We’ve got four more NBA Playoff games Sunday, with interesting storylines developing in each series.
The slate opens with Bucks vs. Bulls (1 p.m. ET) with Chicago looking to bounce back from a blowout loss at United Center. In Game 4 of Warriors vs. Nuggets, (3:30 p.m. ET) the likely MVP looks to stave off elimination at home.
Our NBA analysts are focused on two of today’s matchups and have zeroed in on spreads and alternate lines for those games. Check out their analysis and best bets for Sunday.
NBA Odds & Picks
|Click on a game to skip ahead|
|Warriors vs. Nuggets Spread||3:30 p.m. ET|
|Warriors vs. Nuggets Alt Spread||3:30 p.m. ET|
|Suns vs. Pelicans Spread||9:30 p.m. ET|
Golden State Warriors vs. Denver Nuggets
|Tipoff||3:30 p.m. ET|
Joe Dellera: The Warriors have dominated the Nuggets this entire series and there’s no reason to believe that should not continue. Nikola Jokic is putting forth an absolutely valiant effort averaging 29.3 points, 13.0 rebounds, and 5.0 assists in 33.7 minutes per game through three games this series; however, it’s simply not enough as the Nuggets have a -15.1 point differential per 100 possessions, the second worst of all Playoff teams.
They’re doing a decent job scoring; but the Nuggets’ defense simply has no answer for the Warriors’ offense. Golden State is scoring an insane 129.9 points per 100 possessions – would be 12.3 points more than the Utah Jazz’s league leading offense during the regular season and they have been doing this with Steph Curry on a minutes limit that is gradually being loosened as the series progresses.
The lineup of Curry, Klay, Poole, Draymond, and Wiggins – the newest iteration of the Death Lineup is wrecking Denver. This lineup has a +33.4 point differential and is scoring 143.4 points per 100 possessions with an eFG% of 77.4%. Absolutely preposterous numbers.
Back Golden State to close this series out and wait for the winner of Grizzlies vs Timberwolves.
Golden State Warriors vs. Denver Nuggets
|Pick||Warriors -9.5 (+220) | -12.5 (+330) | -15.5 (+480)|
Brandon Anderson: Folks, I think we’re done here.
This Warriors-Nuggets series has been a mismatch from the start. Denver just doesn’t have the firepower to hang without Jamal Murray and Michael Porter Jr.
Nikola Jokic is going to win his second MVP, and he deserves it for dragging this roster to the playoffs and staying above the play-in fray, but it’s pretty clear this Warriors opponent is a different animal entirely. Golden State has defended Jokic extremely well and made things difficult on an offense lacking options. And even when Denver does score, its defense still has no chance.
The Nuggets played nearly a perfect first half offensively at home in Game 3 with the season on the line — and trailed by double digits at the half. Denver doesn’t have the perimeter defense to slow down this deadly Steph Curry, Klay Thompson, and Jordan Poole trio, and a game can swing 10 points in a matter of minutes with those three raining fire.
The Nuggets gave it their all in Game 3, and this team has been excellent with its backs up against the wall. But that felt like the Alamo for this battered roster. Denver is worn down and has been running on fumes for weeks now.
That’s why we bet Golden State to sweep — at +750 before the series, +475 after Game 1, and +225 after Game 2 — and why the Warriors should finish the job here. And you’re forgiven if you’d rather hedge some on a Nuggets moneyline here if you do have a hefty Warriors sweep position.
But for just this game, I’m not just looking for the Warriors to finish this off. I’m looking for them to close out in style, so I’m playing alternate lines. At PointsBet, we can play for a double-digit win at +220, 13-plus at +330, and 16-plus at +480. At FanDuel, you can keep the party going as high as 20-plus at +790 or all the way to 29-plus at +1800 if you want to get wild.
The Warriors have won the first three games by 16, 20, and five points, an average of 13.7 PPG, and we’ve seen Jokic lose his composure and duck out early in the past when he knows he’s beat. This Denver team is beat, and they know it.
It’s time. It’s been time. Grab a few alternate lines you like and enjoy the Poole Party.
Phoenix Suns vs. New Orleans Pelicans
|Tipoff||9:30 p.m. ET|
Anderson: Everyone overreacted a little too much to the Devin Booker injury.
The Suns obviously need Booker back healthy and rested to make a deep playoff run, but it looks like they’ll be just fine this round without him. Phoenix made only four (4!) 3-pointers in Game 3, a disastrous 4-of-26 from deep, just 15%.
Teams that made four or fewer 3s went only 3-12 this season, nine of those losses by double digits. The Suns were missing their leading scorer, couldn’t hit a three to save their lives, lost the rebounding battle by 10 — and won anyway.
It was a Chris Paul masterclass. CP3 took over down the stretch, treating the Pelicans defense like a training drill, draining jumper after jumper. The Suns turned it over only five times all game against the league’s best turnover defense since February (Paul!) and saw a parade of easy buckets from Deandre Ayton and JaVale McGee leading to 66% on 2-pointers (CP3 again).
The Pelicans stole Game 2 when went out mid-game and New Orleans couldn’t miss a shot in the second half before Phoenix adjusted, but these Suns have played shorthanded all season and don’t skip a beat. This was never a one-man team. Ayton stepped up with a monster game, CP3 did everything down the stretch, and the defense made a big impact in a team win.
Game 3 was close enough for the Pels to have a shot, but I’m not sure Game 4 will be. Phoenix is not going 4-of-26 again, and even three or four more makes would’ve still been an outlier bad shooting performance in a comfy Suns win.
Look for some of those shots to fall for Cam Johnson and Jae Crowder this time around as the Suns do what they do and take care of business against a team they’re simply better than.