Nuggets vs. Suns Game 6: Denver Has Value as the Underdog

Action Network contributor Chris Baker previews how to bet Nuggets vs. Suns, including updated odds, picks and predictions for Thursday's NBA Playoff game.

Nuggets vs. Suns Odds

Nuggets Odds +3
Suns Odds -3
Over/Under 225.5
Time 10 p.m. ET
Odds via FanDuel. Get up-to-the-minute NBA odds here.

The Denver Nuggets travel back to Phoenix hoping to close out their series against Suns after a dominant home victory in Game 5.

Despite their impressive win, the Nuggets are underdogs on the road against the dynamic duo of Kevin Durant and Devin Booker, who have each had spectacular offensive performances in their two home games this series. Both Booker and Durant will need to put together historic performances to extend the series.

Let’s break down the odds and matchup for Game 6 in the Nuggets vs Suns preview.

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Denver Nuggets

The Nuggets were humming on offense in Game 5 and finished with a 125.0 Offensive Rating behind an elite 58.6% Effective Field Goal Percentage, and a terrific 9.8% Turnover Rate. This is the offense we have grown accustomed to seeing all season and it’s apparent the Suns have no substantive answers for Nikola Jokic. The two-time MVP had 29 points, 13 rebounds, and 12 assists on 60% shooting from the field in Game 5.

The Nuggets are consistently generating great looks when they play through Jokic. As long as their role players knock down open shots, they appear to be unstoppable on offense. Michael Porter Jr. looked perfectly comfortable hitting his looks as he shot 7-of-11 from the field and 5-of-8 from deep after struggling mightily on the road in Games 3 and 4.

Porter Jr., Jamal Murray, and Aaron Gordon taking some pressure off of Jokic will continue to be the key for this Nuggets offense Thursday night. Jokic is a generational offensive player, but he still needs his teammates to make shots if the Nuggets want to advance to the Western Conference finals.

Defensively, the Nuggets did a much better job of forcing the Suns back into tough mid-range 2-pointers after going away from that a little bit in Game 4. The Suns posted a 59% Rim Rate and 3-Point Rate in Game 4, but that dropped to just 49% in Game 5. The Nuggets have to continue this process of limiting rim-looks and contesting the 2s to their best of their ability.

If Booker and Durant shoot unprecedented rates, the Nuggets are going to have to live with it as the Suns have finally started putting spacers on the floor around them. Expect the Nuggets to funnel Booker and Durant into help as they try and make their mid-range jump shots as difficult as possible.

Phoenix Suns

The Nuggets have been corralling the ball when Durant and Booker are in isolation or pick-and-roll and the Suns have countered by putting legitimate spacers in the corners in these situations. Having Landry Shamet, Terrence Ross, or TJ Warren in the corner compared to Josh Okogie or Torrey Craig is a world of difference in terms of shooting gravity.

We saw this counter work effectively in Game 4 when Shamet erupted for 19 points on 5-of-8 shooting from deep. In Game 5, the Suns’ shooters came back down to earth as they shot just 37.5% on 3s after shooting 44.8% in Game 4. The Suns will need to continue to surround Durant and Booker with offensive talent in order to create space for them to operate.

I expect the Suns to allocate much more minutes to Jock Landale, Warren, Ross, and Shamet as they really start to get desperate in this must win situation. Landale in particular is a player I would highlight as he has had a much higher Net-Rating than Deandre Ayton all series long. His player prop overs could be an interesting look as they could be priced at a discount after Landale playing just 13 minutes in Game 5.

Nuggets-Suns Pick

I would have to pick the Nuggets on the moneyline here as they have been a consistently better team in all four factors for this entire series. Outside of two historic shooting performances from Devin Booker, the Nuggets have consistently gotten cleaner looks and their offense has many more weapons to go to than the Suns.

Nikola Jokic has established himself as the best player in the world and in Game 5 he looked like he was completely unwilling to lose from the jump. When Jokic plays with that level of assertiveness the Nuggets are nearly unbeatable in my opinion and I expect that same level of urgency from him tonight.

The Nuggets have proven to be the fundamentally better team through five games. I like the value on them to close it out on the road as the underdogs and I’d keep an eye on the Action Network NBA odds page as this price varies from book to book.

Pick: Nuggets Moneyline (+128)