The NBA’s regular season continues to draw to a close and, heading into this week’s betting action, the Denver Nuggets are one game in back of the Golden State Warriors for the top seed in the Western Conference playoffs. Each team has six games left to play on the schedule ahead of Tuesday’s monster matchup in Golden State. Game time from Oracle Arena is set for 10:30 p.m. with TNT carrying the game nationally.
This will be the fourth and final meeting between the two teams in the regular season. Given the way each of these Western powers has played this season, there is a good chance that Tuesday night will be one last preview of this year’s best-of-seven Western Conference Finals.
Top Underdog Bet- Take the Nuggets at Warriors
The Nuggets closed as seven-point road underdogs in their last trip to Oakland on March 8. The result was a 122-105 loss that came nowhere close to covering the spread. They also got blown out at home in mid-January after beating the Warriors 100-98 as 4.5-point home underdogs early in the season.
More recently, Denver dropped a 95-90 decision against Washington on the final day of March as a healthy 10.5-point home favorite. The Nuggets have now lost three of their last five games straight-up while going just 1-4 against the spread. This is typically not the kind of performance that you would bet on, but the overall importance of this game is a huge factor when it comes down to handicapping this particular matchup. The ability to beat Golden State on the road will be a true test of just how good one of the most surprising teams in the NBA really is.
The Nuggets missed the NBA playoffs last season at 46-36 overall. A fast SU 9-1 start set the pace for this year’s dramatic turnaround and a recent six-game winning streak earlier in March has kept things close at the top of the conference standings. Center Nikola Jokic leads the team across the board in points (20.3), rebounds (10.9) and assists (7.4). He has been able to score 23 points with an average of 15 rebounds in three of his last four starts. He will need another big effort on Tuesday night if Denver is going to have any shot at winning this game SU.
This week’s underdog pick actually has more to do with going against a team then it does going with the one getting points. Golden State is still an odds-on -200 favorite to win its fourth NBA title in five seasons, but the Warriors’ inconsistent play since the All-Star break in mid-February has to be some cause for concern. A recent SU loss to Dallas at home as 13.5-point favorites and to Minnesota on March 29 as 10-point road favorites does not paint the picture of a dominant team.
Golden State’s SU record since the break is 11-8 with an 8-11 record ATS. It is 3-2 SU in its last five home games with a 2-3 record against the closing number. There are a number of reasons for this record, including added rest for the Warriors’ top stars. However, it has presented a number of great opportunities for sports bettors against the champs in recent games.
When you have this much star power on one team, Golden State still has the ability to turn up the heat when it has to. However, I still like Denver and the points as my top underdog pick of the week. I just see the Nuggets playing with a bigger sense of urgency this Tuesday night.
Article by Dave Schwab
Posted April 2nd, 2019