Golden State Return to Postseason
The Golden State Warriors return to the NBA postseason, but the pressing question is whether Steph Curry is available to join them.
The third-seeded Warriors begin their playoff campaign Saturday evening, hosting the No. 6 Denver Nuggets at San Francisco’s Chase Center. As was the case for the majority of the season, much of the talk revolved around the status of their superstar.
Entering the playoffs, Golden State sits at +1000 to win the title, according to NBA odds, while Denver is at +2800.
Let’s take a look at the latest news, stats, injury updates and NBA betting lines for Nuggets vs. Warriors.
Nuggets Hold the Ultimate Ace
The Denver Nuggets are arguably the toughest team in the Western playoffs without a home- court advantage, and that’s because they own the biggest mismatch every night.
Nikola Jokic, favored to win his second consecutive MVP award, provides Denver with a constant threat inside with how he can find teammates on and off the ball. He’s the ultimate advantage in a best-of-seven series.
That said, the issue for Denver is that its two most influential scorers (outside of Jokic) have been sidelined the vast majority of the season. Both Michael Porter Jr. (back) and Jamal Murray (ACL) have been injured, and their absences have certainly not helped.
Rumors still exist that one, if not both, might make an appearance in these playoffs. If that were the case, it might change the landscape of this series, and beyond. Again, “if” is the word.
Do not expect either available for Game 1, however, leave the Nuggets overly reliant on Jokic, as mentioned in previous NBA betting preview pieces.
Curry a Can He or a Can’t He?
If we’ve said it once, we’ve said it a hundred times…health will inevitably dictate how much these Warriors can achieve in the playoffs.
Steph Curry (left foot sprained ligament, bone bruise) is hopeful of returning for Game 1, and it’s clear the team needs his leadership and direction, especially on offense. He missed the final dozen games
The Warriors won five straight games to end the season, going 4-1 against the spread (ATS) in the process. Looking at their schedule and subsequent results said more about the level of play and effort of the opposition than about the Warriors.
Against top-level opposition in the past month, the Warriors were soundly beaten-and failed to cover-against the Boston Celtics, Memphis Grizzlies, Phoenix Suns and Atlanta Hawks.
Their lone win against playoff\-caliber opposition came against the Utah Jazz, where they came back from 20 points down against a team which built a reputation for blowing huge road leads this season.
None of this is to say the Warriors are playing fraudulent basketball, but more that if Curry isn’t available, then the Warriors are downgraded significantly.
Denver Nuggets vs. Golden State Warriors Head-to-Head
The Denver Nuggets won two of the three meetings in the regular season, including a 117-116 win at Chase.
The Warriors won the last game between the teams, 113-102.
The Nuggets also went 2-1 ATS in their season series.
Denver Nuggets vs Golden State Warriors Game Information
- Game: Nuggets (48-34) vs Warriors (53-29)
- Location: Chase Center, San Francisco, CA
- Day/Time: Saturday, Apr. 16th, 8:30pm ET
- Nuggets Warriors Live stream: NBA Game Pass
Denver Nuggets vs. Golden State Warriors Betting Lines
Denver Nuggets vs Golden State Warriors Prediction
Assuming that Steph Curry is more likely to play than not play, the NBA betting lines show value with Golden State.
While Curry’s status remains “uncertain,” there are reports he’s making progress toward a return. That said, we also know that coach Steve Kerr will err on the side of caution and ultimately rest his superstar point guard if he’s not 100% ready to return.
While scheming for the Warriors hinges entirely on Curry’s status, scheming for Denver does not change.
They’re a one-man show, happy to ride that way. Jokic will again be the pivotal point of attack, but the non-Jokic minutes are simply too much for Denver to overcome.
Game 1 in Golden State’s first game back from a playoff absence will bring an electric atmosphere, and one where the Warriors will thrive.
I don’t think sportsbook prices are accounting for these intangibles, and that leaves a lot of value on the table to grab Golden State in this one.