Nuggets vs. Warriors NBA Preview and Best Bet

Nikola Jokic #15 of the Denver Nuggets. Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images/AFP

With the holidays behind us, the Over can beat the NBA odds this Tuesday when the Golden State Warriors host the Denver Nuggets.

Denver Nuggets vs. Golden State Warriors

Tuesday, December 28, 2021- 10:00 PM EST at Chase Center

Timing is everything when you make your NBA picks. The total for the Christmas Day game between the Golden State Warriors and Phoenix Suns plummeted from 228.5 points to 218 after we recommended the Under in this space, then dipped again to 216.5 at the close.

Sure enough, the Warriors beat the Suns 116-107; if you were an early shopper, you got an extra present from the big guy up north. Now that December 25 is behind us, it’s time to find a new angle for Tuesday’s game between the Warriors (27-6 SU, 21-10-2 ATS) and the Denver Nuggets (16-16 SU, 13-19 ATS).

The Nuggets have opened as 6.5-point road dogs on the NBA odds board at BetMGM, and they appear to be the healthier team of the two, although that’s not saying much. Maybe the Over is the right call given the situation with Golden State’s roster – provided the totals are in our favor when they finally hit the board.

Green Party

The key here is the possible absence of Draymond Green, the 2017 NBA Defensive Player of the Year. Green could win that award again this year; he leads the league with a plus-4.6 Defensive Box Plus/Minus at Basketball-Reference.

He’s also listed as day-to-day after entering the health and safety protocols on Sunday. This will have at least some effect on what’s been the top-performing defense in the NBA. The Warriors have allowed just 99.7 points per 100 possessions this year, driving the Under to a 21-11-1 record.

It does look like Andre Iguodala (plus-3.5 DBPM), another former All-Defensive first-teamer, will make his return from a sore right knee this Tuesday, but how mobile will Iguodala be after playing just four games since mid-November?

No Love For Nik

On the Denver side, the only man on the COVID-19 list at press time is Bol Bol, who almost never plays anyway. Reigning league MVP Nikola Jokic is good to go, and it’s tempting to bet on the Nuggets (Over 17-15) just because the pundits out there seem thoroughly unwilling to give Jokic any praise this year, even though he’s playing even better than last year.

Steph Curry is the +130 favorite at DraftKings, with Jokic a distant fourth at +1200. Unfortunately for the Nuggets, they can’t seem to gain any traction no matter who’s in uniform. They’ve dropped three straight games ATS heading into Tuesday’s contest, while the Dubs have paid out three times in a row.

It was nice to think that Golden State had peaked given their previous 1-4-1 ATS slump, but go figure, they keep finding new ways to win.

By taking the Over instead, we can take advantage of Green’s likely absence, and hopefully get back in on a trend that had been building before the early days of the omicron variant sweeping across the league. Bet accordingly.

NBA Pick: Over 217.5 (-110) with BetMGM