The Denver Nuggets and Golden Warriors open their seven-game series in the Bay Area on Saturday night. There are four playoff matchups in the NBA on the first day of the first round.
— Golden State Warriors (@warriors) April 16, 2022
The NBA Play-In is completed, with the “real” playoff season finally underway. After winning their play-in game last night, the Hawks and Pelicans advanced to the playoffs.
There are good games on the schedule Saturday, but I’m most looking forward to the late game between the Nuggets and Warriors. Not just from a wagering perspective.
This should be a good series regardless if you’re going to put money down. It will be interesting to see if the defending MVP, Nikola Jokic, can do enough to put this series on his shoulders against Steph Curry and the Warriors.
Curry is expected back in the lineup after missing time since exiting on March 16. The Warriors haven’t had much of Curry and Draymond Green on the court this season.
As soon as Green made his return after a long absence, Curry injured foot and has been using the last two months to get ready for the playoffs.
The Warriors finished the season at 53-29 and third in the Western Conference. A healthy team this season and the Warriors would have been within striking distance of the Suns.
Denver had a solid regular season, but I’m not sure the sixth seed is what they wanted. They finished at 48-34, with the Nuggets relying heavily on Jokic.
Jamal Murray would have really been helpful for the Nuggets in the playoffs. That also goes for Michael Porter Jr., who is absent with a back injury.
Head below for our free Nuggets vs. Warriors Game 1 prediction on April 16, 2022.
Denver Nuggets vs. Golden State Warriors Game 1 Betting Odds and Team Statistics:
|Denver Nuggets||+6.5 (-110)||+220||Over 223 (-110)|
|Golden State Warriors||-6.5 (-110)||-270||Under 223 (-110)|
|Team Data||Denver Nuggets||Golden State Warriors|
|Points Per Game||112.7||111.0|
|Points Against Per Game||110.4||105.5|
|Field Goal %||48.3||46.9|
|Three Point %||35.3||36.4|
Nuggets vs. Warriors Prediction:
The Nuggets weren’t on my favorite list this season. They burned me a few times, and if you look at their success rate covering, the Nuggets were a bad bet this season.
The Nuggets often get a lead, Nikola Jokic exits, and they give up the lead. A clear win becomes a fight in the 4th quarter. They can’t do that against the Warriors in this series.
Golden State will make easy work of the Nuggets if they can’t find depth on their roster. Jokic can’t beat the Warriors when they’re healthy with Steph Curry and Draymond Green on the floor.
The Warriors are too dynamic on both ends for the Nuggets not to have help from someone other than Jokic. When I say help, I mean a big performance alongside the Serb.
Despite a season with injuries, the Warriors finished second in the NBA with a 43.8% field goal percentage. They allowed 105.5 points per game for the third-best mark in the league.
Denver Nuggets vs. Golden State Warriors Betting Trends:
- 1-4 ATS in their previous five games as an underdog
- 3-7 ATS in their previous ten games versus a team with a winning record
- 4-9 ATS in their previous 13 games with more than a three-day break
- 3-8 ATS in their previous 11 games versus the Western Conference
- 2-5 ATS in their previous seven games at Golden State
- 5-1 ATS in their previous six games
- 5-1-1 ATS in their previous seven games with more than a three-day break
- 6-2 ATS in their previous eight games versus a team with a winning record
- 17-6-1 ATS in their previous 24 games versus a team with a winning record on the road
- 29-12 ATS in their previous 41 games in the quarter-final round
Denver hasn’t been bad, but they don’t do anything special. While Jokic can take over a game, it’s tough to do in the playoffs against a team like the Warriors.
The Nuggets are 10th with 112.7 points scored per game and 14th with 110.4 points against a game. They’re involved in a lot of close games season, even against inferior competition, as a result of failing to pull away in the 4th quarter.
This formula isn’t going to work well against the Warriors on the road. Curry can hit a couple of threes late in this one, and it’s all over for the Nuggets. It sounds simplistic, but that’s how I see this one playing out.
Look for the Warriors to pull away for a 116-106 win or thereabout to cover the 6.5 points at the Chase Center in Game 1.