Denver Nuggets (21-12) at Phoenix Suns (23-10), 9 pm Eastern Monday
by Zman of Predictem.com
Two teams looking to fend off challenges to their perch atop their respective divisions meet when the Denver Nuggets visit the Phoenix Suns Monday night.
The NBA Linesmaker lists Phoenix as a seven-point home favorite for Monday night’s game, with a total of 228. Also, the Suns are listed at -370 on the moneyline, with Denver getting +290 as road underdogs.
The Nuggets have won three games in a row and six of their last seven after beating Philadelphia Sunday 109-96 on the strength of 38 points from former Sixer Allen Iverson. So Denver still leads the Northwest Division, but by just a half-game over the second-place Portland Trailblazers.
On the other side of this match-up, Phoenix had a four-game winning streak snapped with a 118-113 home loss to New Orleans Saturday. The Suns still lead the Pacific Division, but by just a game and a half over the second-place Los Angeles Lakers.
Phoenix has won nine of the last 11 meetings with the Nuggets, including the last five played in Arizona, and took two of three games from Denver last season. The o/u went 2-1 in those three games played last season by averaging 231 total points.
This season, the Nuggets are 17-16 against the spread, and 7-7 both straight up and vs. the numbers on the road. Meanwhile, the Suns are only 14-18 ATS this season, and while 10-4 SU at home, just 5-9 against the spread at the US Airways Center.
Statistically speaking, Phoenix ranks 5th in the league in per-game point differential at +5.4, while Denver ranks 8th at +3.9. The Nuggets are shooting 46% from the field as a team, 34% from 3-point range and 76% from the free-throw line, while the Suns lead the league in FG shooting at 49%, and are shooting 37% from long range and 77% from the line.
Also, while Denver ranks 21st in rebounding at -.8 per game, Phoenix ranks 29th (that’s out of 30 teams, folks) at -5.4 boards per game.
The Sagarin PREDICTOR ratings at USAToday.com rank the Suns 5th at 94.7, the Nuggets 11th at 92.7.
The o/u is 16-17 in Denver games this season, which are averaging 209 points per, while the totals are 17-16 in Phoenix games, which are averaging 213 points.
Zman’s Pick: Suns -7.5.