Nuggets vs. Suns NBA Playoffs Game 2: Desert Storm

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Nuggets vs. Suns NBA Playoffs Game 2: Desert Storm
Devin Booker #1 of the Phoenix Suns on June 07, 2021 in Phoenix, Arizona. Christian Petersen/Getty Images/AFP

The Phoenix Suns have destroyed the NBA odds this year – especially at home. They can do it again Wednesday night versus the Denver Nuggets.

Denver Nuggets vs. Phoenix Suns

Wednesday, June 9, 2021 – 9:30 PM ET at Phoenix Suns Arena

Things are getting serious now. We’ve reached the second round of the 2020-21 NBA playoffs, with just eight teams left in the title hunt; as we get deeper into the postseason, more and more public bettors flood the marketplace, producing softer NBA lines with every wave. But what do you do when two small-market teams are going at it?

That’s the tricky part. When it comes to Wednesday’s Game 2 between the Denver Nuggets and the Phoenix Suns, my old-school reaction is to go with Denver. They have the best player in the league in Nikola Jokic, although judging by everything that’s been said in the (American) press this year, people think more highly of Chris Paul – who isn’t even an MVP finalist, or anywhere close for that matter. Where was the love for Paul when he actually deserved the MVP award back in 2008?

Anyway, I could say a lot of things here about demographics and banana boats and such, but you get the picture: Denver should have at least some value for Wednesday’s NBA picks. Is it enough, though? They’ve opened as six-point road dogs at Heritage Sports (visit our Heritage Sports Review), the same odds they faced on Monday when the Suns beat them 122-105 in Game 1. FiveThirty project Phoenix to win by five. That doesn’t leave us enough potential profit margin to lay any serious wood on the Nuggets. Sad trombone.

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Sharp betting isn’t just about projections and market forces, though. It’s also about angles, and in this particular matchup, the Suns have an ace up their sleeve: They’re 26-14 ATS at home. Compare and contrast to the Nuggets, who are 20-20 ATS away. Drilling down even further, Phoenix are 18-5 ATS at home versus winning teams. Denver are 7-11 ATS on the road.

This won’t be your typical COVID-19 home game, either. Arizona, as you might have expected, wasn’t shy about opening things up for business in what we hope will be the tail end of this pandemic; Phoenix Suns Arena – no longer PHX Arena for whatever reason – was packed to 90 percent capacity for Game 1. Suns fans are already hungry for playoff success, having waited over a decade for this moment. They’re even more rabid now.

Nikola Jokic #15 and JaMychal Green #0 of the Denver Nuggets. Steph Chambers/Getty Images/AFP

If you want to look at the matchup itself, Suns third-year center Deandre Ayton is one of the few players in the league with the physical tools to at least slow Jokic down. And Denver’s backcourt is indeed vulnerable with Jamal Murray (knee) out and both Will Barton (hamstring) and P.J. Dozier (groin) listed as day-to-day. We’re only going to recommend a small bet on Phoenix given the small gap between the NBA odds and the projections, but a bet on Phoenix it is. May the better team win, and may the sphere be with you.

NBA Pick: Suns -6 (-108) at Heritage Sports

Suns -6(-108)
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*The pick reflects the line at the moment the writer made the play, the odds at the beginning of this article show the live line movement. Since the lines might vary, don’t forget to refer back to our live odds.