Suns vs. Nuggets Odds, Pick, Prediction: Phoenix Has Value as Road Underdog (March 24)
Barry Gossage/NBAE via Getty Images. Pictured: Devin Booker #1 of the Phoenix Suns.
- The Nuggets are favored on Thursday night against the Suns.
- While Nikola Jokic continues his MVP push, Phoenix might be getting Chris Paul back.
- Jacob McKenna breaks down the game and gives his top pick below.
Editor’s Note: The Phoenix Suns have announced that Chris Paul (thumb) is now probable to play against the Denver Nuggets on Thursday. For real-time updates to these lineups, check out our FantasyLabs NBA news page.
Suns vs. Nuggets Odds
|Time||9 p.m. ET|
|Odds via BetRivers. Get up-to-the-minute NBA odds here.|
Phoenix has followed up their 2021 Finals campaign with yet another great season, entering this matchup with an overall record of 59-14 and the clear No. 1 seed in the Western Conference.
Denver has pieced together a nice season as well, especially without two of their franchise stars in Jamal Murray and Michael Porter Jr. The Nuggets currently sit in sixth in the Western Conference with a record of 43-30.
Phoenix has appeared to have already cemented itself as the top seed in the West, but Denver still has a lot to fight for as they are right on the border of the play-in tournament.
Will that be enough motivation for the Nuggets to take down the top dog in the West, or will we see Phoenix continue their dominance even on the second night of a back-to-back?
Suns Are Simply the Best
Despite being without Chris Paul and Cam Johnson for the past several weeks, Phoenix has strung together a six-game win streak that continued on Wednesday with a 125-116 win over the Minnesota Timberwolves.
The Suns have been impressive all season, but this recent six-game win streak has really shown how good this team can be, even without some of their key rotation players on the floor.
In their last six, the Suns have posted an incredible Offensive Rating of 128.9, which as many could probably guess leads the NBA in that stretch. They are simply dominating their opponent in every aspect of the game, shooting 54.3% from the floor, 42% from beyond the arc, and winning by an average margin of 16.8 points.
They’ve been arguably just as good on the defensive end of the floor as well during the win streak, posting the fifth-best Defensive Rating at 111.5.
Even without Paul and Johnson, we’ve seen incredible contributions come from Devin Booker, Deandre Ayton, Mikal Bridges, Cameron Payne, and Landry Shamet off the bench. Everyone on this roster can play both on both ends of the floor, and that should continue to cause problems for opponents.
Nuggets Looking For Balance on Both Ends
Denver got back on track with a win against the Los Angeles Clippers on Tuesday, a win that was in large part because of its offensive attack.
Despite having just three wins in their most recent seven games, Denver has been at the top of its game in that stretch of time. In that span, they Nuggets have posted the ninth-best Offensive Rating in the NBA at 117.7, a decent increase from their overall season rating of 113.1.
The Nuggets have also averaged 115 points per game while shooting 49.3% from the floor overall and 37.1% from behind the arc in their last seven. This is an offense that is playing at the top of their game, and they are going to need to do that once again to compete with Phoenix.
Their recent problems lie on the defensive end of the floor, an area that the Nuggets simply have not been able to clean up. Denver has allowed their opponent to shoot 48% from the floor in their last 10 games, all while having the seventh-worst Defensive Rating at 117.6 during that span.
As previously mentioned, this is the second game in two nights for Phoenix, which is a factor to consider. But, even though they have the No. 1 seed in the West close to locked up, it does not appear Phoenix will rest anyone and it is rumored we could see Paul’s return to the floor after missing time due to injury.
That gives the Suns even more depth in the lineup against a struggling defense in Denver, and even with the potential for some fatigue I think Phoenix can keep this one close.
The Suns are 9-3 straight up this season when playing with no rest, and as an away underdog Phoenix is 6-3 against the spread. Getting them as an underdog is a rarity, and I think it is an area for bettors to gain an advantage.
Pick: Suns +4 (-114)