When you sign-up through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission. Learn more >
The Denver Nuggets (13-6) will take on the Phoenix Suns (11-7) in the desert on Friday night in a rematch of last year’s second-round matchup in the Western Conference Playoffs.
The Nuggets recently welcomed back Jamal Murray from a hamstring injury and are 7-1 on the year with him in the lineup. The Suns were riding a seven-game win streak until they were defeated by the Toronto Raptors on Wednesday, 112-105.
As we continue, we will discuss the betting odds and our favorite picks for the Nuggets vs. Suns showdown.
Denver is a 2.5-point favorite on the road despite being 4-6 outside of their home arena. Phoenix is 4-4 and won three straight games at home.
|Over 225.5 (-110)
|Under 225.5 (-110)
🔥 Claimed by 101 people this week!
Promo Code "WSNMGM"
Boosted parlays with enhanced odds
Impressive range of bets
Bet $5, Get $150 in Bonus Bets
21+ | T&Cs apply. *Bonus Bets Expire in 7 Days. One New Customer Offer Only. Add’l terms.
The Nuggets dominated their way to the championship last year. The Suns were the only team to even take them to six games in a series, and they appeared to be just as strong a team in the early days of the new campaign.
Since then, however, Denver has encountered a few problems. Murray’s injury exposed their lack of creativity and secondary creation whenever Jokic didn’t have the ball or wasn’t in the game. Their reshaped bench rotation, now full of young and inexperienced players, also had problems executing the offense despite several players turning in impressive outings.
The Nuggets Friday on a three-game win streak. Their last win came against the Houston Rockets, in which Jokic and Michael Porter Jr. combined for 62 points, 20 rebounds, and 20 assists. Murray, in his first game back, put up 16 points on 4-14 shooting, six rebounds, and six assists.
The Nuggets are seventh in net rating but have gotten significantly better on defense since last season. However, they’re only 16th in the net on the road and score 14.5 fewer points per game than they do at home.
Jokic averaged 34.5 points, 13.2 rebounds, and 10.3 assists in the six-game playoff series in April. Although nobody can truly guard him, the Suns need to do a better job to give themselves a fighting chance.
Phoenix was rough around the edges to start the year but began to take shape during its recent wins streak. Although they only beat two quality opponents (the Minnesota Timberwolves and the New York Knicks) during that run, the vision and ethos of the team were clear.
Frank Vogel tends to put Kevin Durant and Devin Booker one pass away from one another. That means that opponents can’t double or over-help since the other is right there waiting to attack a close-out or defensive rotation, but at the same time, the ball-handler can work their magic in isolation if the defense doesn’t shade in their direction.
While that is going on, the wings are constantly crashing the glass and have the team ranked ninth in rebound rate. They’re also just about average on defense, which is more than enough for a team with this level of offensive firepower.
The Suns don’t have as much home-away variance as the Nuggets do. Ironically, they’re eighth in overall net rating but only 12th at home, even though their raw home net rating is better than their overall rating. That speaks to their level of consistency and is an admirable quality.
Bradley Beal is out continuing to rehab a back injury. Jamal Murray and Devin Booker are both questionable with ankle issues but both played in their team’s most recent games.
Aaron Gordon is also questionable with a heel issue. He has not played in a week.
The Suns don’t have anyone to match up with Jokic. Jusuf Nurkic has enough raw mass to body him up and make him work on the boards, but he’s not a known defender and also gets into foul trouble against physical bigs that match his size.
This will be the first time these teams have met this season. Although Denver dominated them in the playoff series as a whole, Phoenix won consecutive home games and had the series tied 2-2 before falling in six games.
There’s a real possibility these teams meet in the upcoming conference finals. Our eyes will be drawn to how the Nuggets diagnose the presence of Booker and Durant without giving too much space to the Suns’ plethora of three-point shooters that fill the rest of the court. We also want to see if the Suns can rebound and run in transition to beat the Nuggets at their own game of creating easy looks.
Although we still think Denver is the better long-term prospect, we’ll take the Suns at +2.5 and to win outright. They’re more consistent across venues and have a unique style that’s hard to account for.
Check the injury report as tip-off approaches, because Booker missing the game would change our pick.
Nuggets vs. Suns pick: Suns +2.5 (-110) at BetMGM
Grant is a sports and sports betting journalist who prides himself on delivering breaking news and insightful analyses of the industry. Grant graduated from Virginia Tech in 2021 and is feverishly pursuing his ambitions in the sports betting field.
In his free time, Grant can be found passionately watching sports, doing a workout, or searching for adventure with his friends.More info on Grant Mitchell
© Rebel Penguin ApS 2024 (a subsidiary of Gaming Innovation Group Inc.)
We support responsible gambling. 21+ Only. Gambling problem? Call 1-800-Gambler.
WSN.com is run by iGaming Cloud Inc (a Gaming Innovation Group Subsidiary) and is registered with the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement (DGE) under affiliate vendor ID 89744, with the Indiana Gaming Commission (IGC) under certificate of registration number SWR-000148, approved by the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board as a gaming service provider, under certificate registration number 117656-1, possesses a Vendor Minor sports betting license from the Colorado Limited Gaming Control Commission (account number 94414163), granted a vendor registration number VR007603-20-001 by the Michigan Gaming Control Board, an interim Sports Wagering Supplier license, under license number SWS 066, issued by the West Virginia Lottery Commission, a sports betting vendor registration, under registration number #100400, issued by the Director of Gaming Licensing and Investigations of the Virginia Lottery to operate in the State of Virginia, and a Vendor Registration issued by the Sports Wagering Committee of the Tennessee Education Lottery Corporation.
Advertising disclosure: WSN contains links to online retailers on its website. When people click on our affiliate links and make purchases, WSN earns a commission from our partners, including ESPN and various sportsbooks.