The No. 2 Phoenix Suns did what seemingly no one thought could be done while doing so in pretty convincing fashion on Thursday night. The Suns eliminated the defending champion Los Angeles Lakers and LeBron James, serving the King his first loss in the first round in his career.
The No. 3 Denver Nuggets similarly eliminated the Portland Trail Blazers after many believed the series would go the distance. Nikola Jokic and Damian Lillard gave us another exciting series with Game 5 going to multiple overtimes before Denver got it done. Now the Nuggets will set their sights on the Suns in the second round of the 2021 NBA Playoffs. Let’s take a look at the initial lines on DraftKings Sportsbook.
Suns vs. Nuggets series odds
Update, June 4 — So we’ve got very early betting splits for this series from DKSB. The Nuggets are getting a BIG amount of the handle and betting percentages. It’s split 82-18 on handle and 59-41 on bets. DKSB is open in Colorado, which may be skewing the numbers a bit. It’s still clear that the public will back the underdog given what the line opened at in a series that could go the distance/be closer than the book expect.
The Nuggets are underdogs at +175 while the Suns are favorites at -220 in this series. It’s still very early on Friday morning, so chances are we’ll see most of the early money trickle in on the Nuggets. With the Hawks-Sixers series that was the case with uncertainty surrounding the status of Joel Embiid. There aren’t any big question marks in this series as far as injuries, but it seems like it may be more evenly matchup than the initial series line.
The Nuggets proved to be very resilient in defeating the Blazers and Lillard. Jokic still has a nice No. 2 in Michael Porter Jr., who is emerging as a young star, this time in the postseason. The Suns win over the Lakers and LeBron was impressive, but that team was much worse than people thought, especially after Anthony Davis got hurt. Denver will be a tougher task for Phoenix. It will be interesting to see how the Suns defense tries to slow down the Nuggets offense. Chris Paul is also a bit banged up. My early lean is Denver on this line.
Suns vs. Nuggets Game 1 odds
Spread: Suns (-5.5, -110)
Moneyline: PHX -225, DEN +180
I’ll gladly take the points in Game 1 with the Nuggets knowing that this series could go the distance. Devin Booker and the Suns looked very dominant against a Lakers team that looked depleted and drained. Denver has plenty of momentum coming off back-to-back late-game wins as opposed to back-to-back blowout wins.
We also shouldn’t sleep on the Nuggets’ role players: Monte Morris, Aaron Gordon, Austin Rivers. Morris combined for 50 points over Games 5 and 6 vs. Portland. Rivers shot over 50 percent from 3-point range in Round 1. Gordon can cause problems on both ends of the floor. The playoffs we see tighter rotations and this Nuggets 7-man lineup heading into the second round, not to mention the soon-to-be MVP of the League.
If you or someone you know has a gambling problem, crisis counseling and referral services can be accessed by calling 1-800-GAMBLER (1-800-426-2537) (IL).Gambling problem? Call 1-800-GAMBLER (NJ/WV/PA/MI), 1-800-9-WITH-IT (IN), 1-800-522-4700 (NH/CO), 1-800-BETS OFF (IA), 1-888-532-3500 (VA) or call/text TN REDLINE 1-800-889-9789 (TN).21+ (18+ NH). CO/IL/IN/IA/NH/NJ/PA/TN/VA/WV/MI only. Eligibility restrictions apply. See draftkings.com/sportsbook for full terms and condit