Nuggets vs. Suns Odds, Pick, Prediction | NBA Betting Preview (March 31)
Pictured: Devin Booker. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
Nuggets vs. Suns Odds
|Time||10:30 p.m. ET|
The two best teams in the West meet in a rematch of their 2021 playoff series (“Suns in 4!”), but things aren’t likely to look like such a blockbuster. Still, there’s an opportunity to find an edge in this game. Let’s bet Suns vs. Nuggets.
Nikola Jokic missed Thursday night’s game vs. the New Orleans Pelicans with “calf tightness.” This is a back-to-back spot for the Nuggets, and their magic number for the West’s 1-seed is three. They can afford to take their foot off the gas and get healthy, and they intend to.
After the game, Michael Malone said the players he was most concerned about on the back-to-back were Jokic, who is still dealing with that calf, and Jamal Murray, who played 37 minutes Thursday and is in his first season back from knee surgery.
It was clear from the Nuggets locker room Thursday night that several starters are not even making the trip to Phoenix as Denver will be back home Sunday against the Warriors.
This is going to be Zombie Nuggets.
Denver has one of the worst benches in the league, and even its other starters struggle without Jokic.
On top of everything else, Malone said Kentavious Caldwell-Pope was feeling sick enough to where he nearly did not play Thursday. Malone actually said he was “surprised” Caldwell-Pope played. Rookie Peyton Watson was questionable with a non-COVID illness and Bruce Brown said he was “tired for some reason” after the game.
It sure looks like the Nuggets have a bug going around.
The Suns haven’t listed anyone on the injury report as of yet.
The Suns are undefeated with Kevin Durant in the lineup, both straight up and against the spread. The total is 2-2 in those games. This is Durant’s fifth game with Phoenix after being traded a month and a half ago.
The Suns aren’t as deep, but are balanced with Durant on the floor. Notably, Devin Booker assists have gone over in three of four games with Durant.
This is a letdown spot for the Suns, but they need every win to make sure they get the 4th seed and home court in the first round. Plus, they need to establish chemistry with Durant.
The Nuggets are 3-6 straight up and 4-5 ATS without Jokic. They are effectively punting this game and the Suns still aren’t double-digit favorites. This is likely good to whatever number you like. The Nuggets team total under is also a play as their offense falls off a cliff without Jokic, and the Suns won’t give them a lot of turnovers.
Finally, the over on Booker’s assists is also a good play.
If you’re looking for a Nuggets play, it’s going to be Brown over on points, rebounds, and assists, and Christian Braun over on points.
Pick: Suns -9.5, Nuggets Team Total Under, Devin Booker Assists Over
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