NBA Western Conference playoff hopefuls meet up on Friday at Ball Arena when Phoenix Suns welcome the Denver Nuggets to town. Denver enters with a disappointing 7-7 record this season. Phoenix is 8-5 overall and 3-1 in its home building. Michael Porter Jr. (protocols) is questionable to play for the Nuggets. Dario Saric (protocols) and Damian Jones (protocols) are out for the Suns.
Tip-off is at 10 p.m. ET in Phoenix. William Hill Sportsbook lists Phoenix as a one-point home favorite, while the over-under, or total number of points Vegas thinks will be scored, is 218 in the latest Nuggets vs. Suns odds. Before making 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 it returned over $5,000 in profit on its top-rated NBA picks last season. The model is up nearly $8,100 over the past two-plus seasons. Dating back to last season, it is also on a stunning 68-39 roll on top-rated picks against the spread, returning almost $2,500 on those selections alone. Anybody who has followed it has seen huge returns.
- Nuggets vs. Suns spread: Suns -1
- Nuggets vs. Suns over-under: 218 points
- Nuggets vs. Suns money line: Suns -120, Nuggets +100
- DEN: The Nuggets are 4-6 against the spread in the last 10 games
- PHO: The Suns are 6-4 against the spread in the last 10 games
Why the Nuggets can cover
Denver is an elite offensive team by most measures, headlined by the All-NBA play of Nikola Jokic. The talented center is producing 25.1 points, 11.4 rebounds and 10.0 assists per game, and Jokic is flanked by Jamal Murray, who is putting up 19.2 points per contest. All told, the Nuggets are third in the NBA in offense, scoring 115.3 points per 100 possessions, and Denver leads the league in offensive rebound rate (31.3 percent).
The Nuggets also rank comfortably in the top in effective field goal percentage (55.2 percent) and assist rate (63.3 percent). Defensively, Denver relies on turnover creation, forcing a giveaway on 15.9 percent of possessions, and the Nuggets currently rank second in the NBA in second chance points allowed at only 10.2 per game.
Why the Suns can cover
Led by Devin Booker and Chris Paul, the Suns are a potent offensive team, ranking in the top 10 of the NBA in overall efficiency. Phoenix is a top-10 team in effective field goal percentage (54.6 percent), and the Suns are a top-tier team in assist rate (64.8 percent), turnover rate (13.5 percent) and assist-to-turnover ratio (1.95). Phoenix's shooting prowess is also important when it gets to the free throw line, as the Suns convert 81.5 percent of their opportunities, second in the NBA.
Defensively, Phoenix will have its hands full with Denver, but the Suns allow just 1.08 points per possession this season. Phoenix is excellent on the glass, pulling down 75.5 percent of available rebounds, and the Suns are a top-five transition defense, allowing only 11.8 fast break points per game.
How to make Nuggets vs. Suns picks
SportsLine's model is leaning over on the total, with the teams projected to combine for 225 points. The model also says one side of the spread hits in over 50 percent of simulations. You can get that pick at SportsLine.
So who wins Suns vs. Nuggets? And which side of the spread hits more than 50 percent of the time? Visit SportsLine now to find out which side of the Suns vs. Nuggets spread you need to jump on, all from the model that has crushed its NBA picks.