Nets vs. Warriors Betting Odds & Pick: The Perfect Recipe For an Over
Ezra Shaw/Getty Images. Pictured: Stephen Curry.
- The Brooklyn Nets will take on the Golden State Warriors in what is projected to be a high-scoring matchup on Saturday night.
- Both teams rank top-10 in pace, and neither team is playing with a true center, giving value on the over in the game.
- Raheem Palmer breaks it down and explains why he's targeting the total below.
Nets vs. Warriors Odds
|Moneyline||-180 / +150|
|Time||8:30 p.m. ET|
After the Brooklyn Nets’ 125-99 drubbing of the Golden State Warriors on opening night and the Boston Celtics on Christmas Day, who would have ever thought these two teams would be separated by just a half-game in the standings with the Nets sitting at 15-12 and the Warriors holding a 14-12 record on the season?
These two teams look much different than their opening night incarnations, as the Nets have since traded pieces from their long-term core of Caris LeVert, Jarrett Allen, and Rodions Kuruc for James Harden, while the Warriors have finally integrated the new pieces around Steph Curry and Draymond Green to resemble a competent team post-dynasty.
Now, they meet again at the Chase Center in a game that is sure to be more competitive than their first matchup, as oddsmakers have installed the Nets as 4.5-point favorites with a total of 243.5.
Let’s find out where the betting value lies.
Things haven’t exactly gone smooth for the Brooklyn Nets since trading for Harden.
Since the trade, the Nets are just 8-6 with a Net Rating of +0.6. Harden has continued to play at an elite level, and while he’s just scoring 23.3 points per game, he’s adapted to become a bigger facilitator and playmaker in this offense, averaging 11.3 assists a game with Kyrie Irving putting up 27.9 points per game.
While the offense has been rolling, scoring 118.7 points per 100 possessions during this time frame, they’re also giving up 118.1 points per 100 possessions one the defensive end of the floor, and their struggles have been well-documented by myself and others.
This could hurt Brooklyn’s chances of winning a championship. It’s no surprise, then, that the Nets are a league-leading 19-8 to the over this season.
Nevertheless, defense hasn’t been their only issue, as Kevin Durant was pulled in and out of last Friday’s game against the Toronto Raptors due to COVID-19 contact tracing and has missed last three games against the 76ers, Pistons and Pacers, a stretch they finished 1-2.
With this Nets team being so top-heavy and lacking depth after the Harden trade, the loss of Durant is absolutely devastating for this roster.
The Nets offense is +14.2 points per 100 possessions better with KD on the floor. His impact on the offensive end of the floor goes without saying as he averages 29.5 points per game.
However, with Durant being 6-foot-10 with length, his presence is also missed on the defensive end of the of the floor given his ability to protect the rim and rebound as a small-ball four or five.
Fortunately for the Nets, he’ll be back in the lineup, while center DeAndre Jordan will miss tonight’s game due to personal reasons.
The starting lineup of Harden/Irving/Harris/Durant/Jordan has played 107 possessions and has a 120.6 offensive rating and 100.0 defensive rating for a +20.6 Net Rating, according to Cleaning The Glass.
While Jordan’s defense has been downright abysmal, often giving up wide-open jumpers when playing drop coverage in addition to being an overall liability, the Nets don’t have many better options in the frontcourt.
It’s clear Norvel Pelle isn’t the answer, and the recently-signed Noah Vonleh hasn’t gotten any significant minutes.
The Nets have played a small-ball lineup with Harden/Irving/Harris/Durant and Jeff Green at center, and it will start again tonight without the presence of Jordan.
This has their best lineup, putting up a 132.0 Offensive Rating and a 109.4 Defensive Rating for a total Net Rating of +22.6. This is a lineup that should run teams off the floor offensively with all five players being competent 3-point shooters. If they can just survive defensively, they should have the league on notice.
Unfortunately for Brooklyn, this is a team that knows it’s a contender and tends to perform down to its level of competition.
Against teams above .500, the Nets are 8-1 with wins over the Jazz, Bucks, 76ers, Celtics and Clippers. However, they are just 7-11 against teams under .500.
Golden State Warriors
For the Warriors, everything starts and ends with Curry, who’s in the midst of another MVP-caliber season, playing at a level that is similar to his 2015-16 campaign. Take a look at these numbers:
- Steph Curry in the first 25 games of the 2015-16 season:
- 32.0 ppg, 6.1 assists, 5.2 rebounds while shooting 52/45/89 with five 3s made per game
- Steph Curry in the first 26 games of the 2020-21 season:
- 30 ppg, 5.9 assists, 5.5 rebounds while shooting 49/43.5/93 with five 3s made per game.
In some ways, his current campaign is more impressive given that he’s doing it with a much worse roster that lacks the spacing Klay Thompson provided.
While the Warriors are just 20th in Offensive Rating for the season, over the past two weeks, they’re 10th in scoring with 118.0 points per 100 possessions.
Curry’s been on a tear during these last six games, averaging 37.8 ppg on 56.8% shooting while making seven 3s a game in addition to 5.3 assists and 5.8 rebounds.
It’s telling, however, that despite the stellar play, the Warriors are just 3-3 during this stretch, losing games to the Celtics, Mavericks and Spurs in which he put up 38, 57 and 32.
We know what to expect from Curry every night. What we don’t know is what to expect from the rest of his supporting cast.
The Warriors will once again be playing small ball, as rookie James Wiseman is out with a wrist injury, along with Kevon Looney, who sprained his ankle against the Celtics.
For much of this season, Kelly Oubre didn’t resemble an NBA player, but during the past 10 games, he’s averaged 17.5 points on 47.4% shooting with 6.3 rebounds and two assists while making 44.6% of his 3-point attempts.
The Warriors need Oubre to beat many of the good teams in this league, as they don’t have the same firepower as the Nets.
While the Nets perform well against the league’s best, The Warriors are just 5-10 against teams above .500 and 9-2 against teams below .500.
This total is a bit intimidating at first glance, as it sits at 243.5.
However, I’m not sure oddsmakers can make this total high enough given that both teams are top-10 in pace, with the Warriors ranking second (103.46) and the Nets ranking sixth (101.82).
In addition to the pace, we’re looking at two of the league’s best offenses over the past few weeks, and neither team has a true center in the lineup. We’re looking at a small-ball game with Jeff Green and Draymond Green starting at center, which is also good for the over with both teams playing five guys who can hit the 3 at any time.
To put it short: this game is the epitome of the pace-and-space era.
While the Warriors’ games have gone under in six out of their last eight games, their unders have come against the Magic, Spurs (2x), Suns, Pistons and a depleted Celtics team.
The Warriors’ games against the Mavericks both went over, and I see this game resembling those matchups. Unless 3-point variance kills us, both teams should put up points in bunches. I’ll take the over here.
Pick: Over 243.5 (-110)