Once again, the Golden State Warriors are the top team in the Western Conference; the one everyone is gunning for. The Denver Nuggets have quietly been one of the better teams in the league—and only a game behind the Warriors for the best record in the West. However, neither team has been playing well of late and have lost three of their last four.
Denver Nuggets @ Golden State Warriors
Friday 8th March 2019
- Spread: Warriors by 6.5
- Over/Under: 233.5
- Money Line: Denver +215; Golden State -255
- *Odds via 888Sport
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Fans of the Denver Nuggets had hoped their team would take the next step and make the playoffs this season after missing out by one game last year. They certainly didn’t expect their team to be one of the best in the conference with a shot at the No. 1 seed as the postseason draws near.
While it would be great to be the No. 1 seed, the team may be more concerned about just finding the winning formula again. They dominated the Los Angeles Lakers in their last game, but the previous three were losses.
Part of the issue has been trying to work Isaiah Thomas into the lineup. Thomas finally made his return to action eight games ago. While things were fine in the first four games, the last four have been struggles. The team went 1-3 in those four games.
Thomas averaged just nine points a game and didn’t shoot well (37.7 percent from the floor; 27.3 percent from three-point range.
Golden State Warriors
For most of the season, the Warriors have been on cruise control. Not that they don’t try hard, but their B game is still good enough to beat the A game of most people. They have been the highest scoring offense this year at 118.2 points/game. They are not the most active team on defense (No. 16; 109.5), but when you can outscore everyone that doesn’t matter as much.
However, in recent games, their defense has been suffering. Over the last four, the Warriors have allowed 126, 103, 117, and 128 points. Their efficiency rating in the previous four has been 113.1, good enough for 24th in the NBA (in the given time frame).
Some experts and analysts are pointing the finger at DeMarcus Cousins since the statistics say the team plays worse defense with him than without him. It hasn’t helped that the team has been without the services of Klay Thompson, one of the Warriors better defenders, in the last two games.
Thompson is expected to play Friday night.
Denver Nuggets @ Golden State Warriors Head-to-Head
This game will be the third time the Nuggets and Warriors have played this season. Both previous games were held in Denver with each team taking one. The Nuggets won the first game by just a basket, 100-98. Golden State won ran away with the second, 142-111.
In the first one, the Warriors struggled from three-point range hitting just seven of 29 attempts. But in the second they caught fire and hit 21 of 39.
Historically, the Nuggets lead the series between the two having won 95 of the 174 games between the two franchises. But going back the last five seasons (not including this year) and the Warriors are in front, 11 games to seven.
There will be a fourth game between the two on April 2.
Odds and Predictions
This game will not decide who has the best record in the Western Conference, but it will have an impact on who does. Should the Warriors win, they have two game advantage with 17 games to play, and they would be in control of the head-to-head tiebreaker. For the Nuggets it means erasing the deficit and being on a level playing field down the stretch.
Both teams are undoubtedly going to bring their ‘A’ games—especially the two guys everyone is pointing fingers at, Thomas and Cousins. But if either starts to struggle, don’t be shocked if the hook is a lot quicker than usual in order to minimize damage.
So—who’s going to win this one?
It would be easy just to say the Warriors will, but the data doesn’t really support that. Yes, they are the most potent offense in the NBA this season and a decent defensive one. But the Nuggets have been one of the best defensive teams in the NBA this season and a good offensive one.
With how the Warriors have been playing, it is hard to bet on them. But at the same time, they are the Warriors. The can blow up at any time. For that reason, take Golden State (-255) to win over Denver but for the Nuggets to win (+215) against the spread (+6.5).
As for the over/under, there is too much potential with these two offenses not to take the over.
Denver Nuggets @ Golden State Warriors Expert Betting Tip
Golden State has the potential to blow up any game which is why we took them straight up. However, they are not playing well right now which opens the door up wide for Denver to win against the spread.