Best Bets for Nuggets vs Suns Game 3
Mike Ortiz Jr. makes his NBA picks and predictions for Nuggets vs Suns. Plus, best tips on player props.
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NBA Playoff Schedule Today, May 5th– Game 3 info:
2023 NBA Playoff - Western Conference Semi-finals
Denver Nuggets (53-29, 19-22 Away) vs Phoenix Suns (45-37, 28-13 Home)
Date: Friday, May. 5th, 2023
Time: 10:00 PM Eastern
Venue: Footprint Center—Phoenix, AZ
TV Channel: ESPN
The Denver Nuggets took care of business at home over the first two games of their NBA Western Conference Semifinals playoff series and now have a commanding 2-0 lead over the Phoenix Suns. After blowing out the Suns 125-107 in Game 1, the Nuggets also won Game 2 on the back of center Nikola Jokic, who had 39 points and 16 rebounds in Denver’s 97-87 victory. Nuggets point guard Jamal Murray had his worst game of the postseason with only 10 points on 3-for-15 shooting in Game 2, yet his team still won by 10. The teams now travel to Phoenix where they will meet in Game 3 on Friday night.
Nuggets vs Suns Odds, Spread, Moneyline, Over/Under – NBA Playoffs Betting Lines 5/5
Moneyline: Denver Nuggets (+145), Phoenix Suns (-175)
Spread: Denver Nuggets +4.5 (-110), Phoenix Suns -4.5 (-110)
Total: Over/Under 224.5 points
Nuggets vs Suns Injury Report
Despite an initial report that Suns guard Chris Paul would miss at least Games 3, 4, and 5 of this series due to a groin strain, the Suns still aren’t ruling him out for Game 3 on Friday. Instead, Paul’s playing status is listed as a game-time decision. While it seems unlikely that Paul, who missed practice on Wednesday, will be able to play, we likely won’t know for sure until closer to game time on Friday night.
Nuggets vs Suns Prediction & Picks
Denver point guard Jamal Murray had his worst game of the postseason with 10 points on 3-for-15 shooting, but that didn’t stop the Nuggets from winning Game 2 by 10 points. Trailing the series 2-0, the Phoenix Suns return home with their backs against the wall and likely without point guard Chris Paul for Game 3 at least. Paul’s absence could be a blessing in disguise on the defensive end, since he’s been a liability defensively, but the Suns will miss his court vision and playmaking ability on the offensive end. Point guard Cameron Payne, who will likely start in Paul’s place, has been a key role player for the Suns in years past but hasn’t looked the same since returning from injury. It’s always tough to face a team that has Kevin Durant and Devin Booker on its roster, but after those two, the Suns’ talent level really drops. Yes, Deandre Ayton is a presence both offensively and defensively, but Phoenix’s role players and bench players are very inconsistent and aren’t entirely dependable.
The Suns will likely steal a game back at the Footprint Center, but a Nuggets series victory in five seems likely, and a Nuggets sweep can’t be ruled out either. In Game 2, Denver had its worst offensive performance since March, when Nikola Jokic was out. This is a pivotal game for both teams, and while it’s more crucial for the Suns, the Nuggets will steal Game 3 on the road and really put the pressure on Phoenix.
The Pick: Denver Nuggets ML (+145)
Games 1 and 2 were on opposite ends of the spectrum as far as shooting and scoring go. In Game 1, the teams combined for 232 points, while in Game 2 they combined for only 184. The Suns bench combined for 24 points in Game 1, but then combined for just four points in Game 2. I would expect a better performance out of Phoenix’s bench in Game 3 since the team will be playing at home, but the mere four points from Game 2 are cause for concern. The Nuggets won’t have another poor shooting performance in Game 3, so the Suns had better bring their offense in this one or they might not be leaving Phoenix again this season. This total is a tough call, for sure, but I lean toward the over, because Phoenix needs to shoot well to remain competitive in this game.
The Pick: Over 224.5 (-110)
Best Nuggets vs Suns Player Prop Bets Today for Game 3 on Friday, May 5th Jamal Murray Lightning won’t strike twice for point guard Jamal Murray, who had his worst performance of the postseason in Game 2 -- scoring just 10 points on 3-for-15 shooting. Murray still managed to grab four rebounds and dish out eight assists. While they have other talented players on the offensive end, the Nuggets run their offense through Nikola Jokic and Murray. Chris Paul couldn’t guard Murray, so Murray’s poor performance in Game 2 was his own fault. Paul is likely out for Game 3, and his replacement, Cameron Payne, will also struggle to guard Murray. Jokic can be ball-dominant when he needs to be, his vision is among the best of any big in this league, and his basketball IQ is off the charts. Everyone in the Footprint Center will know where the mismatch is on Friday night, and it’ll be Jamal Murray vs. Cameron Payne.
The Pick: Jamal Murray over 33.5 points, assists & rebounds (-115)
Aaron GordonWe all know how little depth the Phoenix Suns have. They’re especially weak in the post, since Deandre Ayton is the only Suns player that can defend there. Ayton’s hands will be full with Nikola Jokic, so Aaron Gordon, who has had his way in this series, will be another mismatch for the Suns defense. Gordon scored 23 points on 9-for-13 shooting in Game 1 and 16 points in 5-for-8 shooting in Game 2. After Jokic dropped 39 points in Game 2, the attention will be on him in Game 3. That will make it even easier and create more opportunities for Gordon on Friday. Take advantage of the plus money here.
The Pick: Aaron Gordon over 15.5 points (+110)
Devin BookerWe all know about Kevin Durant’s talent and skill, as he’s unquestionably one of the top five players in the game right now. However, Phoenix is still Devin Booker’s team, and he’s been showing it this postseason -- averaging 35.4 points per game compared to Durant’s 27.9 PPG. Booker has gone on record saying that Durant’s addition has made his life much easier and really opened up the floor for his shots when opposing defenses are drawn to Durant. Given that the Suns are facing a must-win situation –- since a 3-0 deficit would be all she wrote for this series -- expect a big game out of Booker on Friday night. In seven playoff games this year, Booker has scored 30 or more points five times.
The Pick: Devin Booker over 30.5 points (-115)
Odds are subject to change*
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