Jump ahead: Game of the night | Picks and props | Analytics edge
All odds are provided by Caesars Sportsbook.
What you need to know for Thursday’s playoff games
Joker’s Jumper: Nikola Jockic is still putting up some impressive offensive numbers against the Warriors, despite Denver going winless in San Francisco. One area for improvement would be his shooting success from beyond the arc. Jokic has missed all eight of his shots from deep through two playoff games. This brings us to his somewhat silly prop of just 0.5 3-pointers for Game 3. While this shooting prop is heavily juiced, it can be leveraged to pursue some creative bets for tonight’s three-game slate. Pairing a Jokic 3-pointer with an achievable outcome such as over 6.5 assists still comes out to plus money in a single-game parlay. Do you think Denver can defend home court? The Nuggets’ money line and a single Joker 3-pointer comes in at nearly 2-1 odds.
swimming poole jordan poole has been nothing short of spectacular in this series, going 19-of-29 from the field, 10-of-17 from 3. The Warriors know Stephen Curry needs to play more if they want to make a deep run in the playoffs. But should the Warriors extend Curry’s playing time tonight, Poole’s production will suffer. He averaged 22.2 points and 9.1 3PA when playing at least 30 minutes, and just 13.9 points and 5.8 3PA when failing to reach the 30-minute mark. Now that Poole is a key cog in the offense, Golden State may work to keep his minutes high while they work Curry back. But be aware that Poole’s prop markets have been heavily influenced by his recent production.
Careful with Ant-Man: The Timberwolves have split their past six games with the three wins over that stretch, Anthony Edwards averaged 39.3 points, 4.7 made threes, and 6.3 assists in the three wins, but only 15.3 points, 1.7 made threes, and 2.0 assists in the three losses.
Looking for Luka: Luka Doncić could be cleared to return tonight against the Jazz. While you won’t find many player props posted for Dallas yet, it’s intriguing to consider Dallas as they sit at +170 to win the series ahead of Doncic’s return. He averaged for 30 PPG, 11 RPG, and 7.7 APG over three games against Utah during the regular season.
— Jim McCormick and Kyle Soppe
game of the night
10 p.m., Ball Arena, Denver, Colo.
Line: Warriors (-1.5)
moneyline: Warriors (-125), Nuggets (+105)
Total: 224 points
BPI Projected Total: 224.9 points
BPI Win%: Nuggets (66.8%)
Key players ruled out: none
Remarkable: The Nuggets have failed to cover not one, not two, but six straight playoff games.
Best bet: Warriors -1.5. It’s hard not to be impressed and intoxicated by what the Warriors did to the Nuggets in the first two games of this series. It immediately feels like a square and public play because the side is so tight, but I’ll gladly lay the -1.5 on the Warriors in Game 3 as the series shifts to Denver. Stephen Curry should see his minutes and usage go up as the series progresses. jordan poole has been outstanding and Draymond Green is back to playing defense with the omnipresence of a queen on a chessboard. The Warriors posted a +18.4 Net Rating in games 1 and 2, and while some regression is possible as Denver gets home court, I don’t think it will be nearly enough to cover this number –Tyler Fulghum
Best bet: Warriors -1.5 The Nuggets are rarely underdogs at home, but when they are it doesn’t typically go well for them. Denver has only given the points inside Ball Arena seven times this season, and 14 times over the last two seasons. As underdogs, the Nuggets are 4-10 against the spread during that span. Through the first two games of the series, the Warriors have an effective field goal percentage of 63.6% with an offensive rating of 131.7. –Eric Moody
Best bet: Warriors -1.5. The Warriors are far superior and Denver knows it. Head coach Mike Malone alluded to this in a postgame presser, referencing Golden State’s “death lineup”, as Poole has essentially become another Splash Brother. This is the best version of Golden State all season, as Curry, Thompson and Green only played 11 minutes together during the regular season. Thompson is finally healthy and Curry is approaching 100% health as well. Poole has been a giant revelation this season, and Denver just doesn’t have the firepower to match Golden State. –Doug Kezirian
Best bet: Over 224 points Nuggets haven’t consistently attacked the Warriors’ interior so far with Nikola Jockic. In Game 3, they will. Golden State’s high octane offense is generating to a ton of praise and rightfully so especially when Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson, Andrew Wiggins, jordan poole and Draymond Green are on the floor together. This lineup has outscored the Nuggets 42-14 in their first 10 minutes together across the first two games of the series. –– Moody
Best bet: Klay Thompson over 3.5 3-pointers made Thompson has proven to be a lethal threat from beyond the arc for the Nuggets thus far in the series. Thanks to their small-ball lineup, the Warriors have demoralized Denver. Jordan Poole, Stephen Curry, and Thompson combined for 13 for 28 shooting from three-point range. That performance could repeat itself on Thursday. — moody
Breaking down the rest of the slate
Memphis Grizzlies at Minnesota Timberwolves
7:30 p.m., Target Center, Minneapolis, Minn.
Line: Grizzlies (-1.5)
moneyline: Grizzlies (-125), Timberwolves (+105)
Total: 237 points
BPI Projected Total: 232 points
BPI Win%: Grizzlies (50.3%)
Key players ruled out: none
Remarkable: Did the Grizzlies cover in Game 2? And it is. convincingly. But can they repeat that? Even with their dominant Game 2, Memphis is just 5-15 ATS in their past 20 playoff games.
Best bet: Under 237 points Anyone who has watched Daily Wager this NBA season knows I have constantly harped on the Timberwolves’ defensive home/road splits. They’ve played like a top-five defense in the league at home this season. Their 106.7 Defensive Rating at home was tied with Cleveland for the 4th-best in the league. That’s a far cry from the 115.3 number they posted on the road (25th in the NBA). Bottom line, I love betting the under when patrick beverley and the T-Wolves are in their home gym. This year, 22 of Minnesota’s 42 games (52.4%) have come in under the total. –Fulghum
Bestbet: Desmond Bane over 26.5 points+assists+rebounds In Memphis’ offensive scheme, Bane is a key contributor. Despite a more rounded scoring effort on Tuesday, I expect him to score more on the road. This season, he is averaging 20 PPG, 5.0 RPG, and 3.0 APG on the road. — moody
Bestbet: Ja Morant over 44.5 points+assists+rebounds A huge game on Minnesota’s home court would be the best place for Morant to silence an outspoken Timberwolves team, and that’s what I expect the point guard to do. Morant’s third career playoff game with at least 20 points, 10 assists, and 5 rebounds came in Game 2. His three such games are the only ones in Grizzlies postseason history. — moody
Dallas Mavericks at Utah Jazz
9 p.m., Vivint Smart Home Arena, Salt Lake City, Utah
Line: Mavericks (-6.0)
moneyline: Mavericks (+220), Jazz (-270)
Total: 210.5 points
BPI Projected Total: 221.2 points
BPI Win%: Jazz (68.5%)
Key players ruled out: none
questionable: Luka Doncić
Remarkable: Overs are 11-3 in Utah’s past 14 playoff games.
BPI highest projected totals
BPI lowest projected totals
1. Dallas Mavericks (108 points)
2. Denver Nuggets (110 points)
3. Golden State Warriors (114.9 points)
BPI top probability to win (straight up)
1. Utah Jazz (68.5%)
2. Denver Nuggets (66.8%)
3. Memphis Grizzlies (50.3%)