Thursday night features a Western Conference battle between two two-time MVPs: Steph Curry and Nikola Jokic. Take a look below at our Denver Nuggets vs. Golden State Warriors predictions, betting picks, and matchup preview, featuring an in-depth analysis of the game!
Denver Nuggets Vs. Golden State Warriors Prediction
It has been another successful start to the season for the defending champion Denver Nuggets (24-11); however, they have not been quite as dominant as many people expected after running through the Western Conference in the 2023 NBA Playoffs.
Still, Denver has won eight of its past ten games, including a six-point home win on Christmas Day against none other than the Golden State Warriors. Further, the Nuggets’ two losses have come against the same team: Oklahoma City.
In that stretch, Denver has the fourth-highest net rating and has shot better than 49% from the field and 40% from behind the arc. Additionally, the Nuggets have held opponents to the fifth-worst 3P% and the second-lowest FG% over that period of time.
Conversely, Golden State has lost three of its past four games and boasts a 16-17 record, which places it at 11th in the west. The Warriors will still be without Draymond Green, as he has just started ramping back up from his suspension, and Gary Payton II, who suffered another unfortunate lower-body injury.
Golden State’s frontcourt is in rough shape; it has Trayce Jackson-Davis, Kevon Looney, Dario Saric, and Jonathan Kuminga. The Warriors will be tasked with defending Nikola Jokic once again but don’t have the size or personnel to keep up with him.
TJD can potentially be a starter in this league for a long time, but he is still a rookie. Defending one of the greatest big men of all time is tough for anyone; however, it is nearly impossible for a rookie. Further, Kevon Looney plays a physical brand of basketball, but that often lends itself to getting into foul trouble, especially against a player like Jokic, who is crafty and can draw a lot of fouls.
Golden State is allowing the most assists to opposing centers, which is a significant problem when the “Joker” is your opponent; he’s going to pick apart the Dubs’ defense that has been exploitable this season (19th in defensive rating and 16th in opponent points in the paint.)
Lastly, the Warriors are not nearly as dominant on their home floor as they have been in prior seasons; they are only 10-8 at Chase Center in the 2023-24 campaign. Denver should squeak out a win.
Denver Nuggets Vs. Golden State Warriors Prediction: Nuggets ML (-142)
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Denver Nuggets Vs. Golden State Warriors Best Odds
Golden State is a three-point home dog against the defending champions on Thursday. The Warriors have Moneyline odds of +120, while Denver is -142 to win outright on the road and continue to close the gap on Oklahoma City and Minnesota for the top seed in the Western Conference. The Over/Under for this bout rests around 234.5 points, with -115 odds on either side, indicating that the sportsbooks predict a higher-scoring total.
Denver Nuggets Starting Lineup
Golden State Warriors Starting Lineup
Denver Nuggets Vs. Golden State Warriors Injuries
The Denver Nuggets have a light injury report heading into Thursday night’s matchup against Golden State, with Vlatko Cancar (knee) being the only player listed as “out.” On the other hand, Golden State will continue to miss two key players: Draymond Green (suspension) and Gary Payton II (hamstring.) Payton can hopefully return in a few weeks, while Green is still out indefinitely.