Nuggets vs. Suns Odds
|Time||8 p.m. ET|
|Odds via FanDuel. Get up-to-the-minute NBA odds here.|
The Denver Nuggets face the Suns in Game 4 of the Western Conference semifinals. Devin Booker had a monster Game 3, willing the Phoenix Suns to a 121-114 victory in its first home game of the series. They say role players play better at home, but Kevin Durant was the only other Suns player to score in double figures.
The Game 3 result shouldn’t have been a surprise as home favorites in Game 3 have been historically profitable, going 35-22-2 against the spread (18.7% ROI) and 41-18 on the moneyline (9.2% ROI) since 2004.
Game 4 isn’t as much of a historical spot for either team, so it will come down to individual matchups and game script. Can Phoenix get enough from its role players to win at home, or will Denver bounce back and take a 3-1 series lead?
Let’s breakdown the matchup, discuss the odds and I’ll give out some betting picks for Nuggets vs. Suns Game 4.
The Nuggets have looked like the more well-rounded team all series, but the Suns have stayed relevant thanks to elite shot-making from Booker and Durant. The Nuggets two-man game with Nikola Jokic and Jamal Murray provided strong offensive output in the Nuggets two wins. Murray went off for 34 points in Game 1 and Jokic scored 39 in Game 2.
Defense was the area Denver struggled most this season, but against the Phoenix offense — as elite as it is — Jokic’s defensive deficiencies can be hidden. The Suns are a heavy midrange team, which frees up weak-side defenders to sag off their man and help protect the paint if Jokic loses a step on drive.
Aaron Gordon has also been a revelation defensively on Durant and can credibly guard Booker (as much as anyone truly can) if he gets switched onto him. As we’ve seen throughout the series, Denver has bodies to throw at Phoenix. Bruce Brown is small, but quick and can credibly guard bigger players. I’ll look to his steals + blocks line at a plus-money price.
Booker put on a clinic in Game 3, scoring 47 points on just 25 field-goal attempts and two free throws — a truly incredible display of midrange efficiency. His playmaking has taken a step up with Durant on the team, but the books have caught on, setting his assists line at 8.5 at most places. Several of my Action Network colleagues have been betting on his Points + Assists over, which sits at 39.5 at most books. He’s cleared that in five of eight playoff games and that could still be a strong look.
Durant also finished Friday’s game with an impressive 39 points, although he took a quarter to get going (he was just 1-7 from the field in the first). The rest of the Suns offense was virtually non-existent, going just 16-39 (41%) from the field and 3-15 (20%) from beyond the arc.
That means the onus falls entirely on Booker and Durant, unless Suns head coach Monty Williams can figure out a way to get DeAndre Ayton to produce.
The Suns are still figuring out the rotations beyond their top four guys, so any role player props could be a big risk. I do like some Booker props, specifically his 3-point line, which is set at 2.5 at most books. He only took one 3-pointer in Game 1, but the Suns have made a concerted effort to shoot more from deep since. Booker has attempted eight in each of the past two games and made four and five in Games 2 and 3. I’ll take the over 2.5 for a half-unit and over 3.5 (+190) to win a half-unit.
As mentioned earlier, I’ll take Brown steals + blocks at +135 over at DraftKings, but I’ll bet to win a half unit.
One thing that struck me in the games thus far is the home team has won every second quarter. They’ve also won every game this series and I think that’s depth-related. Jokic tends to take much of the second quarter off, and if the Suns are able to capitalize on those non-Jokic minutes, they’ll find success — though that’s dependent on Malone’s bench rotation. I won’t bet the trend yet, but it’s something I’m monitoring for Game 5 if it continues Sunday.
For my full-unit play, I’ll take the Nuggets moneyline at +120. Action Network’s Matt Moore pointed out a key stat from Game 3 that I think is telling for the series moving forward, and describes the differences in these teams:
Teams that had
– more points in the paint
– more offensive rebounds
– more made 3's
– more free throws attempted
were 108-13 (89%) until last night when Phoenix won.
Oddly enough, teams this postseason are 3-2 when that happens. Both losses?
To the Suns.
— Hardwood Paroxysm (@HPbasketball) May 6, 2023
That tells me the Suns have to do everything right as they’re losing in the primary winning categories. The Suns’ Game 3 win took an ungodly efficient 47-point game from Booker, and while Durant certainly could have had a better Game 3, he and Booker are top three in minutes played during the playoffs. I don’t see the Suns getting anything from the rest of their roster and sustaining that top-level play with the workload Booker and Durant are carrying will only get tougher as the series progresses.
Now, that may come later in the series, so if you disagree and like the Suns in Game 4, I recommend a same-game parlay with Phoenix -2.5, Durant over 29.5 points and Booker over 31.5 points. If Phoenix is going to win again, it’ll need another massive scoring output from Durant and Booker and that SGP pays out +475.