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NBA Weekend: Warriors Aim To Strike Back at Nuggets in Oakland

The Denver Nuggets were the best home-court team in the NBA in the 2012-2013 regular season. Now, however, they’ll have to win a playoff game on the road against Golden State.

Western Conference First Round, Game 4:

Denver Nuggets @ Golden State Warriors – Sunday, April 28

In the realm of sports betting online, this game will be a very hard one to pick, no matter where the series stands when tip-off time greets these two teams. When utilizing a per head service, though, you can make a fundamental determination about this contest that can shape your betting play.

Examining reviews during an NBA season will give you some in-depth morsels of information, but do you need to dig so deeply for insight into this contest? George Karl, the head coach of the Nuggets and – interestingly enough – a coach who led the Golden State Warriors to the second round of the playoffs back in 1987, is fond of saying that basketball is “at its best when it is simple.” Karl would therefore approve of – though not like – the logic behind the following claim: Denver is basically one kind of team when on the road and another when at home. That is admittedly a simplification, and it does need to be said that Denver played well on the road in the final month and a half of the regular season, but the point still remains that the Nuggets were so transcendently awesome at home this season and merely mediocre on the road.

Yes, one can and should concede for the sake of honest debate that the Nuggets, since Feb. 23, went 8-3 in their last 11 road games. The Nuggets acquired a new dimension of confidence and thrived in the stretch run of the 2012-2013 campaign. This team learned how to play better in adverse situations and unfamiliar buildings removed from the altitude of the Mile High City, where the Nuggets are used to running in the open floor and wearing down their oxygen-deprived foes. It’s true that Denver has gotten better on the road in 2013.

However, the overall reality is still crisply defined: Denver, 38-3 at home and nearly untouchable in the Pepsi Center, finished 20-21 on the road. Even with the strong road finish to the season, the Nuggets crafted two different bodies of work relative to the location of their games. With Golden State making its first playoff appearance – and therefore hosting its first playoff games – since 2007, the Warriors will have a lot of emotion in their corner. This will be tough for a shaky road team to deal with, even if you cut Denver some slack and acknowledge the Nuggets’ recent run of success.

When you bet sports, you need to be able to frame an event in a larger context. Sure, Denver has gotten hot on the road, but Golden State won’t be playing a normal regular season home game here. The crowd on hand in Oakland is likely to dwarf the decibel levels encountered on a February Thursday or a January Friday. This is going to be a challenge for Denver, and given the way the entirety of the season has played out, it seems that Golden State is slightly more likely to win.

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