Steph Curry and Nikola Jokic, two of the biggest stars in the NBA today, face off on Christmas Day in a matchup between the past two NBA Champions. See our full coverage of this enthralling bout below, featuring our Golden State Warriors vs. Denver Nuggets predictions, betting picks, and analysis!
Golden State Warriors Vs. Denver Nuggets Prediction
Golden State has been riding a roller coaster all season long, but it seems to be on an upswing, having won five consecutive games over Brooklyn, Portland (twice), Boston, and Washington.
During that stretch, the Dubs have a net rating of +9.0, which ranks sixth amongst NBA teams. Further, they shot just shy of 50% from the floor, 40% from behind the arc, and 84% from the free-throw line as a team.
While four of the five wins have come against teams with a record currently below .500 (Boston is the only winning team), it is still a positive sign for the direction of this team, especially after such a rocky start to the year.
Meanwhile, Denver sits firmly in second place in the Western Conference with a 21-10 record; it is only 2.5 games behind the Minnesota Timberwolves for first. The Nuggets have been extremely tough to beat with the duo of Jamal Murray and Nikola Jokic, especially at home, where the team is 11-2 this year.
However, Murray has only played in 17 of the team’s 31 games. In games that Murray has played so far this season, Denver is 13-4 with a net rating of +8.4, making it the third-highest net rating in the NBA if he had not sustained an injury.
Now, on to the game. This is a bad matchup for Golden State for very obvious reasons. Without Draymond Green to help Kevon Looney in the interior defensively, the Warriors are vulnerable to Jokic pinning a smaller, weaker Looney deep in the paint and scoring at will. Looney tends to get in foul trouble against “Joker,” finishing with between four and five personal fouls in six of his past seven games.
If Looney gets into foul trouble, Golden State has to rely on rookie Trayce Jackson-Davis, who has played solid basketball in his past few games, but Jokic is a different beast; he posted 41 points, 15 rebounds, and 15 assists last Christmas, too. Jokic has carved this team recently (past six games), averaging close to 31 points, 14 rebounds, and eight assists on 62.5% shooting from the field. Imagine what he could do to this frontcourt if Looney can’t stay on the floor.
Golden State Warriors Vs. Denver Nuggets Prediction: Nuggets -5.5 (-110)
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Golden State Warriors Vs. Denver Nuggets Best Odds
Denver is a 5.5-point favorite at home (Ball Arena) against the Golden State Warriors on Christmas Day. Golden State has Moneyline odds of +185 to steal a road win, while Denver is a heavy -225 favorite to win the game straight up. When this article was written, the point total had not been made available, but continuously check in to the tile directly above, as it will automatically update once it is listed.
Golden State Warriors Starting Lineup
Denver Nuggets Starting Lineup
Golden State Warriors Vs. Denver Nuggets Injuries
Barring any unforeseen injuries, the Golden State Warriors will only be without Gary Payton II (calf.) While Andrew Wiggins missed Saturday night’s game against Portland due to an illness, it would be quite surprising if he was unavailable for the team’s Christmas Day game. Vlatko Cancar (knee) is the only Denver Nuggets player who will not be able to suit up.