The Denver Nuggets and Phoenix Suns meet for perhaps the final time in the playoffs on Sunday night. It’s time to continue our NBA Playoffs odds series and make a Suns-Nuggets prediction and pick for Game 4.
The Nuggets are now 4-5 in the postseason after falling into an 0-3 hole in the series. Denver is 2-2 ATS when marked as favorites so far in its playoff run.
The Suns are 7-2 both straight up and against the spread in the playoffs. When marked as underdogs, Phoenix is 3-2 in the postseason.
Here’s how sportsbooks have set the Suns-Nuggets odds.
NBA Odds: Suns-Nuggets Game 4 Odds
Phoenix Suns -3 (-110)
Denver Nuggets +3 (-110)
Over 221 Points (-110)
Under 221 Points (-110)
Why The Nuggets Could Cover The Spread
The Nuggets have one last shot to make this a respectable series, and it comes on their home floor.
There were some bright spots in the Game 3 loss that Denver can focus on in its bid to avoid the sweep.
On the offensive side, the Nuggets finally got serious contributions from a player not named Nikola Jokic. Monte Morris broke out of a slump to give Denver 21 points off the bench. Will Barton has looked very solid since returning from an extended absence, and he gave the Nuggets 14 points and some spark-plug energy in Game 3.
From what we’ve seen in the first three games, the Nuggets aren’t winning without some serious help for Jokic. The MVP has been great (26.0 points, 14.0 rebounds, 6.3 assists), but no one player is beating this Suns team. We saw some signs in Game 3 that the Nuggets could finally get some points out of a bench and backcourt that has been lacking.
Defensively, there have been few positives for the Nuggets. The Suns seem to get whatever they want whenever they want it on the offensive end in the series.
One sliver of light the Nuggets can look toward is the Suns are shooting the ball at a level that is impossible to keep up. Phoenix is hitting 43.9% of its 3-pointers in the series, a figure that should level off closer to the 37.8% the team shot in the regular season.
Obviously, it’s too late in the series for that number to drop significantly enough to give the Nuggets a shot at advancing. However, if the Suns show any sign of taking their foot off the gas pedal, Denver can take advantage and take at least one game.
Why The Suns Could Cover The Spread
Phoenix has absolutely dominated this series. A closer look at the numbers show just how badly the Nuggets have been overmatched through three games.
In the 96 minutes of Game 2 and Game 3, the Nuggets held a lead for exactly 41 seconds total. The biggest lead the Nuggets have held all series is 10 points.
Even in a Game 1 in which the Nuggets held a lead for an extended period, it felt like the Suns were destined to make a run. In every game in the series so far, Phoenix has ripped off a run that kills the Nuggets’ hopes.
Game 1 had a 19-2 run, Game 2 had a 12-1 run, and Game 3 had an 8-0 run to start the fourth that silenced the home crowd in Denver.
The Suns hold the advantage in nearly every facet. Phoenix shot better from the field and from 3 in all three prior games. They shot more free throws than Denver in two out of three games, including a 20-6 lopsided number in Game 1.
Thanks primarily to Chris Paul, the Suns averaged the third-most assists per game in the regular season. They have out-assisted the Nuggets in every game, and Paul has 34 assists by himself in the series.
Phoenix has capable scorers at all three levels. Devin Booker and the role players are shooting the lights out from beyond the arc. Chris Paul and Booker are more than capable of draining the mid-range jumper. Deandre Ayton is shooting 61.3% from the field on primarily lob dunks and post-ups while doing an excellent job containing Jokic.
Overall, the Suns are the deeper, more talented team, and the shorthanded Nuggets have shown an inability to answer.
Final Suns-Nuggets Game 4 Prediction & Pick
The Suns have proven time and time again in this series they are the superior team. With the Nuggets on the ropes, it’s doubtful this team lets up. Phoenix has the advantage in nearly every category, and I expect them to shoot the Nuggets off the floor at some point in the game. It’s a shame Jamal Murray wasn’t healthy for this series, as Denver just doesn’t have the firepower to keep up with Booker and the Suns. Phoenix books a ticket to the Western Conference Finals with a win.
FINAL SUNS-NUGGETS GAME 4 PREDICTION & PICK: PHOENIX SUNS -3: PHX 112, DEN 105