The Denver Nuggets are on the brink of elimination, and it’s the Phoenix Suns who look like the class of the Western Conference right now. Time will tell if they can stand up to the Utah Jazz or Los Angeles Clippers, but at least we’re primed for an interesting Western Conference Final.
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1. Nuggets Under 109.5 | -114 at FD Sportsbook
This series hasn’t gone as the Denver Nuggets hoped it would. The absence of Jamal Murray has proven too much for them to overcome (as I anticipated on Monday), and the team has averaged a dismal 101.7 points per game thus far. That’s well below this total.
To be fair, the Nuggets averaged a rock-solid 115 points per game in the regular season. They even averaged a healthy 116.5 points per game in their first-round series against the Trail Blazers. So what happened?
That’s easy — Denver met a slow-paced opponent with an efficient defense. These two squads tied for the fourth-slowest pace this year, and the Suns currently rank sixth in defensive efficiency. The combination of these factors has helped them allow the fifth-fewest points per game (108.3), which also points to value relative to this betting total.
The Nuggets are on their last legs, and while I’m sure they’d love to secure a win this series, they haven’t come within five points of this total yet. As a result, this line is a great deal at its current implied odds.
2. Facundo Campazzo Over 1.5 Made Threes | +140 at FD Sportsbook
This line doesn’t make sense. Campazzo has nailed at least two threes in two of the games in this series. He is averaging two made and five attempted threes per game against the Suns, yet this line sits heavily in the plus money.
I also wrote about this last Monday, but the Suns have been more vulnerable to point guards than any other position this year. The Nuggets are learning that they need to trust their backcourt if they want to stay in these games — Campazzo, Austin Rivers, Will Barton, and Monte Morris combined for 46 points (45%) in Game 3.
My concern with this prop is that the Nuggets have been moving away from Campazzo and toward Barton and Morris. That said, Campazzo was able to nail a pair of three-pointers in Game 3 despite seeing just 18 minutes of action. As long as he remains in the starting lineup, this line should continue to offer betting value.
3. Kevin Durant Under 32.5 Points | -112 at FD Sportsbook
Kevin Durant hasn’t surpassed this total all series. His point totals of 29 (Game 1), 32 (Game 2), and 30 (Game 3) reveal that he’s come close, but it hasn’t been enough for him to nose over this line — even though he has led the Nets in scoring every night. So what gives?
Well, the Bucks play decent defense against power forwards. They allow the 15th-fewest points per game to the position (20.8), and that’s where Durant spends 70% of his minutes. Of course, Durant has been posting numbers well above that average, but we’ve yet to see him punch above this betting total.
With the recent debacle between P.J. Tucker and the Durant-tied security guard, the 11-time All-Star may be coming into this game a bit distracted. I suspect that he’ll stay under this total for the third-straight game this series and the seventh time (out of nine games) during these playoffs.
Today’s Plus-Money Prop: Suns -2.5/Under 221.5 | +260 at FD Sportsbook
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