Can the 32-8 Golden State Warriors keep up their high level of play on offense at home today? They’ll have to do it against the 21-18 Denver Nuggets, who have generally been solid as of late (10:30 p.m. ET Monday).
Golden State has been bolstered by the return of Stephen Curry about a week ago, despite the fact that Kevin Durant has missed the past two games with a calf injury. Curry has been excellent since coming back from his ankle injury.
Denver had won five games in seven contests leading into Saturday before losing to the lowly Sacramento Kings. The Nuggets will do anything they can to get back on track.
Will the Warriors continue to rip up their opponents with peerless offensive play? Or will the Nuggets methodically execute their way to an upset victory? We will preview the game’s chief storylines and then offer our betting predictions and picks.
Will the Nuggets Recover from a Terrible Turnover Outing Against the Kings?
The Nuggets have been an average team in terms of taking care of the ball this season. However, their issues came to head in an embarrassing loss against the Kings on Saturday. Denver had 25 turnovers and forced just nine from Sacramento.
Sacramento isn’t usually a team that forces a bunch of turnovers, but the Nuggets helped their opponent out by throwing the ball all over the court. Golden State also doesn’t specialize in forcing turnovers, but it might be the most dangerous fast break team in the league.
If Denver doesn’t value possession of the ball, Golden State will hit the Nuggets with a barrage of transition three-pointers and easy layups.
Will Stephen Curry’s Insane Hot Streak Continue?
Curry returned from an ankle injury four games ago. Since his return, the two-time MVP has averaged 36 points in just 33.3 minutes per game with a spectacular true shooting percentage of 80.2.
More importantly, Golden State is 4-0 and has topped 120 points in all four of those contests, with an average of 127.8 points per game. It’s clear that Curry’s ability to shoot from almost everywhere on his offensive side of the court has a huge effect on the Warriors’ offense.
The Nuggets’ defense is mediocre, and has been very up-and-down as of late. If they can limit Curry’s shots by throwing well-timed double teams at him and keeping track of him off the ball, they’ll have a chance to win.
Will the Pace of the Game Be Fast or Slow?
When Golden State ramps up the pace on its opponents, it wins. The Warriors have won each of their 14 fastest-paced games of the season. In the other 26 contests, they are 18-8, which is very good but not amazing.
Denver prefers to play at a moderate pace. It often loses when the number of possessions in a game get too high. In those games, center Nikola Jokic can be taken out of element by constantly running back and forth down the court. Jokic is an excellent player, but he does best in a half-court setting.
Golden State needs to push the pace off misses and turnovers, and the Nuggets need to get back on defense quickly. Which team will succeed in its pace goal today?
Our Preview’s Denver Nuggets vs. Golden State Warriors Betting Picks & Predictions
The Warriors are obviously the better team here. However, they’ve been somewhat underwhelming at home this season (15-5 record and 8-12 against the spread). Denver is a much better squad than it showed against Sacramento on Saturday.
Meanwhile, Golden State could get complacent due to its fantastic offensive play recently. Without Kevin Durant to help stabilize the defense and create good shots on offense, the Warriors probably won’t beat the upstart Nuggets by that much.
The top rated USA-facing online bookmakers have not yet priced this up, but we do expect them to make the Warriors around 11-point favorites for this NBA game. If it is anything like that then our betting predictions and picks would look like this:
- Golden State may be favored by double-digit points today, but this preview expects the Nuggets to keep this one competitive. Bet on the Nuggets, with a good points headstart on the spread with one of the top sportsbooks, such as Bovada or 5Dimes.
- We anticipate the total points to be set around 219 or 220 points. Denver threw the ball away a lot against the Kings, which was somewhat of an anomaly. The Nuggets will be deliberate on offense, even if they don’t always score. We expect a slower pace and would advise going with the under at the anticipated points level.