NBA weekend betting preview: Suns, Clippers undervalued in Game 3
The second round of the NBA playoffs is starting to heat up, with two Game 3s on Friday and three more over the weekend. Here are our best bets:
Suns @ Nuggets (-1.5, 222.5)
June 11, 7 p.m. ET
Looking only at the trends, this is a solid spot for the Nuggets to bounce back as short favorites. Teams coming home down 0-2 have covered nearly 55% of the time since 2003, while Denver is 6-2 against the spread coming off consecutive losses this season.
But those trends don't account for the fact that the Suns are simply the better team right now, and it may not be all that close. Phoenix made a statement with a 17-point win in Game 1 before trashing the Nuggets by 25 points in Game 2. Since 2016, teams coming off back-to-back playoff losses of 15-plus points are 3-9 ATS in the encore with eight outright losses. Only two of those squads were favored.
The sole reason the Nuggets are favored here is desperation in a must-win spot at home, which isn't enough to overlook how badly the Suns have beaten them to this point. Denver could pull this out, but bettors shouldn't need to pay a favorite's price for it.
Pick: Suns +1.5
Jazz @ Clippers (-4, 223.5)
June 12, 5:30 p.m.
Twice in this series, we've been sure the Clippers would pull out a win. Twice, they've failed, though they pushed in Game 1 as 3-point underdogs and were a bucket away from doing the same in Game 2.
Things will normalize in Game 3. The Jazz have benefitted from 82 combined points from an injured Donovan Mitchell despite Los Angeles boasting two of the best perimeter defenders in the league. Utah also shot 51% from 3-point range in Game 2, a number that can reasonably be expected to drop in this contest.
The Clippers have shot decently well, and their role players have performed. One of these days, it'll all come together. Expect that day to be Saturday.
Pick: Clippers -4