It’s been a fine week of NBA basketball. The Bucks and Raps are still on top of the east and the Warriors and Nuggets are still leading the west. We close out the work week with two big Western Conference matchups of Friday night. The Oklahoma City Thunder will head to Los Angeles to take on the Clippers while the Denver Nuggets also head to California to face the Warriors. At the time of writing this, point spreads are not yet available. But we’ll be checking in with the leading online betting site YouWager regularly.
The last time these two teams played the Warriors put on a scoring clinic in Denver. As just -2.5 favorites, the Warriors dropped 142 on the Nuggets, embarrassing them in the Pepsi Center. But back in October, the Nuggets got a 2-point victory on Golden State also over in Denver. The Nuggets have taken two of the last three, but all of those games were played in Colorado. This will be the first time in four games that they go back to Golden State.The Nuggets have been spotty at best recently. Over the last twelve games, they have lost six. That said, they did get back to winning (after dropping three straight) against the Lakers on Wednesday.
The Warriors have also been a bit hit or miss. After a five-game win streak, the Warriors lost to the Blazers and have since basically split wins, winning in Sac-town, then losing in Houston, winning in Charlotte, then dropping games in Miami, and Orlando…
The Warriors are the No.1 scoring team in the league on average, and though they are just the 3rd best home team, they have been super consistent with their scoring. The Warriors put up 118 points per game on average, overall as well as 118 points per game at home. Defensively, the Warriors allow 112 per game, which is five points worse than the Nuggets (107) on the defensive side of the court.
The Nuggets offense ranks 15th in the league with 112 points per game. They fall to 21st however, while on the road, putting up just under 108 points per game on average. This makes it interesting, as the Warriors are coming off a big loss at home to the Celtics. Will the numbers hold true and the Warriors get a big bounce-back win, or will they continue to slump?
We have to assume that the Warriors will be listed as five-point favorites or better; a minimum of -4.5. Golden State tends to be bad against the spread, mostly because they get inflated lines. As home favorites, they are only 36.7% ATS and after a loss, they are only 31.6%. They do get slightly better with 2 days off, jumping to 43.8% but that number isn’t anything to jump for joy about.
The Nuggets are excellent against the spread at home but fall int the 50% range while playing as the visiting team. As an away-dog, Denver is exactly 50%, but after a win, they are 59.5%. So what do we do about the spread?
The Nuggets have stayed atop the west because of their defense. They have a similar average score margin to the Warriors because they only allow 107 per game. So, if they hold the Warriors to five points less than the NBA does on average (as their defense would indicate), then Golden State could score around 113. If Golden State, in fact, allows around 112, then we have a tight game. That said, the Nuggets play a little worse on the road. So, if the spread is greater than 5 we are taking the Nuggets to get the back door cover. If it is less than five, we’ll side with the Warriors.