- The Golden State Warriors and Denver Nuggets matchup for Game 3 of their first-round series on April 21st
- Golden State leads the series 2-0 after dominant performances in the opening two games
- Read below for the latest Warriors vs Nuggets odds and picks
Carrying a 2-0 series lead, the Golden State Warriors are 1.5-point favorites on the road for Game 3 against the Denver Nuggets on Thursday night. Denver was just 15-26 against the spread at home in the regular season and owned a measly 2-5 ATS mark when underdogs in front of their home crowd.
Golden State won by 16 in Game 1 and 20 in Game 2. They have become NBA title favorites in the process, such has been the impressive nature of these wins with Steph Curry coming off the bench. Jordan Poole has flourished, scoring 59 points over the two contests, and Draymond Green has been able to make life difficult for Nikola Jokic.
The Dubs’ two regular-season games in Denver were played over a three-day span in March. Veterans were rested in the loss, with Moses Moody and Poole putting up big numbers. They won the second meeting, however, with Curry dropping 34 on 21 shots.
Warriors vs Nuggets Game 3 Odds
|Golden State Warriors||-1.5 (-110)||-134||Over 223.5 (-110)|
|Denver Nuggets||+1.5 (-110)||+114||Under 223.5 (-110)|
Odds as of Apr 21 at FanDuel Sportsbook
Playing In Denver
The Nuggets were 23-18 at home in the regular season. It’s a common perception that playing at altitude in Colorado gives a severe advantage to the home team, but there’s no substantial evidence to support that in 2021-22. Golden State won at Ball Arena a matter of weeks ago, and there have been signs that the heavy minutes’ totals are taking their toll on the Nuggets’ starters.
Will Barton leads the series in minutes with 67. Klay Thompson and Jordan Poole are the only Warriors to spend more time on the court than Nikola Jokic. Fatigue was a factor for Denver down the stretch, and it has been an issue again when facing a Warriors team that is so active on both ends of the floor. They have run the Nuggets off the court in the first two games.
Steph Curry is the first player in the NBA shot-clock era to score 30 points in as little as 23 minutes in a playoff game, per Elias via Warriors. He had 34
— Monte Poole (@MontePooleNBCS) April 19, 2022
Michael Malone needs a huge homecourt swing to turn this series on its head. While the Dubs were better at home, they still went 22-19 on the road.
Warriors Smallball Blows Away Denver
Third quarters were often when the Kevin Durant Warriors blew teams out. In this series, Steve Kerr’s team has owned the second quarters as well. Both first quarters have been played pretty much even, but the Warriors have exploded in the second quarters and carried on that dominance in the third. Much of this success can be attributed to the lineups Kerr runs in those spells.
I don't envy Steve Kerr having to figure out the starting lineup, but I will say, listening to the Warriors core talk … there is no part of them caring about veterans or players who have "earned their stripes." It's abundantly clear they see Poole as a star.
— Brady Klopfer (@BradyKlopferNBA) April 19, 2022
The three-guard lineups have torched the Nuggets. Draymond Green at the five has not been a fun matchup for Jokic. The activity on defense has rushed Denver into turnovers and ill-advised shots, and Golden State’s relentless movement on offense would be tough to guard even for an elite defensive team (which Denver is not).
Golden State is shooting 44% from three as a team. Denver is under 34%. While that gap should close with the Nuggets playing at home, this is partly a reflection of the talent gap between the two teams in the absence of Jamal Murray and Michael Porter Jr. The Nuggets do not have the personnel at either end to cope with the Warriors.
Warriors vs Nuggets Prediction
There was always a risk that the Nuggets would get blown away in this series if Curry and Green were at their best. Both have been stellar through two games, and there’s no reason to expect that to change on Thursday night.
Jordan Poole in his first two career playoff games 🌊
💧 59 PTS
💧 19-29 FG
💧 10-17 3-PT FG
— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) April 19, 2022
The Warriors are showing why they were among the title favorites earlier in the season. Whether it’s Curry or Poole off the bench, they are potent on offense and a nuisance on defense. Denver doesn’t have the firepower to keep pace nor the defense to slow them down. Their only hope is a team-wide cold shooting night.
This looks like it’s heading for a sweep. It’s a surprise the Dubs aren’t favored by more. Back them to cover.
- Pick: Warriors -1.5 (-110)