Nuggets vs. Suns: The best player prop bets for Game 1
Monday night's Game 1 between the Denver Nuggets and Phoenix Suns should be a fun one, as the Suns are coming off their upset series win over the defending champion Los Angeles Lakers. The Nuggets, meanwhile, are coming off a grueling series win over the Portland Trail Blazers.
Will the Suns continue to get open looks for Devin Booker? Can Nikola Jokic continue putting up massive MVP numbers? Which players can we expect to come through for each side?
Tue, June 8 2021, 2:10 AM
Game 1 begins at 10:10 p.m. ET on TNT, and we have the top three player props picks below.
Devin Booker Over/Under 29.5 points
Booker was an assassin against the Lakers in Round 1, averaging 29.7 points per game. He only played the Nuggets twice in the regular season, and both games were in January. He scored 22 points in the first meeting, and 31 points in the second.
One massive difference in these two teams from their meeting in January is the absence of perimeter defenders for Denver. In those first two meetings, they were able to throw Jamal Murray, Will Barton, and Gary Harris at Booker. They are now without all three of those players.
The Nuggets allowed Damian Lillard to average 34.3 points per game and allowed CJ McCollum to average 20.7 points per game. They will have their hands full with Booker, and I expect him to reach this total with relative ease.
Nikola Jokic Over/Under 6.5 assists
The Joker averaged 8.3 assists per game in the regular season. He also averaged 8.3 assists per game in his three matchups with Phoenix this year. However, he only averaged 4.5 assists per game in the first round against Portland.
In Game 1 against the Trail Blazers, Jokic only had one assist as Portland forced him to become a scorer. In fact, Jokic only averaged 6.9 assists per game in the regular season after Murray’s injury knocked him out of the rotation.
I don't feel confident in the rest of the Nuggets to make enough shots off Jokic passes to hit the Over on this number. The Joker will be too focused on putting up points on the scoreboard to tally seven dimes or more.
DeAndre Ayton Over/Under 9.5 rebounds
Ayton averaged 10.5 rebounds per game in the regular season, and 10.7 rebounds per game in the Suns' first round series with the Lakers. He also averaged 12.3 rebounds per game in the three-game regular season series with the Nuggets.
Ayton had double-digit rebounds in each of the first four games in the series with the Lakers when the games were close. He failed to reach double-digit boards in the last two games of the series, but both games were blowouts and did not require him to log heavy minutes.
Jusuf Nurkic is not the same type rebounder as Ayton, but even he averaged 10.3 rebounds in the six-game series with the Nuggets. Ayton will be a problem on the boards for Denver, and I expect him to grab 10 boards or more on Monday night.