NBA Player Props

3 Bold Predictions Suns-Nuggets Game 1

Peter Dewey
Jun 7, 2021, 2:47 PM EDT
Aaron Gordon will need to step up for the Nuggets against the Suns.
Aaron Gordon will need to step up for the Nuggets against the Suns. / Steph Chambers/Getty Images

The Phoenix Suns and Denver Nuggets will begin their Western Conference semifinal series on Monday night, and Phoenix is coming in as a heavy favorite on WynnBET. 

The matchup to watch in the series will be between MVP favorite Nikola Jokic and Suns big man Deandre Ayton. BetSided’s Donnavan Smoot thinks that Ayton will be able to hold his own.

WynnBET has Phoenix as a five-point favorite at home in Game 1. Both teams won their respective first-round series in six games, but Denver actually won the season series between these two teams. 

However, a lot has changed since then, as Jamal Murray (who played in all three regular season matchups) is out for the season with a torn ACL, and the Nuggets have been piecing together their rotation at guard. 

Chris Paul injured his shoulder and was visibly limited in the first round against the Los Angeles Lakers, so it will be interesting to see which players step up for each team with a trip to the Western Conference Finals on the line. 

I’m back with more bold predictions today, as here are three player props for tonight’s Suns-Nuggets matchup that I think are worth taking: 

Nikola Jokic Goes Over 30.5 Points

I know that I keep taking the over on Jokic’s point totals, but if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it, am I right? 

Jokic scored 34 or more points in five of the six games against the Blazers, and he doesn’t even have to be that good to hit the over (-115) on his 30.5-point projection. The soon-to-be MVP has been on a tear since Jamal Murray went down, and he finished the regular season averaging 26.4 points per game. 

Ayton isn’t a pushover defensively, but let’s not forget that a less-than-100-percent Anthony Davis dropped 34 in back-to-back wins for the Lakers against Phoenix in the first round. 

The Suns don’t have a solid back up big after Ayton (sorry Dario Saric) that can handle Jokic, and if he continues to play 35.2 minutes per game in these playoffs, I think he will continue with his sixth 30-point game this postseason in Game 1.

Monte Morris Goes Over 4.5 Assists

Without Murray, the Nuggets best point guard option is likely Monte Morris, who has been the sixth man for Denver this postseason. 

Morris was fantastic in both Game 5 (28 points, five dimes) and Game 6 (22 points, nine dimes) in the Nuggets’ first-round win over the Portland Trail Blazers. 

In the series, Morris went over 4.5 dimes in all but one game, and he ended up averaging 5.8. WynnBET has the over (+125) as a major underdog for this prop, but given Morris’ usage (29.4 minutes per game) I think it makes a lot of sense. 

Remember, Morris was dealing with a hamstring injury prior to the playoffs, so the more games he plays, the more likely it is that the Nuggets run him out there for extended time. 

Aaron Gordon Goes Over 6.5 Rebounds

A midseason acquisition from the Orlando Magic, Gordon has been a solid player for Denver this postseason. 

He hasn’t shot the ball much (just 10.0 attempts per game), but he’s averaging 12.5 points and 6.5 rebounds while shooting 45.0 percent from the field and 60.0 percent from 3-point range in the playoffs. 

WynnBET has Gordon’s player prop for rebounds set right at his postseason average, but I think he hits the over (+110) in this one. After a serious low 18:15 of playing time in Game 4 against Portland, Gordon rebounded with back-to-back solid performances. 

He scored 14 points and had 10 boards in Game 5, and then followed that with 13 points and seven rebounds in the series clincher. Phoenix’s offensive rebounding, or lack thereof, is another reason that I like this prop. 

The Suns have a 21.9 offensive rebound percentage this postseason, which is the second-lowest among teams left in the playoffs (only the Hawks are lower at 21.1 percent). Opponents tallied 42.7 rebounds per game against the Suns in the regular season, and with Denver’s lack of rebounding behind Jokic, I’d expect Gordon to pick up the slack.