer bets for this tilt.
We like the Warriors a lot in this matchup, and if you really want to live on the wild side, take the Warriors to win the game outright at +190 odds (22Bet). But we’re going to stick with the safety of the spread considering how well they’ve played as underdogs this year. They haven’t been able to play the underdog role for some time, but it seems Curry, Draymond and all the supporting characters are embracing this new identity: four of their six wins this season have come as the underdog.
The Warriors have also owned this matchup in the recent past, stringing together five straight wins against the spread against the Nuggets. Another reason we like Golden State in this one is their surprising defensive prowess in the paint, where they’re allowing opponents just 42.5 points per game, seventh-fewest in the NBA. That matches up quite nicely with a Denver offense that often works through Nikola Jokic and his many post moves, as evidenced by their 49.5 points per game in the paint, good for seventh-most in the league.
Golden State’s clamps down low are the only part of either team’s defense that you’ll hear anyone praising, however. This showdown at the Ball Arena is pitting two of the worst defenses in the league against one another: Denver gives up 113.6 points per game (eighth-most) and Golden State is even worse at 115.5 (fifth-most). They’re also both near the bottom in terms of defensive rating (points allowed per 100 possessions), with the Warriors sitting at 20th in the league (110.4) and the Nuggets at 26th (113.3).
The Nuggets have also been pretty brutal in terms of giving up points off of turnovers, allowing a whopping 19.4 (seventh-most) points per game in those situations. You can say the same for the Warriors (fifth-most, 20.2) but they’re really just phoning it in across the board, which is what makes their paint defense so surprising. Golden State is also giving up the third-most second-chance points (14.9 per game) and sixth-most fastbreak points (15.1). Take the Game Total Points Over 231 at -102 odds (22Bet) for this game as these two potent offenses shoot the lights out.
- The OVER has hit in 8 of the last 11 meetings in Denver
- Warriors have gone 5-0 ATS in last 5 meetings
- The OVER has hit the last 9 times Denver played on 1 days’ rest
- Denver is 1-5-1 in their last 7 games at Ball Arena
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The Los Angeles Clippers will renew hostilities with the Dallas Mavericks, who they dispatched in the first round of last season’s playoffs.
The Denver Nuggets and the league’s presumptive NBA MVP will look to get off to a strong start against the Portland Trail Blazers in Game 1.
The Golden State Warriors will host the Memphis Grizzlies in the final play-in game, which will determine the Western Conference’s eighth seed.
The Washington Wizards will host the Indiana Pacers on Thursday night with the No. 8 seed in the Eastern Conference on the line.
Alex is an alumnus of Ryerson University's RTA Sport Media program, a contributing NHL, NBA, and MLB writer in the BetPicks.ca team. He has been writing on sports, betting, and fantasy contests for several years, including pitstops as an NFL Editor for theScore and as one of the lead NBA news writers for fantasy sports site FantasyPros. As a lifelong athlete, bettor, and sports fan, Alex is uniquely qualified to help you reach the sports betting success that you've always dreamed of and your wife never believed you could achieve.