Alia Parker, April 21, 2022
The Golden State Warriors head to the Ball Arena on Thursday night to take on the Denver Nuggets in Game 3 of their best-of-seven first-round playoff series.
Golden State took a quick 2-0 series lead behind an offense that has looked unstoppable. Steph Curry scored 34 points and he, Klay Thompson, and Jordan Poole combined to score 84 of Golden State’s total 126 points in the game.
Meanwhile, the Nuggets started well again in Game 2 but had no answer when Steve Kerr used his small lineup against them. Without a reliable scorer outside Nikola Jokic, the Golden State defense has frustrated the reigning MVP. Jokic picked up two technical fouls in Game 2 and was ejected. Coach Mike Malone needs to find a couple of guys who will consistently help Jokic in the offense. Unfortunately, he will have to do that on the fly.
Golden State Warriors
The Warriors beat the Nuggets by 20 points in Game 2 after winning Game 1 by 16 points. So far, Golden State has had an easy time dispatching the Nuggets with their blazing offense. The Dubs shot 54.8% from the field and 42.5% from deep in Game 2 while turning the ball over just nine times during the game.
Steph Curry led all scorers with 34 points on 12-17 shooting despite coming off the bench due to injury. Jordan Poole, who replaced Steph in the starting lineup, has scored 59 points in the first two games of the series. Meanwhile, Klay Thompson chipped in 21 on 9-19 shooting for the Dubs.
Golden State ranked 14th in the NBA in scoring during the regular season but they have turned up the volume in the playoffs. They struggled with injuries all season long but now that it’s winning time, the team is healthy and coming together. That’s bad news for the rest of the league.
Moneyline Odds: Warriors -130, Nuggets +110
Odds from BetOnline as of 04/21/2022
The Nuggets have been blown out in both games of the series so far. However, there are still three games that will be played in Denver and they are hoping to sweep those to get back in the series. Nikola Jokic has been averaging 25.5 points, 10.5 rebounds, and 5.5 assists per game in the series but he’s not gotten the consistent support from his teammates and the Nuggets have been unable to match the Warriors’ firepower.
Jokic had 26 points and 11 rebounds before he was ejected in Game 2. However, the next highest scorers on the team last Monday were Will Barton, Monte Morris, and Bones Hyland who each had 12 for Denver. DeMarcus Cousins had 8 points and 4 rebounds off the bench but Aaron Gordon only scored 7 points with 5 rebounds.
Denver was the 8th best scoring team during the regular season at 113 points per game but they have scored just 107 and 106 points in the first two games of the series. Dating back to last season, the Nuggets have lost six consecutive playoff games.
Golden State is 7-0 SU in their last seven games played. The Warriors are 7-0 SU in their last seven games played against the Western Conference, and 3-2 SU in their last five road games.
Denver is 1-4 SU in their last five games played. The Nuggets are 2-3 SU in their last five home games, 1-4 SU in their last five games against the Eastern Conference, and 1-4 SU in their last five games played in April.
Head to head, the Warriors are 6-4 SU in their last 10 games played against the Nuggets, including 3-0 in their last three meetings.
The Nuggets won 48 games during the regular season despite playing without their no. 2 and no. 3 best players. But once the playoffs began, their need for a consistent second and third option behind Nikola Jokic has caused them to be left behind by the Golden State Warriors.
Golden State won the first two games of the series convincingly, scoring almost at will against the Denver defense. With the Dubs putting up the points, Denver was unable to keep up in Games 1 and 2 and they hope a change in scenery will awaken their role players so that they can step up and help Jokic against the blazing guns of the Warriors.
Denver had no answer for Steve Kerr’s small lineup and the trio of Kerr, Thompson, and Poole combined for 84 points in Game 2. Meanwhile, Jokic is getting frustrated because the Warriors’ defense has been ganging up on him, confident of leaving the other Nuggets open because they don’t have other consistent scorers.
I think Denver plays better and may not be blown out at home. Still, the Warriors simply have too much on offense which the Nuggets can’t match. Unless the Dubs suddenly shoot blanks here, this should be another win for Golden State.
Prediction: Golden State Warriors
Other Bets to Make
The Warriors are 7-1 ATS in their last eight games played. Golden State is 5-0 ATS in their last five games against the Northwest Division, 4-0 ATS in their last four games against an opponent with a winning straight up record, 7-1 ATS in their last eight games when their opponent scores and allows more than 100 points in their previous game, 5-1 ATS in their last six games when scoring and allowing more than 100 points in their previous game, 5-1 ATS in their last six games after an ATS win, 5-1 ATS in their last six games after a straight-up victory, 5-1 ATS in their last six games as betting favorites, 31-12 ATS in their last 43 Quarterfinals games, and 7-3-1 ATS in their last 10 games when playing on two days rest.
The Nuggets are 1-4 ATS in their last five games played. Denver is 1-5 ATS in their last six games played at home, 2-5 ATS in their last seven games when their opponent allows more than 100 points in their previous game, 3-8-1 ATS in their last 12 games against an opponent with a winning percentage better than .600, 3-9 ATS in their last 12 games against an opponent with a winning straight up record, 1-4 ATS in their last five games when playing on two days rest, 3-13 ATS in their last 16 home games against an opponent with a winning road record, 0-4 ATS in their last four games as home underdogs, 0-5 ATS in their last five games as playoff underdogs, and 0-4 ATS in their last four games when scoring 100 or more points in their previous game.
Head to head, the Warriors are 4-1 ATS in their last five meetings against the Nuggets. Golden State is also 4-0 ATS in their last four games played in Denver.
Spread Odds: Warriors -2 (-115), Nuggets +2 (-105)
Odds from BetOnline as of 04/21/2022
The Nuggets are off to a poor start in the playoffs and by the way, it looked in Game 2, there may be nothing they can do to change it. Credit Denver for making the playoffs and earning an outright postseason spot but now that they are here, they have realized how hard it is to win without their no. 2 and no. 3 best players around.
Winning in the regular season was different as they played different teams every night. In the playoffs, the Nuggets are matched against the Warriors who are legit title contenders this season. With Steph Curry, Klay Thompson, and Draymond Green playing well with their young guys, Golden State has looked like a well-oiled machine through Games 1 and 2.
Steve Kerr will let Nikola Jokic be Nikola Jokic but even if the reigning MVP produces big numbers, the question is where will the rest of the consistent production come from? Without that, the Nuggets are absolutely outgunned here and they don’t have the defense to stop the rampaging Warriors.
There’s no question for me that the Dubs will win this game. With the spread just at one basket, I don’t think there’s any question either on who covers the betting spread.
Prediction: Golden State Warriors -2
The total has gone over in four out of the last five games played by the Dubs. The over is 10-5 in their last 15 games played on the road, 4-0 in their last four quarterfinals games, 4-0 in their last four games played on two days rest, 6-1-1 in their last eight games played on a Thursday, 4-1 in their last five games when their opponent allows and scores more than 100 points in their previous game, 4-1 in their last five games after a straight-up win of more than 10 points, 4-1 in their last five games as betting favorites, 4-1 in their last five games against an opponent with a winning straight up record, 6-2 in their last 8 playoff games as favorites, and 7-2 in their last nine road games against an opponent with a winning home record.
The total has gone over in six out of their last eight games played by the Nuggets. The over is 6-0 in their last six games against an opponent from the Pacific Division, 6-1 in their last seven games after scoring 100 or more points in their previous game, 5-1 in their last six playoff games as betting underdogs, 4-1 in their last five games after an ATS loss, 4-1 in their last five games as betting underdogs, 4-1 in their last five games against an opponent with a winning record, 44-14-2 in their last 60 games as home underdogs, 6-2 in their last eight games after allowing 100 or more points in their previous game, 6-2-1 in their last nine home games against an opponent with a winning road record, 5-2 in their last eight games after a straight-up loss, and 5-2-1 in their last eight games when playing on two days rest.
Head to head, the total has gone over in four out of the last five meetings between these two teams.
Over/Under Odds: Over 223.5 (-110), Under 223.5 (-110)
Odds from BetOnline as of 04/21/2022
The Nuggets’ defense has been unable to stop the Warriors’ scoring in Games 1 and 2. The first two games yielded totals of 230 and 232 which are way higher than the current total of 223.5 points. Sure, I expect the Nuggets to play better defense at home but I don’t think that defense will matter much.
Unless this game becomes an early blowout and Steve Kerr sits out his starters in the fourth quarter, I don’t think there’s any stopping the Golden State scoring machine right now. Golden State has scored at least 123 points in four out of their last five games played, including the first two games of this series. I even expect more with Steph Curry getting more comfortable than he was in his first game back.
Prediction: Over 223.5