The first Western Conference semifinal series to start in the 2021 NBA playoffs features the third-seeded Denver Nuggets and likely regular-season MVP Nikola Jokic visiting the No. 2 Phoenix Suns, who are favored for Monday’s opener on the NBA odds.
How to Bet Nuggets at Suns NBA Odds & TV Info
- When: Monday, 10 PM ET
- Where: PHX Arena
- TV: TNT
- Stream: TNT app
- NBA Odds: Suns -4.5 (total 219.5)
Why Bet on Denver? | NBA Betting Odds
The Nuggets were 2-1 vs. the Suns in the regular season. The teams haven’t played since Jan. 23, a 120-112 double OT Denver road victory. Nikola Jokic scored 29 points and grabbed 22 rebounds while Jamal Murray added 26 points. He hit an off-balance 3-pointer at the end of regulation to force OT. Murray has since been lost to a season-ending injury.
Guards Will Barton (hamstring) and PJ Dozier (adductor) both participated in shooting warmups before Game 6 in the first round against Portland and both are trending toward a possible return for Denver. They combined to 20.4 points during the regular season but missed the entire first round.
“PJ and Will, right now, were able to go through parts of practice today,” coach Michael Malone told reporters Saturday. “Will has been doing that. That was a first for PJ. So, there is definitely hope and optimism that they will be available at some point during the series. … I’m not ruling out Will Barton for Game 1. We’ll have to see how the next 48 hours go. But there is a chance that he could play, and maybe, there is a chance that PJ Dozier at some point in this series will be available as well.”
Denver advanced with a 126-115 win in Portland last Thursday in Game 6. The Nuggets went on a 20-6 run between the end of the third quarter and the beginning of the fourth quarter to take a 102-101 lead – the team’s first lead since the first quarter. The Nuggets would outscore the Blazers by a stunning 28-14 in the final 12 minutes to book their ticket to the next round.
Expected regular-season MVP Nikola Jokic was brilliant once again in sparking a 14-point comeback in the second half with 20 of his 36 points coming in the third quarter. Jokic became the only Nuggets player with five 30-point games in a playoff series.
Michael Porter Jr. finished with 26 points, five rebounds and four assists. He had 12 of the team’s first 15 points (all on triples), and his 22 points in the first quarter were the most in a first quarter in the playoffs in the last 25 years. All six of his threes were made in that first quarter as well, which tied him for the most in any quarter in NBA postseason history.
Monte Morris continued his spectacular playoffs with 22 points, four rebounds, nine assists, three steals and three triples in 32 minutes off the bench, and is rapidly becoming a key component to Denver’s success. The point guard averaged 15.3 points per game during the first-round series.
Why Bet on Phoenix? | NBA Betting OddsOne thing to keep in mind from the regular-season series vs. Denver was the Dario Saric, a key member of Phoenix’s second unit, missed all three games of the season series, while former Nugget Torrey Craig was still a member of the Milwaukee Bucks back in January. Craig averaged 10.5 minutes per game in the first round and could be asked to provide wing defense off the bench against Michael Porter Jr. and the Nuggets.
Deandre Ayton had plenty of success against the Nuggets in the regular season, averaging 22 points and 12.3 rebounds per game on 70 percent shooting from the field. When Nikola Jokić was his primary defender, the 22-year-old shot 13-of-22 (59.1 percent), which is slightly lower than his overall regular-season field-goal percentage of 62.6 percent.
The Suns advanced by handing LeBron James his first-ever first-round playoff loss, finishing off the Lakers 113-110 in Game 6 last Thursday. Devin Booker finished with a season-high 47 points on 15-of-22 shooting to go with 11 rebounds. Booker hit a career-high eight three-pointers. Booker outscored the Lakers himself 22-14 in the first quarter.
Chris Paul had eight points and 12 assists in 29 minutes. Paul played much of the series while nursing a shoulder injury, but he still managed to average 9.2 points, 7.7 assists and 3.5 boards overall. Paul intends to decline his $44.4 million player option for the 2021-22 season but almost surely will re-sign a longer deal with Phoenix.
Jae Crowder had 18 points in the clincher, all on three-pointers, and eight rebounds. Crowder also pulled down his most rebounds of the series before he was ejected late in the fourth quarter. Over the course of the series, he averaged 11.5 points, 4.7 boards, 1.2 steals and 2.3 three-pointers per game.
Deandre Ayton was quiet in Game 6 but a lot of that was the game was a blowout. He averaged 15.8 points and 10.7 rebounds per game in the series. His efficiency skyrocketed as well, as he shot 79.6 percent from the field opposed to his 62.6 percent mark from the regular season.
- Nuggets are 19-7 ATS in their last 26 Monday games.
- Nuggets are 5-2 ATS in their last 7 games after scoring more than 125 points in their previous game.
- Nuggets are 12-5-1 ATS in their last 18 playoff games as an underdog.
- Suns are 6-2 ATS in their last 8 Monday games.
- Nuggets are 14-6 ATS in the last 20 meetings.
- Over is 5-1 in the last 6 meetings.
- Suns 114, Nuggets 110
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