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Phoenix Suns at Denver Nuggets Betting Preview

Phoenix Suns at Denver Nuggets Betting Preview

Denver, Co - The Phoenix Suns and Denver Nuggets have each pulled off a blockbuster trade in the last year to demonstrate a new commitment to defense.

Bet The Suns/Nuggets Game

Based on recent results, both moves are working out just as well on the offensive end.

Oddsmakers from Online Sportsbook Sports Interaction have made the Nuggets -2 point spread favorites for Wednesday’s game against the Suns. Current NBA Public Betting Information shows that 57% of more than 168 bets for this game have been placed on the Nuggets -2.

Shaquille O'Neal looks to continue his hot streak for the surging Suns on Thursday night when they visit the Nuggets, who have ridden Chauncey Billups to the top of the Northwest Division.

Phoenix (22-13) traded for O'Neal at last season's deadline to help the team transition from an offensive-oriented system to a more balanced approach.

The 36-year-old veteran endured some growing pains with the Suns, but he's averaging 22.4 points and 10.1 rebounds while shooting 59.1 percent from the field in 12 games since Dec. 6. Phoenix is 10-2 in those contests and 1-2 in games O'Neal has missed in that stretch.

O'Neal delivered his third consecutive double-double with 26 points and 10 boards in a 107-102 win over Atlanta on Tuesday night ? Phoenix's sixth victory in seven games.

"Shaq is playing like the Shaq of old," Hawks forward Josh Smith said. "And when he is down there making moves ... it makes it tough to defend."

Despite expressing some frustration that Phoenix let Atlanta back into the game after a dominating first quarter, Suns forward Grant Hill sounded confident about the team's progress in its first season under coach Terry Porter.

"We talked in November and December that we were a work in progress," Hill said. "I think we're here now. We're confident. We feel better about ourselves than we did four or six weeks ago."

The Nuggets (26-13) have had a smoother transition to their newcomer, going 25-10 since acquiring Billups from Detroit on Nov. 3.

Billups has averaged 22.0 points and 6.4 assists over his last seven games, leading Denver to a 6-1 record despite the absence of Carmelo Anthony for the last three. Anthony's expected to miss at least two more weeks with a broken bone in his shooting hand.

Billups scored 23 points and made two free throws with 2.2 seconds remaining to give Denver a 99-97 win over Dallas on Tuesday night. He deflected some of the praise toward Dahntay Jones and Chris Andersen, role players that combined for 31 points and 11-for-13 shooting.

"Those guys won the game for us," Billups said. "It came down to (my) play, but without those guys we don't win this ballgame."

The Suns, who have lost their last three games in Denver by an average of 14.4 points, won their first meeting with the Nuggets this season. Amare Stoudemire scored 27 points to lead four Suns players with at least 16 in the 108-101 victory Dec. 20.

Suns point guard Steve Nash scored eight straight points in the final three minutes to seal the win, and O'Neal added 19 points and nine rebounds.

Billups had 18 points and eight assists while committing a season-high seven turnovers in that game, but the Nuggets' star was Nene, who went 9-for-12 from the field and had 20 points and 15 rebounds.

Beginning with that contest, the Brazilian center is averaging 17.6 points and 9.5 boards while shooting 65.5 percent over his last 12 games.

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