2023 NBA Western Conference Semifinals: Nuggets vs. Suns: NBA Playoffs: Money Line, Spreads, and NBA Championship Odds.

Twitter: @GGirlSports

Updated: 5/4 8:14 PM EST.

The Denver Nuggets are the number one Seed in the West for a reason, and currently have a 2-0 lead over the Phoenix Suns in the Western Conference Semifinals. The 1st Seed Denver Nuggets (53-29, 19-22 Away) will face off against the 4th Seed Phoenix Suns (45-37, 38-13 Home) in Game 3 of the Conference Semifinals. The Boston Celtics still currently have the least odds of winning an NBA Championship. These two teams will play on 5/5 at 10 PM EST, at the Footprint Center, located in Phoenix, Arizona. The matchup will air on TNT. If you are looking for the best betting odds and stats, here is information to know:

NBA Championship Odds: Eastern Conference.

Denver Nuggets: +400

Phoenix Suns: +1200

NBA Western Conference Semifinals.

Phoenix Suns @ Denver Nuggets (125-107 Denver) (Game 1).

Betting Odds: Denver (-4.5), Over/Under 227.5.
Betting Results: Denver Money Line, Denver -4.5, OVER: 232.

The Nuggets came out with a statement and showed why they are the 1 seed. Jamal Murray erupted for 34 points and 9 Rebounds. Although Phoenix had the 1st Quarter Lead, Denver broke open in the 2nd Quarter, and outscored the Suns 37-19. From there, Denver took control back in the last Quarter. All the Nugget’s starters had points in double figures, Nikola Jokić had a double-double, with 19 Rebounds and 24 Points.

For the Suns, Devin Booker and Kevin Durant combined for 56 Points, 2 Steals, and 5 blocks. However, The Suns had 24 Points off their bench.

Denver shot 43 Percent from the Three-Point and held the Suns to 30 Percent. The Nuggets outrebounded them 49-38, especially offensively. In addition, Denver was hot all night, hitting 16 Three Pointers as a team.  The eruption of Jamal Murray, in addition to Nikola Jokić shows why this team can be so scary.

Phoenix Suns @ Denver Nuggets (97-87 Denver) (Game 2).

Betting Odds: Denver (-4.0), Over/Under 229.5.
Betting Results: Denver Money Line, Denver -4.0, UNDER: 184.

This was a surprising game, in Which Phoenix was held to under 90 Points. Over the course of the Playoffs, the Suns rank 4th in Offensive Rating, and have Devin Booker, and Kevin Durant to lead the way.

Although Kevin Durant added 27 points, he struggled from the field. Durant shot 2-12 from the Three, and 10-27 from the Field. He added 1 Steal, 3 Assists, and 8 Rebounds. The Suns lost Veteran Guard Chris Paul in the 3rd Quarter due to a groin injury, and Phoenix only had 4 Points off the Bench. For Denver, Nikola Jokić led the way with 39 Points and 16 Rebounds. Although Jamal Murray struggled, Aaron Gordon and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope had a decent game.

Although both teams struggled from the Three-Point Range, Phoenix was held to 19 Percent. Denver outrebounded Phoenix 41-39, and dominated inside the pain, 48-30.

Denver Nuggets @ Phoenix Suns (Game 3)

(NBA Betting odds as of 5/4. They are subjected to change.)

Denver: +150
Phoenix: -175
Spread: Denver +4, Phoenix -4.
Over/Under: 224.5.


Denver Nuggets

G Collin Gillespie (OUT): Leg.

Phoenix Suns

PF Chris Paul (Day-To-Day): Left Groin Strain.

Playoffs Recap.

Denver Nuggets.

Much like the Philadelphia 76ers, the Nuggets had a favorable matchup with the Minnesota Timberwolves in the First Round of the NBA Playoffs. In fact, they beat the Timberwolves 4-1, held the Timberwolves to 105 Points, and outrebounded them 44.8 to 39.2. Denver never lost a game at home, and Nikola Jokic, Jamal Murray, and Michael Porter Jr. all had a huge Game 5.

In 5 Playoff Games against the Minnesota Timberwolves, Nikola Jokić led the way with 26.2 Points, 12.4 Rebounds, and 9 Assists per Game.

Once Denver moved onto the Western Conference Semifinals, they knew the Phoenix Suns would be a challenge. However, Denver took the first two games, in which they held Phoenix to under 90 Points in Game 2. Although the Nuggets won the first two games, they will take on the Suns at their home turf.

 In the Post Season, Denver ranks 9th in Points Per Game (113.3), 4th in Three-Point Shooting (38.1),8th in Free-Throw Percentage (80.7), 6th in Rebounds (44.9), 8th in Assists (23.7), and 1st in fewest turnovers (10.9). Overall, they rank 3rd in Offensive Rating (117), just behind the Celtics and the Heat.

On the defensive side, Denver ranks 4th in Opponent Points Per Game (103), 2nd in Steals (5.6), and 10th in Blocks (4.7). In addition, the Nuggets rank 4th in Defensive Efficiency at 107.5.


Depth, Nikola Jokić, Shooting.

What makes this team so dangerous are the pieces that surround start Nikola Jokić. Game 1 showed this exactly, and how other players can step up. Jamal Murray is back from injury, and he is a player that can easily put up 30 plus points. All five of Denver’s starters are incredible and can feed off what Nikola Jokić does nightly. If Nikola Jokić is double-teamed, which he finds himself in some cases, he trusts his teammates when he kicks out. The Nuggets are an extremely deep team, who constantly rotates guys that contribute on both sides of the ball.

There’s no doubt this team wouldn’t be nearly as good as Former MVP Nikola Jokić. Nikola Jokić is a player that does it all, plays defense, can shoot, and knows how to facilitate and find the open man. Nikola Jokić averaged 31 Points, 12 Assists, 16.5 Rebounds, and shot 50 percent from the Three in two games against the Suns this season. In addition, Jokić is averaging 27.7 Points, 1.1 Steals, 7.9 Assists, and 13.9 Rebounds in the Playoffs. In those games, Nikola Jokić is averaging nearly 50 Percent from the Field, and 46.7 percent from the Three.

Although the Denver Nuggets aren’t the leaders in points scored, they shoot, and they shoot extremely well. All five of their starts can shoot from downtown, and Denver ranks 4th in Field Goal Percentage (47.9), and 4th in Three-Point Percentage (38.1). Look for this offense to continue against the Suns, who will be without Star Chris Paul.


Defense, Free-Throw Attempts.

Denver is playing at an elite level on both sides of the ball. They are 4th in Offensive Rating (117), and they are holding teams to 103 Points Per Game in the Playoffs. We saw this in Game 1 against the Timberwolves, and Game 2 against the Suns. The Nuggets are a team that limits teams in second chance points, and rank 1st in Opponent Points off turnovers. Although their numbers are great, Denver has been known to blow it on defense, especially if Nikola Jokić is forced to guard the Perimeter. This is a team that struggled against the pick and roll, and we have seen it all season long. Although they are playing well now, it could change. Look for Murray to continue to step up on defense if they want to win.

Mentioned in articles before, getting to the Free-Throw line can make the difference in the closets of games. In the Playoffs, Denver gets to the line on average only 20.7 times a game, in which they shoot 80 Percent. This could be a factor in upcoming games.

Phoenix Suns.

This isn’t the first time the Suns have been down. In the First Round of NBA Playoffs, Phoenix found themselves down 0-1 against the Los Angeles Clippers. The first two games were decided by 10 points combined, and this is a team that did not show any chemistry at all. Fortunately for the Suns, they won their next 4 games to take the series 4-1. All-Star Paul George was out for the Clippers, and Kawhi Leonard only played the first two games due to a Knee Injury. Although Phoenix averaged 122 Points Per Game, they allowed the Clippers to average 115.6 Points Per Game. The Suns were able to outrebound Los Angeles in the series, and Devin Booker led the way with 37.2 Points, 5 Rebounds, and 6.4 Assists Per Game.

Phoenix has a much different matchup in Round 2. They are down 0-2 against Denver and are only averaging 97 Points Per Game. So far, Denver is outrebounding the Suns in the series, and are beating them on both sides of the ball.

In two games against Denver, Devin Booker leads the way with 31 Points, 4.5 Rebounds, and 7 Assists Per Game. Chris Paul is still day-to-day with a groin injury.

In the Post Season, Phoenix ranks 7th in Points Per Game (114.9), 8th in Three-Point Shooting (35.5),6th in Free-Throw Percentage (81.3), 11th in Rebounds (41.6), 5th in Assists (25.1), and 3rd in fewest turnovers (11.3). Overall, they rank 4th in Offensive Rating (116.9), just behind the Celtics and the Heat.

On the defensive side, The Suns rank 11th in Opponent Points Per Game (114.3), 8th in Steals (7), and 3rd in Blocks (5.7). The Suns struggle defensively, and rank 12th in Defensive Rating this Postseason (116.3).


Mid-Range Shots, Shot Creators, Devin Booker/Kevin Durant.

The Suns already had two of the best mid- range shooters in Chris Paul and Devin Booker before the Kevin Durant trade. Once Durant was traded, Phoenix was immediately the favorite team to come out of the West. My initial thought was what opposing team could possibly guard the weak and strong side with this much talent? Even with Chris Paul out, Booker and Durant are incredible mid-range shooters who can get open and create their own shot. In fact, the Suns rank 1st in Mid-Range Percentage in the Playoffs at 49.1.

Although this team is getting adjusted and developing Chemistry, the Suns have two of the biggest stars in the NBA. Although Devin Booker struggled in the regular season against the Nuggets, Booker is averaging 35.4 Points, 2 Steals, 1 Block, 6.6 Assists, and 4.9 Rebounds in the Post Season. In addition, he’s shooting 46.2 Percent from the Three, and 57 Percent from the Field.

Although Durant has only played in limited games with the Suns, he’s averaging 27.9 Points, 1 Steal, 1.4 Blocks, 5 Assists, and 8.6 Rebounds. He’s been excellent from the free-throw line and from the field. Although Durant struggled last game, both him and Booker have plenty of playoff experience. If Phoenix wants to win with a limited rotation, these two players will have to step up in all categories.


Defense/ Chemistry/ Health/Rebounding.

The Phoenix Suns have four core Players in Chris Paul, Kevin Durant, Deandre Ayton, and Devin Booker. Although there is potential for this unit to have high offensive, they struggle defensively. They allowed a high number of points per game and had trouble containing the Clippers in the paint in Round 1. As we saw, they simply could not contain Russell Westbrook whenever he would drive in the lane. They are a team that allows teams to shoot at least 36 Percent from the Three and get to the line 24 times a game in the playoffs. As far as rebounding goes, it’s been a challenge for Ayton down below against Nikola Jokic.

One of the hottest NBA mid-season trades included the Suns dealing for All-Star Kevin Durant. Not only was he dealt to a good team, but to a team with star players. Durant has only played 15 games with the Suns, and it will take time to develop chemistry with Devin Booker, Paul, and Ayton. We saw the chemistry come together in the last four games against the Clippers. However, a team like the Suns needs chemistry, especially against a 1 seed.

We saw how awful the Suns bench was in the First Round, and Monty Williams’ decision to rely on his core guys. Although Chris Paul has struggled in times this postseason, the Suns will most likely be without him due to a hamstring injury. Paul is a pure playmaker who has plenty of playoff experience with Ayton and Booker. Without him, Booker will have to handle the duties at point guard. Durant struggled with injuries this season; the Suns will need their core players to stay healthy to compete.

Key Stats-Playoffs

•Denver averages 113.3 points per game.

•Phoenix averages 114.9 points per game.

•Denver ranks 4th in points allowed with 103 opponents points per game.

•Phoenix ranks 11th in points allowed with 114.3 opponents points per game.

•Denver ranks 4th in rebounds per game with 44.9.

•Phoenix ranks 11th in rebounds per game with 41.6.

•Denver ranks 1st in point differential at +10.2.

•Phoenix ranks 8th in point differential at +0.5.

•Denver ranks 15th in blocked shots with 3.4 per game.

•Phoenix ranks 3rd in blocked shots with 5.7 per game.

Denver averages 38.1 percent from the 3-point range, while Phoenix averages 35.5 Percent from the 3-point range.


  SPREAD: Phoenix -4

-Denver covered the spread in 7 of their last 10 games.

-Phoenix covered the spread in 3 of their last 10 games.

-Denver has a 49-39-1 record ATS this season.

-Phoenix has a 44-43-2 record ATS this season.

-Phoenix 23-20-1 in HOME games ATS this season.

-Denver is 20-23-0 in AWAY games ATS this season.

Although Phoenix Covered the spread in just 3 of their last 10 games, they are at home, and down 2-0. The Suns covered the spread in 2 out of their regular season games against the Nuggets. I think Phoenix covers here at home.

MONEY LINE: Phoenix Money Line

-Denver won the Money Line 7 out of their last 10 games.

-Phoenix won the Money Line 5 of their last 10 games.

The Suns are down 2-0 and will be without Veteran Guard Chris Paul. I think Kevin Durant and Devin Booker have a huge night at home. I do expect Ayton to struggle for rebounds, however, it will be up to whether Durant and his supporting cast can make shots and play defense. Give me Phoenix Money line.


-Denver Avg +/- vs O/U Line: -2.1.

-Phoenix Avg +/- vs O/U Line: -0.7.

-Denver Overall O/U Record: 42-46-1

-Phoenix Overall O/U Record: 46-40-3

-Denver hit the OVER 6 times in their last 10 games

-Phoenix hit the OVER 7 times in their last 10 games.

For More Betting Info & Game Predictions, Follow us at @BallislifeBets.

Sara Jane is a full-time content creator, focusing on both college basketball, the NBA, NFL, and writer of Ballislife.com. Don’t forget to follow her on Twitter/Twitch/YouTube/Instagram:  @GGirlSports.


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