NBA Basketball Matchup: Denver Nuggets vs. Phoenix Suns
5:30 PM EST
NBA Gambling Odds from Bookmaker
NBA Betting Favorite: Suns -4
No game will have bigger playoff implications than the Nuggets and Suns matchup Saturday evening. This is a bit of a strange mid-afternoon tipoff time. Denver currently sits in the seventh spot in the Western Conference standings, while Phoenix is in the eighth spot.
The Suns are tied with the Jazz for the final spot, but they do hold the tiebreaker in that matchup. This one should definitely have a playoff atmosphere!
Denver lost last time out against the Clippers. The Nuggets have had a couple days to rest and get ready for this one. Danilo Gallinari was the team’s leading scorer earlier this year, but he has gone through a major slump of late. Point Guard Ty Lawson is being more aggressive on the offensive end of late. He has scored 20 points or more in seven of the team’s last ten games.
Denver leads the NBA in scoring at 103.5 points per game. They have plenty of guys who can score, but there is no single leader in the clutch.
On the defensive end, the Nuggets give up 101.6 points per game.
Phoenix appeared to be a team that would be out of playoff contention early this year after a poor start, but the Suns have put it together as the season has gone along.
Marcin Gortat is in the middle of a major breakout season. Gortat is averaging 15.7 points and 9.9 rebounds per game. Steve Nash isn’t shooting quite as much this year, but he is shooting better than 53% from the floor. Phoenix has six players that average at least 10.4 points per game, so they have plenty of offensive firepower.
Grant Hill is expected to return to the lineup for this game after missing the past two games with a knee injury.
Phoenix is 6-0 ATS in their last 6 games as a home favorite. Denver is 27-9 ATS in their last 36 games as a road underdog. I think Phoenix needs this game more, and I like the intensity they are playing with right now.
Prediction: Phoenix 109 Denver 103