Nuggets vs Warriors Game 2 Picks and Predictions: More Curry, More Problems For Denver

The Golden State Warriors were able to ease Steph Curry back into action in 22 minutes on Saturday thanks to a blowout win over the Denver Nuggets. We expect his role to expand and for the Dubs to pick up another big win tonight in our betting picks.

Douglas Farmer - Betting Analyst at Covers
Douglas Farmer • Betting Analyst
Apr 18, 2022 • 19:00 ET • 4 min read
Steph Curry Golden State Warriors NBA Playoffs
Photo By - USA TODAY Sports

The Golden State Warriors’ blowout of the Denver Nuggets on Saturday left little reason to think Denver can make this a competitive series. Golden State kept Nikola Jokic from dominating the game and as long as that remains the case, the sixth seed will look overmatched.

That was all with a hobbled Steph Curry coming off the Warriors’ bench on a minutes restriction. Tonight may serve as a chance for Curry to stretch his legs a bit more. If so, Denver’s chances seem even slimmer.

Here are our free NBA betting picks and predictions for the Nuggets at the Warriors on April 18, with tip set for 10:00 p.m. ET.

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Nuggets vs Warriors odds

This odds widget represents the best odds available for each betting market from regulated sportsbooks.

Saturday’s rout appears to have influenced tonight's odds. At tip on Saturday, Golden State was favored by 6.5 points in Game 1. For tonight’s Game 2, the Warriors opened as either 7.0- or 7.5-point favorites, depending on the book. The consensus now favors Golden State by 7.0 at the time of this writing.

Use the live odds widget above to track any future line movements right until tip-off and be sure to check out the full NBA odds before betting to ensure you get the best number.

Nuggets vs Warriors predictions

Predictions made on 4/18/2022 at 3:00 p.m. ET.
Click on each prediction to jump to the full analysis.

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Nuggets vs Warriors game info

Location: Chase Center, San Francisco, CA
Date: Monday, April 18, 2022
Tip-off: 10:00 p.m. ET

Nuggets vs Warriors series odds

Nuggets: +370.
Warriors: -500.

Nuggets vs Warriors betting preview

Key injuries

Nuggets: Michael Porter Jr. PF (Out), Jamal Murray SG (Out).
Warriors: James Wiseman C (Out).
Find our latest NBA injury reports.

Betting trend to know

The Nuggets are 3-10 against the spread in their last 13 games against the Warriors, including 2-6-1 ATS in their last nine trips to Golden State. Denver is also 0-4 ATS in its last four playoff games as an underdog. Find more NBA betting trends for Nuggets vs. Warriors.

Nuggets vs Warriors picks and predictions

Our side and total predictions are based upon our analysis of the line and total in this game. Our best bet is our favorite pick across all markets.

Spread analysis

Nothing — aside from the Nuggets getting point guard Facundo Campazzo back from suspension — has changed since predicting an easy Warriors win on Saturday. And if anyone is basing handicaps in this series on Campazzo, they should probably consider sitting out the playoffs.

Actually, perhaps one other thing has changed. Heading into Game 1, there was reason to wonder if Curry was back at full strength. And it may be fair to assume he's not 100% after he went 5 of 13 for 16 points in 22 minutes. But he played efficiently enough, dishing out four assists while turning it over only once. His true shooting percentage of 56% was below his season mark of 60.1%, but hardly by so much as to inspire concern. Curry simply looked like he was easing back in after taking a month off.

By that logic, tonight should feature more Steph. And let’s remember, Golden State hardly needed him to start with. The Warriors’ true recipe for success in this series is their defense of Jokic. He averaged 48.8 points + rebounds + assists this season. On Saturday, Jokic managed just 41. If he cannot dazzle in this series, then the Nuggets will struggle mightily to keep up with the returning-to-form Warriors.

The ability to play Draymond Green for 29 minutes, Kevon Looney for 13, Andre Iguodala for 13, and even Otto Porter Jr. for 25 gives Golden State waves to throw at Jokic. None of them are counted on for their offense. Combined, the four went 9 of 17 from the field for 22 points. Efficient and productive, but hardly prolific. They also had six steals + blocks, and three of the four posted plus-minus figures of +11 or better. Green and Porter were each +21 while on the court.

It was not a coincidence that Jokic was a -19 in his 35 minutes.

One might worry this was all just one game, but the context goes back further. When healthy, the Warriors have long been able to slow Jokic down. That is why Denver is 3-10 ATS in its last 13 against Golden State. These troubles have traced back to Iguodala’s previous stint in the Bay.

Prediction: Warriors -7 (-108 at WynnBet)

Over/Under analysis

In slowing Jokic, Golden State does leave itself exposed to buckets from elsewhere. Will Barton poured in 24 on Saturday. Additionally, Aaron Gordon and Bones Hyland both had plenty of scoring chances but shot poorly for the night.

If one or both of them find a bit of a groove tonight, that alone should propel this game toward the Over. Golden State still has little to worry about. Garbage time made that 16-point victory on Saturday look a good bit closer than it was in reality. And if Gordon or Hyland do put a scare into the Warriors, that should lead to only more Curry time, which should naturally lead to more points.

Denver shot poorly on Saturday — a symptom of that Warriors defense, assuredly — while Golden State was admittedly hot from beyond the arc, hitting 16 of 35. But regression to the mean cuts both ways, implying if the Warriors are expected to shoot worse, then the Nuggets are also expected to shoot better.

With it feeling more likely that Denver finds a touch of offense — and certainly attempts more than 13 free throws — than Golden State cooling off entirely, this Over should come in with ease.

Prediction: Over 222 (-110 at DraftKings)

Best bet

The Warriors barely broke a sweat on Saturday. They led by 20 entering the fourth quarter. With eight minutes to go, that was a 24-point edge. Golden State may have won by 30 if both teams didn't simply run out the clock down the stretch.

Tonight might not be a blowout to that extreme, but it still won't be close. The Warriors have reason to play focused: get Curry back into the flow of things alongside Iguodala, Green, and Klay Thompson for the first time since the 2019 Finals. Life is likely to get much more difficult for Golden State in the next round, so working out those kinks now makes plenty of sense.

With that in mind, and Saturday’s trouncing still fresh in memory, this spread feels too small. Let’s instead boost profits by a third and add a Warriors 3 on top of that 7-point spread.

Pick: Warriors -9.5 alternate spread (+124 at FanDuel)

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