Denver Nuggets (13-6) vs. Phoenix Suns (11-7)
Denver Nuggets vs. Phoenix Suns 12/1/23 – The 13-6 Denver Nuggets take on the 11-7 Phoenix Suns on Friday night in an exciting Western Conference matchup. This game features two of the NBA’s top big men in Denver’s Nikola Jokic and Phoenix’s new addition Kevin Durant. With playoff seeding implications on the line, both teams need a win. Handicapping sports selections between these evenly-matched squads will come down to backcourt shooting and rebounding.
The Denver Nuggets enter behind MVP Nikola Jokic averaging a triple-double and leading the team in points, rebounds and assists. Denver likes to play inside-out through the Joker, but floor spacing and shooting can be inconsistent at times. The Nuggets will need their guards to hit open shots off of passes from Jokic.
The Phoenix Suns made a big trade to land Durant, hoping his elite scoring and floor stretching will get them back to being championship contenders. While Durant has put up MVP-type numbers, Phoenix has struggled with turnovers and rebounding which could hurt them in this matchup. They’ll need their role players to step up on the glass against Denver’s Jokic-led rebounding.
Denver Nuggets vs. Phoenix Suns 12/1/23 Game Info
|Friday, December 1, 2023 at 10:00 PM ET
|NBA League Pass
Nikola Jokic (C) vs. Kevin Durant (PF)
Reigning back-to-back league MVP Nikola Jokic has been dominant once again, averaging a triple-double and carrying the Nuggets offense. Jokic utilizes his rare playmaking abilities for a big man to set up teammates when he doesn’t create easy baskets for himself in the post. While not known for defense, his size and length can bother Durant’s jumpers.
Kevin Durant remains one of the most unstoppable scorers in the NBA, nearly impossible to slow down with his 6’10 frame, guard skills and unlimited shooting range. He’s seamlessly stepped in as Phoenix’s crunchtime alpha dog. However, increased defensive attention has led to more turnovers recently. KD will use his mismatch quickness against Jokic, but Denver can throw multiple longer wings at him.
Jokic and Durant rank amongst the NBA’s best players and their success likely determines the outcome. Both 7-footers can exploit slower defenders in isolation mismatches. However, Durant’s efficiency and explosive scoring give Phoenix an extra gear, while Jokic creates easier shots for teammates. Rebounding and outside shooting become X-factors around the stars.
NBA Odds/Point Spread: Phoenix Suns -1.5, Total Odds: 222.5
Despite identical 13-7 records, oddsmakers have made Phoenix slight 1.5 point favorites at home. This implies a virtual toss-up between the teams. The high 222.5 over/under total suggests oddsmakers expect an up-tempo, offensive-oriented contest between teams ranked top-7 in points per game. With outcomes projected to be decided by slim margins, focusing bets on player props or spread alternatives reduce individual game variance.
Denver Nuggets Betting Trends
The Nuggets are just 2-8-1 against the spread (ATS) over their last 11 games, struggling to cover as favorites recently. However, they have owned this Phoenix matchup ATS, covering 7 of the past 9 meetings. Denver is also solid straight up on the road this year at 7-4. Backing the Nuggets with the points rather than moneyline reduces exposure to their poor ATS stretch.
Phoenix Suns Betting Trends
Phoenix has turned its season around after a slow start, covering 4 of its past 5 contests. The Suns offense has stayed hot, going over the total in 12 of 16 games behind All-Star Devin Booker’s return. Phoenix is undefeated SU in 6 home games against West opponents this season. Ride the Suns’ home/conference dominance in spread or total bets.
Denver Nuggets vs. Phoenix Suns 12/1/23 Betting Picks
Analyzing both teams’ strengths, stats, and recent trends, this game is poised to be a close and high-scoring affair. The Suns, with their home advantage and recent form, seem to have a slight edge.
In terms of free basketball tips, while Phoenix appears to be the safer bet, Denver’s ability to upset cannot be discounted. The over on total points seems promising, considering both teams’ offensive capabilities. Prop bets around key players, like Jokic’s rebounds and assists or Durant’s total points, could offer additional value.
Free Pick & Prediction: Phoenix Suns 118, Denver Nuggets 115