This article is part of our Handicapping the NBA series.
Suns to win (-208) vs. DEN – BetMGM (1:49 PM CT)
This is a relatively boring bet, but I think the Suns have this series under control, and I expect them to win in five games. I'd be surprised if they lost at home to a Nuggets team with inferior talent and a questionable Michael Porter (lower back). Even if he plays, he'll probably be less than 100 percent, and that's enough for me to have plenty of confidence in Phoenix.
Aaron Gordon OVER 12.5 points (-105) at PHX – BetMGM (11:57 AM CT)
Gordon hovers just over this figure throughout the course of the 2021 playoffs, but more importantly, he scored 18 against Phoenix despite missing all three of his shots from deep. Nikola Jokic probably has a better game than he did in Game 1, but the Nuggets will need Gordon to still be a scoring asset regardless, and less efficiency from the field (8-14 FG in Game 1) should be offset by a triple or two. Take the over.
Monte Morris OVER 1.5 made three-pointers (+125) at PHX – DraftKings (1:13 PM CT)
Morris had a disastrous Game 1, hitting only one of his 10 field-goal attempts, including an 0-of-4 showing from downtown. But Morris drilled nine threes over his previous three games and was an integral part of the Nuggets closing out Portland in Round 1. I like Morris to bounce back in Game 2, so a pair of threes doesn't feel like too much to ask – especially at plus odds.
Player parlay: Chris Paul to score 16+ points and the Suns win (+175) vs. DEN – DraftKings
I like the Suns to win tonight, but I don't love the moneyline or the spread, so we'll try to manufacture some value with a player parlay. Paul looked much more like himself in Game 1 (his best overall showing of the playoffs), hitting a pair of threes and showing noticeably more comfortability with his right shoulder. The Suns don't necessarily need Paul to score to win the game, which is somewhat of a concern, but he should be able to again take advantage of the Nuggets' shorthanded backcourt.