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Two Western Conference teams will face off against each other on Friday as the Denver Nuggets travel to PHX Arena to take on the Phoenix Suns. Denver enters this game with a 7-7 record after beating Oklahoma City at home by 18 points in its last game while Phoenix enters this game with an 8-5 record after beating Houston on the road by six points in its last game. This game will start at 10:00 P.M. EST.
Nuggets Look To Get Over .500
The Denver Nuggets have split their first 14 games and that’s not the start they expected after exploding in the Bubble. On the bright side, Denver did manage to win its last game against Oklahoma City at home by 18 points In that game, Denver’s defense was solid as it only allowed 101 points while forcing the opposition into committing 19 turnovers. Now, Denver will be looking to get over .500 for the first time this season with a road game up next. Luckily, the Nuggets have won three of their first five road games as they have looked surprisingly better in opposing arenas than in their own arena.
Leading the Nuggets offensively is star center Nikola Jokic who is averaging a team-high 25.1 points per game along with a team-high 11.4 rebounds per game and a team-high 10.0 assists per game. However, he is also averaging a team-high 4.0 turnovers per game so he will need to take better care of the basketball.
Following the victory against Oklahoma City, Denver coach Michael Malone praised his star center and discussed how Jokic will finish his career as one of the best players ever.
“It’s just like watching a surgeon pick somebody apart. Nikola is a first-ballot Hall of Famer. He is the best center in the world.”
Phoenix’s Defense Continues To Impress
The Phoenix Suns have been playing some good basketball this season as they are currently in possession of a playoff spot in the Western Conference. In addition, Phoenix enters this game on a high note after beating Houston on the road by six points in its last game. In that game, Phoenix’s defense was fantastic as it only allowed 103 points while forcing the opposition into shooting just 42.0% from the floor. However, that stellar defensive performance was not too surprising considering the fact that the Suns are allowing just 106.5 points per game. Now, Phoenix will be looking for another victory against a conference rival with a home game up next.
Leading the Suns offensively is guard Devin Booker who is averaging a team-high 22.2 points per game along with 4.1 assists per game. However, he is also averaging a team-high 4.1 turnovers per game so he will need to make less mistakes in the future.
Leading up to this game, Phoenix point guard Chris Paul discussed how his teammate Deandre Ayton has the potential to be one of the best centers in the entire league.
“Everybody on this team is so hard on him because we know what he’s capable of. To be one of the greats in our league, you just have to have consistency and he’s more than capable of it.”
- Suns are 9-1 ATS in their last 10 home games.
These trends are from Covers.com:
- Nuggets are 1-7 ATS in their last 8 Friday games.
The Bottom Line
What to bet on this game.
Full-Game Side Bet
Phoenix has looked like the more consistent and better basketball team this season so I think that this spread should be a bit higher. Phoenix has a winning record and it has won three of its first four home games this season so I expect the Suns to play well once again at PHX Arena on Friday. At the same time, Denver has a .500 record and it has not played a road game in over a week so I think that the Nuggets will struggle a bit in this spot. As a result, I think that the Suns will win this game by at least three points.
Phoenix Suns -1.5
Full-Game Total Pick
Phoenix has been a great team for betting unders this season due to its elite defense and its average at best offense so I think that this total is a bit too high. Phoenix is allowing just 106.5 points per game while averaging just 109.8 points per game so I think that this game should land somewhere in the low-210s. Plus, Phoenix ranks tied for 28th in pace while Denver ranks 25th in pace so I expect to see a ton of halfcourt possessions which will eat up precious seconds on the shot clock. This game should end somewhere in the realm of 109-106 so I think that there is some value with the under.
Half-Time Side Pick
Phoenix gets to play in its first home game since January 6th so I think that the Suns will be very motivated to get off to a fast start within the first half of this game. The Suns have won three of their first four home games and they have been playing some fantastic defense all season long so I think that Denver will struggle early on in this game. Plus, Denver ranks just 24th in defensive efficiency so I expect the Nuggets to continue struggling defensively as Paul and Ayton should have a field day in the Pick and Roll. As a result, I think that there is some value with the home team.
Phoenix Suns 1H