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A pair of Western Conference teams at opposite ends of the standings take the floor in the Valley of the Sun. The Denver Nuggets are on the road as they travel to face the Phoenix Suns Saturday night. Denver dropped the Clippers 121-100 at home Thursday night in their last game. Phoenix was dropped 104-94 on the road by Dallas Wednesday night in their previous contest. The Nuggets own a 96-77 edge in the all-time regular season series and have won 10 of the last 11 meetings, including three straight. In the last matchup between the teams, the Nuggets claimed a 122-118 win on the road on December 29, 2018.
Denver Nuggets Seeking to Maintain Top Spot in Western Conference
Denver won their second straight and their seventh in the last eight games as they rolled over the Clippers at home Thursday night. The Nuggets entered Friday holding the top spot in the Western Conference: they were 1.5 games ahead of the Warriors and 3.5 games ahead of the Thunder in the Northwest Division race. Denver jumped to a 12 point lead after the opening quarter and didn’t let the Clippers closer than five the rest of the way. The Nuggets shot 50.5 percent from the field, including 11 of 28 from three point range, and controlled the glass by a 53-38 margin. Jamal Murray led the way with 23 points in the win. Denver is 9-11 ATS on the road this season while the under is 11-8-1 in those contests.
— Denver Nuggets (@nuggets) January 11, 2019
The Nuggets are 17th in the league in scoring offense with an average of 110.7 points per game. Denver is currently 6th in the league in rebounding with 47.3 rebounds per contest. The Nuggets are 2nd in the league by dishing out 27.4 assists per game. Denver is 3rd in scoring defense as they allow 105.4 points per contest. Paul Millsap puts up 13 points plus 6.8 rebounds a game in his second season with Denver. Will Barton contributes 16.5 points a night while Nikola Jokic kicks in a team high 19.2 points, 10.2 rebounds and 7.6 assists a game. Gary Harris (16 points) and Jamal Murray (18.5 points) each are solid contributors offensively as well. Mason Plumlee, Monte Morris (10 points), Malik Beasley, Torrey Craig, Juancho Hernangomez (9.1 points) and Trey Lyles have to step up when called upon. The Nuggets are tied for 11th in the league in field goal percentage by shooting 46.5 percent from the field. Denver is tied for 17th in the league by sinking 10.8 threes per game and is 16th in the league in three point shooting by sinking 35.1 percent from beyond the arc. Barton is out until mid-January after having surgery for a right hip injury and a core strain. In addition, Isaiah Thomas is out until mid-January as he recovers from hip surgery.
Phoenix Suns Stuck in Western Conference Basement
Phoenix lost for the seventh time in eight games as they were unable to follow up on a win over Sacramento as they lost in Dallas. The Suns entered Friday last in the Western Conference, 13.5 games behind the Lakers for the final playoff spot. Phoenix led by four at the half but was outscored 32-19 to trail by nine. The Suns couldn’t get closer than five in the fourth quarter as they took the loss. Phoenix shot 42.9 percent from the field, including seven of 25 from three point range, and lost the rebounding battle 42-37. T.J. Warren led the team with 20 points and seven rebounds in the loss. Phoenix is 10-13 ATS at home this season while the under is 13-10 in those games.
— Phoenix Suns (@Suns) January 10, 2019
The Suns are 26th in the league in scoring with an average of 106.2 points per game. The Suns are 29th on the glass by collecting 40.2 boards per game. Phoenix stands 17th in the league in assists with 24 per contest. Phoenix is 25th in the league in scoring defense as they allow 114.7 points a night. Devin Booker leads the team with 24.8 points and 6.9 assists per game. Rookie Deandre Ayton is contributing 16.5 points plus 10.6 rebounds a night while T.J. Warren chips in 18.7 points per game. Kelly Oubre Jr. (12.1 points, 2.9 rebounds), Josh Jackson, Mikal Bridges, Jamal Crawford and Elie Okobo are important pieces of the rotation for the Suns if they hope to have success. The Suns are 14th in the league in field goal percentage at 46.1 percent so far. The Suns are 23rd in three pointers per game with 9.9 per contest. Phoenix is tied for 25th in three point percentage as they splash 34.1 percent of their chances from long range.
- Suns are 3-13 ATS in their last 16 home games vs. a team with a winning road record
- Suns are 1-5 ATS in their last 6 when their opponent allows 100 points or more in their previous game
- Suns are 0-4 ATS in their last 4 games vs. a team with a winning straight up record
- Nuggets are 4-1 ATS in their last 5 games overall
- Nuggets are 4-1 ATS in their last 5 when their opponent allows 100 points or more in their previous game
- Nuggets are 4-1 ATS in their last 5 after scoring 100 points or more in their previous game
The Bottom Line What to bet on this game.
Full-Game Side Bet
Denver is on a roll of late with seven wins in their last eight games as they continue to hold their top spot in the Western Conference. It’s a battle of polar opposites as the Nuggets are holding the top spot in the conference while the Suns are in the basement. The Suns simply don’t have the depth or the weapons to try and keep up with the Nuggets, especially with Denver’s tough defense. Jokic has another big game and helps lead the Nuggets to a win.
Prediction: Denver Nuggets
Full-Game Total Pick
We’ve seen Phoenix have problems on both ends of the floor this season and that’s a major reason that the team is in the basement of the Western Conference. The Suns have a lot of young guys that they’re trying to work with but they need to find a couple of veterans to help stabilize the youth. Denver is a tough team when plenty of quality depth to work with. The Nuggets have been tough on the defensive end of the floor and they push the pace offensively. Will the Nuggets maintain their recent momentum with a win here?
The over is 7-1 in the Nuggets’ last 8 games following a straight up win, 4-1 in their last 5 games following an ATS win, 4-1 in their last 5 after allowing 100 points or more in their previous game and 7-2 in their last 9 vs. a team with a losing straight up record. Phoenix has seen the over go 5-2 in their last 7 games following a straight up loss. The teams have gone over the total in each of their last four meetings in Phoenix and 7-2 in their last nine meetings overall. With the Suns struggling defensively and Denver rolling, this one ends up over the number.