Fresh off their first postseason series victory in 11 years, the No. 2 seed Phoenix Suns try to continue the momentum when they host the third-seeded Denver Nuggets on Monday in Game 1 of the Western Conference semifinals in the 2021 NBA Playoffs. The Suns are coming off an impressive first-round victory, dethroning the Los Angeles Lakers by winning the final three games of the series. Denver, which is bidding to return to the Western Conference finals for the second straight season, also won its opening-round series in six games and, like Phoenix, closed out the Portland Trail Blazers by winning on the road.
Tip-off is set for 10 p.m. ET from Phoenix Suns Arena. The latest Nuggets vs. Suns odds from William Hill Sportsbook list Phoenix as a five-point favorite, down half a point from the opening line. The over-under for total points expected is set at 221.5. Before finalizing any Suns vs. Nuggets picks, be sure to see the NBA predictions and betting advice from SportsLine's proven computer model.
The SportsLine Projection Model simulates every NBA game 10,000 times and has returned over $9,100 in profit on its top-rated NBA picks over the past two-plus seasons. The model is up almost $900 on its top-rated picks this season and entered the conference semifinals of the 2021 NBA Playoffs on a stunning 100-66 roll on top-rated NBA picks against the spread dating back to last season. Anybody who has followed it has seen huge returns.
- Nuggets vs. Suns spread: Suns -5
- Nuggets vs. Suns over-under: 221.5 points
- Nuggets vs. Suns money line: Suns -200; Nuggets +175
- DEN: Gs Will Barton (hamstring) and P.J. Dozier (adductor) were ruled out for Game 1
- PHO: The Suns were 30-12 against Western Conference foes
Why the Nuggets can cover
Center Nikola Jokic averaged 26.4 points, 10.8 rebounds and 8.3 assists during the regular season -- numbers that closely mirrored his stats against the Suns in the three matchups. Considered the prohibitive favorite to win league MVP honors, he elevated his play in the series against the Trail Blazers, averaging 33.0 points, 10.5 boards and 7.3 assists. Jokic was pretty much unstoppable, scoring at least 34 points in five of the six games.
Forward Michael Porter Jr. has thrived since the season-ending knee injury to All-Star point guard Jamal Murray and he came up big again in the first round vs. Portland. Although he had a three-point dud in a lopsided loss in Game 4, he bounced back to score 26 points in each of the next two contests to help Denver close out the series. Aaron Gordon continues to pick up his offensive game, scoring at least 13 points in five of the six games in the first round.
Why the Suns can cover
Guard Devin Booker brought an end to the Lakers' title reign with a performance for the ages, scoring 47 points and burying 8 of 10 3-pointers in the series-clinching win in Los Angeles. He averaged 29.7 points in the series -- four more than his regular-season mark -- and reached 30 points in four of the six contests. Booker missed one of the regular-season matchups against the Nuggets, but averaged 26.5 points on 52.6 percent shooting in the other two.
Point guard Chris Paul was hindered by a right shoulder injury in the series vs. the Lakers and was held to single-digit points in five of the six games. He did have 12 assists in the deciding Game 6 and averaged a double-double (17.7 points, 11.3 assists) in the three meetings against the Nuggets. Center Deandre Ayton posted four double-doubles in the series against Los Angeles and averaged 22.0 points and 12.3 rebounds in three meetings vs. Denver.
How to make Nuggets vs. Suns picks
SportsLine's model is leaning under on the total, projecting the teams to combine for 220 points. The model also says one side of the spread hits almost 60 percent of the time. You can only see the pick at SportsLine.
So who wins Nuggets vs. Suns? And which side of the spread hits almost 60 percent of the time? Visit SportsLine now to find out which side of the spread you need to jump on, all from the model that has crushed its NBA picks.