NBA odds makers once again favor the Nuggets, this time by a -8 ½ chalk, while settling upon a total of 208 points. Let’s breakdown this contest further and determine where the best value lies for our NBA picks tonight.
The Warriors will be forced to play this game without All-Star David Lee, who will also miss the remainder of the playoffs due to a hip injury he suffered in Game 1. Going back three seasons, Lee has missed a total of 21 games, and Golden State is just 3-18 SU in that situation.
However, Golden State is a perfect 7-0 ATS in their last seven games that follow a SU loss and they are 5-2 ATS in their last seven played on the highway.
Meanwhile, the Nuggets will look to take a commanding 2-0 series lead and hope to thrive on Lee’s absence – especially since they are welcoming back Kenneth Faried to the lineup after missing Game 1 due to a sprained ankle. Faried scores an average11 ½ points per game, while pulling down 9.2 boards, so his return will be a big plus for the Nuggets in Game 2
Denver failed to cover in Game 1, but they are still a very impressive 15-6 in their last 21 games played at the Pepsi Center. Furthermore, the Nuggets are 43-19-1 ATS in their last 63 games versus Western Conference adversaries.
Both teams feature a high-octane offense, with Golden State putting up about 101 points a night, while Denver is good for 106 per game. However, this is the postseason and teams are expected to clamped down on defense, as was the case in Game 1 when the total finished at 192 points – falling well short of the posted number of 210.
The Warriors are under five of the last seven played on the road and four of five versus Northwest Division opponents.
The Nuggets are over in four of five overall, but under in 11 of their last 15 games played on their home court.
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If Golden State has any chance at all to win this game outright they must do a better job of taking care of the ball – something they failed to do in Game 1 when they coughed it up 18 times, which led to 18 points for Denver.
The Nuggets have proven all season that it is a tall task for opponents to walk into their building and beat them on their home floor. Golden State will have a tough time of it tonight without the presence of Lee, so backing the Nuggets -8 ½ holds value and one that should cash in a ticket at the end of the night.
NBA Playoff Pick: Nuggets -8 ½ at 5Dimes