Warriors vs Nets Picks and Predictions: Curry-Less Warriors Continue to Fall Flat

Life hasn't been pretty for the Warriors without Steph Curry and against a Nets team that finally looks to be putting the puzzle pieces together, look severely overmatched. Read more in our NBA betting picks and predictions below.

Last Updated: Dec 21, 2022 8:47 AM ET Read Time: 4 min
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Life in the NBA is all about timing. A month ago, the Golden State Warriors — road struggles and all — would have laughed their way through a back-to-back set against the New York Knicks and Brooklyn Nets.

But a month is a long time in basketball terms, and what were ready punching bags at the start of the season in the Empire City have now transformed into two of the most dangerous teams in the NBA.

The Warriors failed the first leg in spectacular fashion, ultimately losing by 38 points to the Knicks last night in a game they never led nor threatened to. Now, they turn to face Kevin Durant & Co. 24 hours later Wednesday night.

Our NBA picks and predictions for Warriors vs. Nets believe Golden State won’t fare any better at Barclays Center than they did at MSG.

Warriors vs Nets best odds

Warriors vs Nets picks and predictions

The Brooklyn Nets have quietly become one of the NBA’s best teams. And no doubt that’s exactly how they like it. For once in a very long time, the Nets are flying under the radar, having not made national headlines in weeks.

But if they keep winning the way they have been, soon they’ll be grabbing the right kinds of headlines. Just how good have the Nets been? They are 17-7 under Jacque Vaughn and have the best record in the NBA since November 16. They also have the second-best offense over this six-game winning streak, a ridiculous 122.3 offensive rating.

Their team is finally healthy, and with health comes a plethora of perimeter shooting, including usual suspects like Seth Curry, Joe Harris,  and newly-minted sniper Yuta Watanabe. Kevin Durant has also pulled up a chair at the MVP table, producing 2K-level numbers (30.4 points, 6.6 boards, 5.3 assists on 67.4% true shooting) almost entirely on jump shots.

Brooklyn’s defense has risen all the way to 12th on the backs of outstanding play by Nic Claxton, Ben Simmons, and KD. Claxton and Simmons have formed a peculiar but formidable frontcourt tandem, with Kevin Durant lurking as an off-ball defensive threat as a supersized small forward.

The Warriors are trending in the opposite direction. There was hope that in Curry’s absence, the combination of Jordan Poole and Draymond Green could keep the Dubs afloat.

There was reason for optimism, as when Poole and Green share the court without Steph, the Warriors are +5.4 in 291 possessions, per Cleaning the Glass. Even more encouragingly? Most of those possessions are also absent of Andrew Wiggins, another key rotation player who continues to miss time.

But against a merely competent team like the Knicks, they got picked apart. New York is a much-improved offense, but they still don’t have anywhere near the talent on that end of the floor that the Brooklyn Nets can muster. The Warriors gave up 132 points with no single Knicks player scoring more than 22 points.

There’s a path to survival without Curry for Golden State, but on a road back-to-back against a Brooklyn team finally hitting the right notes, it doesn’t start for the Warriors on Wednesday.

My best bet: Nets -11.5 (-110 at Betway)

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Warriors vs Nets spread analysis

If there’s any worry taking Brooklyn here, it’s that this is the ultimate trap game. No Curry, no Wiggins, no Klay, and it’s a road back-to-back. The deck is stacked so far in Brooklyn’s favor that an 11.5-point line feels entirely too generous. 

And the Nets have struggled with prosperity. Brooklyn is just 5-11-2 against the spread in their last 18 games against teams with a losing record. Even worse, they’re somehow 6-21-1 ATS in their last 28 home games against teams (like the Warriors) with a losing road record.

And further, the Warriors have bounced back strongly this season when suffering an embarrassing blow like last night’s trouncing. They’re 8-2 ATS in their last 10 games following a straight-up loss of more than 10 points.

But will that same resilience carry over without Steph? I have my doubts. This Warriors team isn’t as bad as they played last night, but this is a bad matchup in a hostile arena, and the Warriors' road woes have been well-documented (just 7-19 ATS in their last 26 road games).

I think those trends are both anchored to versions of the Nets and Warriors that don’t currently exist, which is why I expect Brooklyn to take care of business at home.

Warriors vs Nets Over/Under analysis

In the broadest statistical sense, these teams are quite similar. Both are slightly above average on offense, and until the Knicks blowout last night, they were comparable in terms of defensive rating as well.

And in Ben Simmons and Draymond Green, both play an unusual frontcourt pairing of a non-shooting power forward, who is responsible for captaining the defense alongside another non-shooting center.

That’s pretty much where the similarities end though. The Warriors' offense has fallen to putrid levels of late, and their defense has only been slightly better. Poole has proven he can generate a quality shot out of the pick and roll consistently, but he gives a whole lot back on the other end. 

That’s part of why the Over has gone 4-0 in the Warriors' four most recent games. The Warriors can’t cobble together a competent offense without Poole, but he also sinks their best defensive groups.

The Nets' strongest defensive traits — wing size and a surprisingly sturdy paint defense — should do little to impact Poole. They should have an even easier time scoring themselves, as this limited version of the Warriors is missing Andrew Wiggins to at least provide some friction for Kevin Durant. 

The Nets' defense started ahead of their offense this season, but now that they’re healthy, they’ve begun to put together some nice scoring runs. That’s contributed to the Over cashing in five of the Nets' last six overall.

Warriors vs Nets betting trend to know

The Over is 5-0 in Golden State's last five games overall. Find more NBA betting trends for Warriors vs. Nets.

Warriors vs Nets game info

Location: Barclays Center, Brooklyn, NY
Date: Wednesday, December 21, 2022
Tip-off: 7:30 p.m. ET

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