The Nuggets host the Suns for Game 1 of the Western Conference second-round. The game is expected to tip-off at 08:30 PM ET, Saturday, April 29th, 2023.
Given the Nuggets recent success at home, it’s no surprise they’re a generous 3 point favorite, with many expecting the home advantage to prove too much for the Suns.
The highly-anticipated matchup between Kevin Durant and Nikola Jokic has finally come to fruition in the NBA playoffs. The Suns, led by Durant, will face off against the Nuggets, led by Jokic, for Game 1 in what many are calling the de facto Western Conference finals. Both teams are still searching for their first championship and will start their conference semifinal series in Denver on Saturday night.
Despite the Suns being favored to win the series, the Nuggets are confident in their chances. They are coming off a first-round win against the Minnesota Timberwolves, where Jokic and Jamal Murray led the way with impressive performances. Murray, who missed last year’s playoffs due to injury, has returned to form and looks like a significant contributor to Denver’s success.
While the Suns have Durant and Devin Booker, who both dominated in their first-round series against the Los Angeles Clippers, the Nuggets are hoping their two-man punch of Jokic and Murray will lead them to victory.
Phoenix, who wrapped up their series against the Clippers on Tuesday, flew to Colorado early to adjust to the altitude change and prepare for the first two games on the road.
Head coach Monty Williams is happy with the team’s decision to arrive early, as it provides an opportunity for a mini training camp to go over necessary details and build camaraderie. With both teams looking to make history and reach the NBA Finals, the stage is set for an exciting series.
ODDS AND PREDICTIONS
The Suns have relied heavily on their starters, particularly Booker and Durant, who lead the league in playoff minutes. However, this strategy may not be sustainable against a deep and physical opponent like the Nuggets in a seven-game series.
Denver boasts a deeper roster and a range of defenders with size to challenge the likes of Durant and Booker. Additionally, the teams’ home and away records suggest that Denver may have an advantage in Game 1, as they excelled with a 34-7 record on their home floor this season while Phoenix struggled on the road with only a 17-24 record as the away team.
These teams faced off four times during the regular season, with the home team winning every matchup. With Jokic and Murray playing well, Denver is expected to step up in Game 1 and secure a victory to start the series.
As such, it is recommended to take Denver to win and cover the spread. But remember, it’s important to keep in mind that sports betting always involves a degree of risk, and there’s no guarantee that the experience of the new Suns roster won’t get the best of the Nuggets down the stretch. As always, it’s essential to do your research and make an informed decision based on the available data.
Spread: Nuggets -3.0
Moneyline: Nuggets -146, Suns +124
Pick: Nuggets -3.0
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