Nuggets Will Gift Home Fans A Win Vs. Suns On Christmas

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The Denver Nuggets (20-11) host the Phoenix Suns (19-14) at Ball Arena for a 10:30 p.m. ET tip-off in the finale of the NBA’s five-game Christmas card.

Phoenix is 6-1 straight up (SU) and against the spread (ATS) vs. Denver in their last seven games dating back to their 2021 NBA Western Conference Semifinals series the Suns swept 4-0.

Denver Nuggets C Nikola Jokic and Phoenix Suns SG Devin Booker exchange words during Game 4 of the Western Conference 2nd-round playoff series at Ball Arena in Denver, Colorado.
Denver Nuggets C Nikola Jokic and Phoenix Suns SG Devin Booker exchange words during Game 4 of the Western Conference 2nd-round playoff series at Ball Arena in Denver, Colorado. (Dustin Bradford/Getty Images)

The Nuggets are 6-1 SU over their last seven games but just 3-4 ATS. The Suns are 3-4 SU and ATS in their last seven and have lost back-to-back games entering Christmas.

Not only is Denver the hotter team but the “Mile High City” is a tough place to play and Nuggets All-Star PG Jamal Murray gives them an edge over the Suns.

Betting Details (DraftKings)

  • Moneyline: Suns (+140), Nuggets (-165)
  • ATS: Suns +4 (-110), NUGGETS -4 (-110)
  • Total (O/U) — 230 — Over: -110, Under: -110

First of all, Nuggets reigning two-time NBA MVP Nikola Jokic is the best player on the floor and plays well vs. Suns big Deandre Ayton.

Jokic is averaging 26.2 points per game (PPG) in nine career regular-season meetings with Ayton on 59.7% shooting with 10.9 rebounds and 7.0 assists. Denver is 6-3 SU in those games as well.

But, I’m expecting a big game out of Murray since he missed the Suns-Nuggets 2021 NBA Western Conference Semifinals series and all of last season with a season-ending knee injury.

Phoenix swept Denver 4-0 and Chris Paul destroyed the Nuggets’ backcourt. CP3 averaged 25.5 PPG with 10.3 assists with just 5 turnovers in the whole series.

However, these teams met earlier in that regular season while Murray was still healthy and the Nuggets were 2-1 SU. Murray outscored Paul and shot better from the field than him in all three games. 

Nuggets PG Jamal Murray defends Suns PG CP3 at the Ball Arena in Denver, Colorado.
Nuggets PG Jamal Murray defends Suns PG CP3 at the Ball Arena in Denver, Colorado. (Bart Young/NBAE via Getty Images)

Also, Denver acquired SG Kentavious Caldwell-Pope (KCP) this offseason to improve its on-ball defense. Caldwell-Pope knows his role on the Nuggets as a 3-And-D guy.

He held Phoenix All-Star Devin Booker in check in their last five meetings when KCP played for the Lakers and Wizards. Booker has scored 17 or fewer and shot 35.7% or worse in three of those five games.

Denver’s home splits combined with Phoenix’s road splits is another factor here. The Nuggets are 11-3 SU and 8-6 ATS this season at home with a +9.8 SU margin, +6.1 in rebound differential and +2.6 in net free throw attempts.

The Suns on the other hand are 5-9 SU and 6-8 ATS on the road with -8.4 in net free throw attempts and -2.4 in rebound differential.

Each team is top-10 in net rating (nRTG) but Phoenix is 0-4 SU vs. top-10 teams on the road, per CleaningTheGlass.com. The Suns have a -11.8 adjusted nRTG in those spots (ranked 25th) and a -10.5 ATS margin (28th).

BET: Nuggets -4 (-110) at DraftKings Sportsbook

The Denver Nuggets' odds vs. the Phoenix Suns from DraftKings Sportsbook as of Sunday, December 25th at 3:45 p.m. ET.
The Denver Nuggets’ odds vs. the Phoenix Suns from DraftKings Sportsbook as of Sunday, December 25th at 3:45 p.m. ET.

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Written by Geoff Clark

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