Suns vs. Nuggets Odds
|Time||10 p.m. ET|
|Odds via FanDuel. Get up-to-the-minute NBA odds here.|
As predicted in my Game 1 preview, the Denver Nuggets won and covered easily, getting off to a 1-0 start at hime against the Phoenix Suns. In that article, I also suggested you take Nuggets to win the series at +116, which has now moved up to -170.
Jamal Murray was the ex-factor in Game 1, scoring 34 points off 13-for-24 shooting from the field and knocked down six 3-pointers. Aaron Gordon gets an honorable mention as well, as he was a perfect 6-for-6 from the field in the first half for 16 points and helped the Nuggets outscore the Suns 37-19 in that second quarter.
Game 2 is on Monday evening. The Nuggets are 4.5-point favorites and the total opened up higher at 230.5, but has been since bet back down to 227.
Here’s a look at the odds, as well as a betting pick and prediction for Nuggets vs. Suns Game 2.
One of the observations I made ahead of the series was that the Suns’ stars are playing an incredible amount of minutes. Both Devin Booker and Kevin Durant exceeded the 40-minutes mark in all five games in the first round and 37-year old Chris Paul wasn’t that far behind. That likely isn’t sustainable for three injury-prone players. In Game 1, their minutes were lower due to the team getting blown out.
The poor second quarter in Game 1 highlighted the lack depth on Phoenix’s roster, and it is obvious head coach Monty Williams doesn’t have much trust in the bench. Cameron Payne, Terrence Ross and T.J. Warren are not getting any playing time, while Landry Shamet continues to give the Suns unproductive minutes.
There were moments where the Suns offense looked incredibly efficient, especially Durant. However, the 3-point discrepancy was too hard to overcome. The Suns were outscored 48-21 from behind the arc, as they only went 7-for-23 from the 3-point line while the Nuggets went 16-for-37. Turnovers were an issue as well with the Suns coughing it up 16 times.
The Suns were not a strong road team this season. Even filtering for games that Booker and Paul both played, they are a mediocre 11-10 straight up and 10-10-1 ATS on the road, per the Sports Data Query Language at Gimme the Dog.
The Nuggets have been dominant at home. After Saturday’s win, the Nuggets are 38-7 straight up and 28-16-1 ATS at home this season.
Jokic presents a huge matchup problem for Ayton and the Suns. Not only does he present a mismatch on offense, but he also dominated the boards. Ayton appeared to be passive on several possessions, allowing Jokic to grab eight offensive rebounds.
If Murray and Gordon continue to play the way they did in Game 1, the Nuggets should roll to another victory. Repeat shooting performances are unlikely, and I am counting on some regression in Game 2. The Nuggets will have a hard time containing Booker and Durant. Therefore, they will have to fight fire with fire and continue to count on their dynamic offense to put pressure on the middling Suns defense.
The Nuggets are playing with something to prove. I think the Nuggets’ excellence at home will be too much for the Suns, but I don’t see much value in the full game spread of -4.5.
I imagine this game will be a lot tighter down the stretch with the Suns making some adjustments on their end. Therefore, I have a different angle. The Suns are 0-6 ATS in the first half, while the Nuggets are 5-1 ATS in the first half. I’m backing the Nuggets to cover the first half spread of -2.5.