The NBA Playoffs continue as the Denver Nuggets (53-29) visit the Phoenix Suns (45-37) for Game 3 of the Western Conference Semifinals. Action tips off Friday at 10:00 p.m. ET. Denver holds a 2-0 advantage in the best-of-seven series thanks to their 97-87 win in Game 2. Below we continue our NBA odds series with a Nuggets-Suns Game 3 prediction, pick, and how to watch.
Here are the Nuggets-Suns NBA odds, courtesy of FanDuel
NBA Playoffs Odds: Nuggets-Suns Odds
Denver Nuggets: +3.5 (-106)
Phoenix Suns: -3.5 (-114)
Over: 225 (-110)
Under: 225 (-110)
How To Watch Nuggets vs. Suns
TV: ESPN, ESPN2, ESPN Deportes
Time: 10:00 p.m. ET/ 7:00 p.m. PT
*Watch NBA games LIVE with fuboTV (click for a free trial)*
Why The Nuggets Could Cover The Spread
Road ATS Record: 20-23 (47%)
Road Over Record: 22-21 (51%)
Denver hits the road for Game 3 as they look to take a commanding 3-0 series lead. The Nuggets dominated the series’ first two games with 125-107 and 97-87 wins. They did so first and foremost down low. Denver out-rebounded Phoenix in both games and won the points in the paint battle 48-30 in Game 2. While the Suns won the battle down low 60-48 in Game 1, the Nuggets’ displayed their offensive versatility by nailing 16/37 threes. With the ability to score with efficiency from all spots on the floor, the Nuggets sit in a strong position to cover as slight underdogs in Game 3. That being said, Denver held a noticeably worse road record during the regular season and thus needs their stars to continue to show out if they want to cover.
The Nuggets continued to receive strong production from their star big man/guard duo. Nikola Jokic dropped a casual 39 points and 16 rebounds in their Game 2 win. That marked his second 35+ point game of the playoffs – an encouraging sign for the often-passive Jokic. While a sub-15 shot attempt game could certainly be in the cards (it happened twice in the first round), he looked much more aggressive against the Suns. On the perimeter, Jamaal Murray carried the load in Game 1 with 34 points and nine assists. However, Phoenix locked him down in Game 2, as Murray shot just 3/15 from the floor. That being said, he still made major contributions via his playmaking with eight assists. Phoenix doesn’t have an answer for either of Denver’s stars and thus they should continue to feast in Game 3.
Why The Suns Could Cover The Spread
Home ATS Record: 23-20-1 (54%)
Home Over Record: 22-21 (51%)
Phoenix faces a must-win in Game 3 after being thoroughly dominated in the series’ first two games. In Game 1 they couldn’t slow down Denver’s potent offense, while in Game 2 they couldn’t buy a basket themselves. Consequently, Phoenix has work to do on both ends of the floor if they want to cover as home favorites in Game 3. That being said, the Suns were significantly better at home this season. Coupled with Denvers’ subpar road record, Phoenix stands a strong chance of covering provided they get something out of their role players.
The Suns will be without point guard Chris Paul for at least the next few games and thus need both Kevin Durant and Devin Booker to take on larger playmaking roles. Phoenix’s two stars didn’t play poorly by any means in the first two games. KD averaged 26.5 PPG and 11 RPG in Denver, while Booker averaged 31 PPG and 7.0 APG. Despite their strong production, the Suns need even more out of the two wings if they want to fend off the red-hot Nuggets. KD in particular needs to take more initiative on offense. Denver held KD to just 10/27 shooting in Game 2. While the efficiency looked ugly, Phoenix backers should be encouraged by his shot attempts. His 27 shots were far and away his most as a member of the Suns. With Paul out, KD needs to continue to be a focal point.
Regardless of how well KD and Booker play, the Suns need someone else to step up in the wake of Chris Paul’s injury. The Suns sacrificed significant depth to acquire KD and they don’t have reliable options coming off the bench. In Game 2, the non-CP3/KD/Booker/Ayton Suns combined for just six points. Six! That won’t cut it if they want to cover in Game 3. Consequently, look for Josh Okogie to take on a larger role. The 6’4″ wing is a streaky outside shooter but he did record eight games with multiple made threes over the last month and a half of the regular season.
Final Nuggets-Suns Prediction & Pick
While the Suns face an uphill battle in the series as a whole, they should bounce back in Game 3. With their backs against the wall, expect both Kevin Durant and Devin Booker to lock in and carry Phoenix to a home cover.
Final Nuggets-Suns Prediction & Pick: Phoenix Suns -3.5 (-114)
The post NBA Playoffs Odds: Nuggets vs. Suns Game 3 prediction, pick, how to watch – 5/5/2023 appeared first on ClutchPoints.