- The Phoenix Suns and the Denver Nuggets open up their season on Wednesday, Oct. 20th in Phoenix
- The game is a rematch of the Western Conference semifinals battle, which saw Phoenix sweep 4-0
- See below for the latest odds, analysis and the best bet
The Phoenix Suns and Denver Nuggets begin their NBA seasons on Wednesday, Oct. 20th at Footprint Center in Phoenix. The game will be part of a doubleheader on ESPN, with tip off set for 10pm ET following the conclusion of the Boston Celtics and New York Knicks game.
The battle is a rematch of the Western Conference semifinals, where the Suns swept the Nuggets in four games to advance to the Western Conference Finals. Going into Wednesday’s contest, oddsmakers view Phoenix as a favorite in the rematch, listing the Suns as six-point favorites going into the game.
Suns vs Nuggets Odds
|Denver Nuggets||+6 (-110)||+190||Over 223 (-112)|
|Phoenix Suns||-6 (-110)||-230||Under 223 (-108)|
Odds as of Oct. 19th from FanDuel
Denver comes into the game banged up and could have up to a handful of players either out or limited due to injuries. Phoenix, on the other hand, is relatively healthy going into the game.
The Nuggets will be without Jamal Murray, who’s still recovering from ACL injury, and Vlatko Cancar is probable with a left hip strain. Monte Morris (knee), Michael Porter Jr. (knee), PJ Dozier (ankle), Nikola Jokic (ankle) and JaMychal Green (ankle) have all been dealing with injury issues as well, which will be worth monitoring.
For the Suns, Dario Saric is the lone player on the injury report with an ACL injury. Outside of Saric, Phoenix will be at full strength.
Banged Up Denver Has Tough Test
Even though the Nuggets could end up having most of their roster on the court in Phoenix on Wednesday, they will still be banged up right out of the gate against a tough opponent.
Denver did have good luck against Phoenix a season ago, taking two of the three games against the conference opponent. Denver’s pair of wins also came on the road in Phoenix, the site of Wednesday’s game, in a back-to-back on Jan. 22-23.
A season ago, the Nuggets featured one of the top offenses in the NBA and will need to display that offensive firepower again this year. Denver averaged 115.1 points per game (eighth-most in NBA) while shooting 48.5 % (fourth-best in the NBA) from the field as a team.
Jokic and Murray led the team in 2020-21, with Jokic averaging 26.4 points, 10.8 rebounds, 8.3 assists and 1.3 steals in his MVP campaign and Murray adding 21.2 points, 4.8 assists and four rebounds per contest.
Phoenix Aiming to Carry Momentum From Last Year
The Suns enter a new year looking to ride the high of reaching the NBA Finals a season ago. With basically the entire roster returning this season, Phoenix should be in a position to put together a strong campaign once again.
Like Denver, Phoenix also features one of the top scoring offenses in the league, having averaged 115.3 points per game (tied for sixth-most in NBA) last season while shooting 49% from the field as a team (second-best in NBA).
Phoenix will rely on the talented trio of Devin Booker, Chris Paul and Deandre Ayton once again in the new year, as Booker led the team last year with 25.6 points, 4.3 assists and 4.2 rebounds, with Paul adding 16.4 points, 8.9 assists and 4.5 rebounds and Ayton averaging 14.4 points, 10.5 rebounds and 1.2 blocks in the paint.
Suns Start Season Strong
This game will be a fun one to watch with both teams likely set to return as contenders in the West this season.
Although both teams have talented offenses, the Suns defense will do enough to keep the Nuggets in check and take advantage of Denver being banged up to come out on top to begin the new year.
For the best bet of the night, go with the point total of 223, specifically the over. These two teams can put up a ton of points in a hurry, which means they will likely surpass that mark.
- The Pick: Over 223 (-112)