NBA Odds, Best Bets Today: Our Expert Picks for Suns vs. Nuggets Game 1 April 29

NBA Odds, Best Bets Today: Our Expert Picks for Suns vs. Nuggets Game 1 April 29 article feature image
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Kate Frese/NBAE via Getty Images. Pictured: Devin Booker #1 of the Phoenix Suns warms up during Round 1 of the 2023 NBA Playoffs.

  • Saturday's features just one NBA Playoff game: a Round 2 matchup between the Suns and Nuggets.
  • Action Network's NBA crew has six best bets today, including player props, spread bets and more.
  • Read on for their expert picks for Suns vs. Nuggets Game 1.

We're on to Round 2 … mostly.

The second round of the NBA Playoffs begins Saturday despite some unfinished business in the Western Conference between the Kings and Warriors. Tonight's matchup between the Suns and Nuggets (8:30 p.m. ET on TNT) is one of the most anticipated of the playoffs with the No. 1 seed in the West facing the team with the best odds to win the conference.

Action Network's NBA crew is going heavy on Saturday's primetime matchup with six best bets today, including team totals, spread picks, player props and more. Read on for their expert picks and predictions for tonight's Game 1.

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Phoenix Suns vs. Denver Nuggets

Pick
Nuggets Over 114.5 Points
Book
DraftKings
Tipoff
8:30 p.m. ET
TV
TNT

Chris Baker: The Nuggets shot the ball poorly across their last two games, but we must give Minnesota’s defense major props. The Timberwolves, specifically Rudy Gobert and Anthony Edwards, put up a valiant defensive effort despite the outcome of that series.

I highlight the Timberwolves defense in order to contrast it with the defense of this Phoenix Suns team. I have very little respect for this Suns defense as they allowed a Clippers offense without Kawhi Leonard to post offensive ratings north of 120.0 in three of their four games last series.

Overall, the Clippers finished the first round with an average offensive rating of 117.6, good for 5th amongst the NBA playoff teams. Keep in mind, this Clippers offense ranked 22nd despite playing the second-easiest schedule of opposing defenses this regular season.

The fact that a Russell Westbrook led-offense posted that level of offensive efficiency should be a massive red-flag that this Suns defense is potentially awful. I couldn’t think of a bigger efficiency jump for a defense than going from having to defend a Westbrook-centric offense to a Nikola Jokic-led offense. This is a massive step-up in difficulty and it also a massive change stylistically.

The Clippers looked to push the pace at every opportunity, as they made a concerted effort to avoid playing in the halfcourt on offense. The Clippers rarely play through the post and have much less off-ball movement than the Nuggets.

I expect the Suns’ defense to struggle with rotations as this team still hasn’t played many games together and they must also get used to defending a historically unique player like Jokic. The Suns will also be traveling into altitude after allocating 40-plus minutes a game to most of their core starters. I expect them to be a step slow and this is not an offense you can afford to be a step slow against.

Denver has cleared this number rather easily in both of the regular season matchups against the Suns. Most recently, the Nuggets bench unit was able to post 115 against the Suns starters back on April 6. I expect the Nuggets starters to expose an overrated Suns defense.


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Phoenix Suns vs. Denver Nuggets

Pick
Nuggets -2.5
Book
BetMGM

Brandon Anderson: Let's keep this easy. I like the Nuggets in the series, I like them better at home, and I think they're the better team. That makes this a pretty easy and straightforward pick.

I wrote a full preview for this series, so I'll let you read the details there. In short, I think you beat the Suns not with defense but with superior offense.

Jokic is the best player on the court, and the Nuggets offense is the best in the world when everything is purring. Michael Porter Jr. looks like a real X factor, and Jamal Murray finally looks healthy again and is playing at an All-Star level. Denver is somehow the deeper team, and the Nuggets have been elite at home.

I'm trusting the better team at home with a spread under a bucket to just take care of business. Frankly, this line is disrespectful for the No. 1 seed at home in Game 1.


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Phoenix Suns vs. Denver Nuggets

Pick
Nikola Jokic o8.5 AST (-140)
Book
DraftKings

Bryan Fonseca: We haven't seen Nikola Jokic against this version of the Phoenix Suns with Kevin Durant .

In two games against the Suns this year, though, he got 21-18-9 and 41-15-15 — going over 8.5 assists both times. He hit this in three of the last four games during the first-round series against the Minnesota Timberwolves, once nine exactly, and 12 on two occasions.

He has also gotten more than halfway there by halftime in three games against the Wolves, getting six first half assists last timeout and five after two quarters in Games 3 and 1.

He may opt to see the floor and look to facilitate early, because in order to win this series, Jamal Murray and Michael Porter Jr. have to get going — at least one of them on a regular basis to keep up with Phoenix's obvious firepower with Durant and Booker — so expect Jokić to set the table early and continue doing so throughout the game.

Murray and Porter each shot above 42% from 3 in their last series, and Denver will be looking to facilitate similar looks against a Suns team in altitude who only played six guys above 12 minutes per game last series.

If you really think Jokic will get another dime, you could find Jokic for 10+ assists at +110 across multiple books.


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Phoenix Suns vs. Denver Nuggets

Pick
Nuggets -2.5
Book
FanDuel

Austin Wang: I wrote about this matchup in Saturday's Suns-Nuggets betting guide (you can read it here), but I think the Nuggets' excellence at home will be too much for the Suns. The Suns are still trying to figure things out and develop chemistry, and fortunately had an easy first round matchup to skate by. However, the Nuggets are a step up in class, and I think the Suns defense will be in for a shock in Game 1. I make this line -4 in favor of the Nuggets and I would play them up to -3.

In that same vein, I find it terribly hard to believe that the Nuggets are underdogs in this series. With the excessive minutes for the Suns' stars, lack of chemistry, no home-court advantage and lack of depth, I find plenty of value in the Nuggets to win the series at plus-money.

Pick: Nuggets -2.5 — Up to -3



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Phoenix Suns vs. Denver Nuggets

Pick
Over 226
Book
DraftKings

Matt Moore: These two teams are both stacked with offensive weapons and don't have the defensive strengths to counter those combinations.

The Suns don't have the ability to front Nikola Jokic with a smaller defender and have Deandre Ayton play weakside unless they want to exhaust and risk foul trouble for Durant. They no longer have rangy wing defenders after trading Mikal Bridges and Cam Johnson.

The Nuggets struggle with pick-and-roll defense, especially against great shooters in mid-range space who can pass, the specific things the Suns have at all-time levels with Durant and Booker.

These teams can't stop each other.

The Nuggets and Suns both play slow; they both finished bottom 10 in Pace. But the efficiency is going to be through the roof. Overs are going to be good moves in this series until the market adjusts.


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Phoenix Suns vs. Denver Nuggets

Pick
Devin Booker o5.5 AST
Book
FanDuel

Joe Dellera: Devin Booker has thrived in this offense especially since Kevin Durant was acquired. He has averaged 31.8 points, 6.7 assists, and 4.5 rebounds in 13 games alongside Durant.

He has at least 25 points in 11 of those 13 games, but the most notable change has been his uptick in assists. His prop line is set at 5.5 assists and he’s exceeded that in nine of the 13 games with Durant, including three games with 10 assists.

There is some juice on his prop at (-125) and I would not be surprised to see this jump to 6.5 by the end of this series. For reference, he’s exceeded that mark in seven of the 13 games. I’m on his assists in Game 1 and I’ll sprinkle 10+ at (+850).


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