Phoenix Suns vs Denver Nuggets: Prediction, Starting Lineups, Odds (5/1/23)

The Phoenix Suns face the Denver Nuggets in Game 2 of the Western Conference Playoffs. The Nuggets are coming off a blowout win against the Suns in Game 1. My prediction is that the Suns cover the 4-point spread against the Nuggets on the road. The Nuggets shot insanely well in Game 1 from three-point range, and that should regress a bit, while the Suns should play much better on defense too. Let’s take a look at the odds and make some picks and predictions for this game!

Phoenix Suns vs. Denver Nuggets Prediction

The Pick: Phoenix Suns +4

The Phoenix Suns got punched in the mouth in Game 1 against the Nuggets, where they lost by 18 points on the road, but this game should be much different and a lot closer than Game 1 ended up being.

Devin Booker is the heart and soul of the Phoenix Suns, especially in these playoffs. Booker is tied with Jimmy Butler in these playoffs for first in scoring. He averages 35.5 PPG through these playoffs and has been nothing short of dominant. Kevin Durant averages 28.5 PPG so far in these playoffs and is part of a dynamic duo for the Suns that has been hot across the board in the playoffs. Deandre Ayton and Chris Paul are next up in terms of production and are huge keys for the Suns. Ayton’s averaging 16 PPG and leading the team in rebounds at 10.5 per game, while Paul averages 13 PPG and leads the team in assists at 8 per game.

The Suns’ offense has come alive in these playoffs. They’re 3rd in scoring at 119.5 PPG, first in field goal percentage at 51.5%, and first in offensive rating in the postseason at 120.5. They’re also third in blocks on defense at 6 per game.

On the other side, the Denver Nuggets have been very good in the postseason so far and have looked every part of the #1 seed in the Western Conference.

In these playoffs, Jamal Murray has taken over as the lead instead of Nikola Jokic for the Nuggets. Murray leads the Nuggets in scoring at 28 PPG. Jokic is up next in scoring at 26 PPG, and he also leads the team in rebounds at 13.5 per game and in assists at 8 per game. Michael Porter Jr. and Aaron Gordon are up next in production and provide some good production and defense especially when needed. Porter Jr. averages 15.5 PPG and Gordon averages 15 PPG.

In the postseason, no team has been more balanced than the Nuggets. They’re 5th in scoring at 116 PPG, 2nd in offensive rating at 119, 4th in field goal percentage at 48%, and 2nd in point differential at +10.3. On defense, they are also 6th in defensive rating at 109.7.

Game 1 was a wake up call for the Suns. They got punched in the mouth from start to finish. This game should be different and expect the Suns to come out and make this game much closer. Think about taking the Suns on the money line too.

Phoenix Suns vs. Denver Nuggets Betting Odds

The Denver Nuggets are 4-point home favorites against the Phoenix Suns. The over/under is also at 228.5. It makes sense that the Nuggets are favored in this game because of how they looked in Game 1 and that Game 2 is still in Denver. The over/under also makes sense because both of these teams have been very good on offense in the playoffs. This spread should also stay where it’s at before the game starts.

Betting Trends

Suns are 5-2 ATS in their last 7 games following a ATS loss.

Nuggets are 5-1 ATS in their last 6 home games.

Key Matchups

Can Michael Porter Jr. matchup with Kevin Durant? Can Deandre Ayton matchup with Nikola Jokic?

Kevin Durant vs. Michael Porter Jr.

Kevin Durant was great last game for the Suns and has been all playoffs. He averages 28.5 PPG, 5 assists, and 9 rebounds per game. He’ll be matched up against Michael Porter Jr. most of the game, who averages 15.5 PPG, 1 assist, and 7 rebounds per game. Porter Jr. has been impressive, but Durant has been unstoppable and should be a big reason why the Suns cover 4 points on the road.

Nikola Jokic vs. Deandre Ayton

Nikola Jokic has been MVP-caliber this season. He averages 26 points, 8 assists, and 13.5 rebounds per game. He’ll be matched up against Deandre Ayton most of the game, who averages 16 points, 1 assist, and 10.5 rebounds per game. Ayton has been okay, but needs to be better against Jokic. Jokic is much better than Ayton, but the Suns should still cover this spread on the road.

Phoenix Suns Starting Lineup

PG: Chris Paul
SG: Devin Booker
SF: Josh Okogie
PF: Kevin Durant
C: Deandre Ayton

Denver Nuggets Starting Lineups

PG: Jamal Murray
SG: Kentavious Caldwell-Pope
SF: Michael Porter Jr.
PF: Aaron Gordon
C: Nikola Jokic

Key Injuries

Phoenix Suns Injuries: None

Denver Nuggets Injuries: None

Jake Faigus, graduated from the University of Arizona with a bachelor’s degree in journalism and minored in sports management. He wrote for The Daily Wildcat, as well as the Arizona Fansided blog, Zona Zealots. He currently writes for Aaron Torres Media and runs social media for BracketFanatics.

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