The Denver Nuggets and Phoenix Suns square up for one of the most highly anticipated matchups of the late card on Wednesday night. This is the first full card of the NBA season after just two games yesterday. There are 11 games on the schedule in the NBA tonight. The Los Angeles Lakers flamed out on opening night, as they fell to the Golden State Warriors by a score of 121-114.
Tough one for the Lakers, as the Russell Westbrook era begins at the Staples Center. Just throwing superstars together isn’t always an easy ticket to a championship, tough. There has to be a sense of chemistry and togetherness for a championship run to develop. The strong lockdown defense that we saw last year wasn’t present against Golden State.
This is a Golden State team that wasn’t playing at full health. As good as Stephen Curry is, the Lakers are going to have a long season if they consistently play like that. Westbrook is known for his ability to run and shoot, but the Lakers covet his ability to bang on defense. He didn’t look right on opening night in that regard. It’s only one game, so pump the brakes for the moment.
"Yep, he the MVP." ?
Flashback to Deandre Ayton's reaction after seeing Nikola Jokic's statline during the West Semis last season.
— NBA (@NBA) October 20, 2021
The Nuggets are coming off a season where they had Nikola Jokic win the MVP. Jokic deserved top honors in the NBA after averaging 26.4 points, 10.8 rebounds, and 8.3 assists per game. It’s hard to say no to a guy that just about averaged a triple-double. However, when it came to team success, the Nuggets came short in the playoffs.
They were dropped in four games against the Suns. A very good Suns team. The Suns advanced to the NBA Finals where they lost to the Milwaukee Bucks in six games. Just two games away from a championship, the Suns are back looking to find two more wins than last year. It would help if they have a happy Deandre Ayton after the organization and Ayton cut off contract talks recently.
Ayton has been playing on his rookie contract despite playing well above expectations. Through three years, Ayton has notched 16 points and 10.6 rebounds per game. He’s also shooting better than 58% from the field, an impressive 62.6% last year. Devin Booker and Chris Paul are important, but Ayton has been the glue of this team. Head below for our free Nuggets vs. Suns pick on October 20, 2021.
Denver Nuggets vs. Phoenix Suns Live Odds and Betting History:
The following odds are courtesy of BetOnline:
|Denver Nuggets||+6 (-105)||+210||Over 224 (-110)|
|Phoenix Suns||-6 (-115)||-250||Under 224 (-110)|
|Team Data||Denver Nuggets||Phoenix Suns|
|Points Per Game||0.0||0.0|
|Points Against Per Game||0.0||0.0|
|Field Goal %||0.0||0.0|
|Three Point %||0.0||0.0|
Nuggets vs. Suns Prediction:
The Suns are going to be a fun team to watch again this season. They have a big chance of going back to the NBA Finals, especially if the Lakers are going to play like last night often. Back in the saddle leading this offense is the exciting Devin Booker.
Booker was consistent again with 25.6 points and 4.3 assists per game last year. His numbers were down a touch, but it isn’t because his production dropped any. Chris Paul was just seeing more opportunities on the offensive floor. Paul scored 16.4 points and 8.9 assists per game in his first season with the Suns.
You could argue that Paul was the MVP last year. What he did to bring the Suns to the next level and reach their full potential deserved some recognition. The Suns were one of the highest-scoring teams in the NBA with 115.3 points per game. Only the Utah Jazz and Portland Trail Blazers scored more points in the West.
Denver Nuggets vs. Phoenix Suns Betting Trends:
- 1-4 ATS in their previous five games
- 1-4 overall in their previous five games
- 1-4 ATS in their previous five games versus the Suns
- 2-5 ATS in their previous seven games as an underdog on the road
- OVER is 5-1 in their previous six games versus the Suns in Phoenix
- OVER is 7-3 in their previous ten games versus the Nuggets
- OVER is 5-1 in their previous six games in Phoenix
- OVER is 5-1 in their previous six games versus the Nuggets in Phoenix
- 11-2 overall in their previous 13 games versus the Western Conference
The Suns have had no problems scoring on the Denver defense in recent matchups. They’ve scored 122, 123, 116, and 125 points in their previous four games since June 7 in the playoffs. Since November 24 of 2019, they’ve gotten into some up tempo games against the Nuggets with the OVER going 7-3.
Jokic leads a Nuggets team into this season that recorded 115.1 points per game for a smudge behind the Suns in scoring. They held up serviceably with 110.1 points against per game. Unfortunately, they will be without the services of Jamal Murray again to open this season.
That said, Look out for Michael Porter Jr. exploding after breaking out with 19 points per game on 54.2% shooting last year. The 23-year-old can only get better from here. He also improved his rebounding tremendously, as he went from 4.7 per game in his rookie year to 7.3 rebounds per game in 2020.
Points should be on the menu in the desert in this one. Expect the Nuggets and Suns to come out firing in a high-scoring showcase game on ESPN. I’m looking at a final score in the ballpark of 118-115 or 121-114.