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  • Writer's picture@WizeOwlSports

2021 NBA Playoff Action: Backing Hungry Suns in Western Conference Semis Opener

Denver due for pause after putting Portland away: Phoenix -4

Even absent up-and-coming star guard, Jamal Murray, the Nuggets won games 5 and 6 of their first round matchup last Tuesday and Thursday and killed the championship ambitions of the great Logo Lillard and the Portland Trail Blazers.

Four days later, Denver will kick off their Western Conference Semifinals matchup at the Phoenix Suns, who, thanks largely to the efforts of Chris Paul and Devin Booker, broke a ten-year post-season drought this year by securing the number two seed in the West.

Circumstances attending Denver's and Phoenix's path to this point suggest the Suns hold the edge versus the number Monday. Accordingly, we are betting the Nuggets backslide a bit after collecting consecutive SU/ATS wins against the Blazers.

Underdogs that rattled off at least two straight post-season wins have proven GREAT fades against competition that missed the prior playoffs...

This system has delivered a 30% return on investment since 2004-05, with only two seasons with a cover rate below 50%.

Separately, per, the Suns were +9.4 points per 100 possessions better than their opposition on their home floor during the regular season. Consistent with the ramp in attendance at Phoenix Suns Arena as covid has loosened it's hold on society, the Sun's home court advantage increased to +11.3 points in the playoffs.

On the other hand, the Nuggets on the road were +2.5 points per 100 possessions better than their competition during the regular season, but this differential slipped to -3.3 in the playoffs.

Further, Denver will be forced to manage without PJ Dozier and Will Barton, in addition to missing Jamal Murray Monday. The Nuggets differential decreases from +5.5 overall during the regular season to -3.6 absent these key personnel.

Thus, historical context as well as the specific play of Denver and Phoenix this year highlight the home favorites for the cover.

Happy betting!!

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