Pick 'n' roll: Saturday's best NBA bets
Denver Nuggets at Phoenix Suns (-4.5, 210.5)
The recent head-to-head history does not bode well for Phoenix heading into Saturday's home contest against Denver. The Nuggets have won five in a row over the Suns and are 4-0-1 ATS in that span. George Karl's crew has won twice this season at home; 109-92 on February 14 and 105-99 on April 6.
Kenneth Faried, "the Manimal," averaged 12.5 points and 8.5 rebounds in those two games. He has been hot of late, too, with double-doubles in three of his last six outings and double-digit scoring outputs in 12 of his last 18 games. He went for 27 and 17 in an April 9 blowout of Golden State.
The Nuggets are coming off a 104-98 loss to the Clippers on Wednesday but they have not dropped back-to-back contests since March 25. The team is in good shape to snag home-court advantage in a first-round series with a few more wins down the stretch.
"I think everything is in a good scenario even though there is a nervousness and a stress to it," Karl told the Denver Post. "But it is a privilege to be stressed. It's a privilege to be in the battle to compete at the highest level of sport. We've worked very hard to get here and now it's our opportunity to go to the next step."Pick
: NuggetsDallas Mavericks at Chicago Bulls (N/A)
Derrick Rose has missed three consecutive games for the Bulls and he is listed as doubtful for Saturday's home showdown against Dallas. Chicago is 1-2 in those contests (1-2 ATS) and 1-3 ATS in its last four overall.
Dallas won't be missing any players due to injury, but playing time will be something to think about. They clinched a playoff spot on Thursday and are now simply jostling for seeding position, Still, head coach Rick Carlisle insists on 100 percent effort.
"We want to be playing good basketball heading into the playoffs," Carlisle told the Dallas Morning News. "We'll watch some minutes, but the emphasis is going to be on hard play, continuing to trend the right way."
The Mavericks especially don't want Dirk Nowitzki slowing down right now. The big man has heated up after a lackluster start to the season, and the last two games were no exception. Dirk dropped 40 on Utah in an overtime loss on Monday before scoring 35 in a 117-110 win over Houston on Wednesday.Pick