After a successful five-game homestand where they went 4-1, the Phoenix Suns are back on the road on Monday night. They’ll head up to Wisconsin to take on the Milwaukee Bucks in a battle of top teams from opposite conferences. When these kinds of clashes happen, more often than not, the team coming out of the rough and tough West will have an advantage.
Free Picks: Milwaukee Bucks vs. Phoenix Suns
Suns Head To Milwaukee For Heavyweight Clash With Bucks (Season Betting Record: 84-90)
And that’s because the teams are better in the Western Conference than in the Eastern Conference. Generally speaking, that’s not an opinion, it’s a fact: all you’ve got to do is look at the records and compare. The eighth place team in the East is one game below .500, and the eighth place team in the West is three games above .500. Numbers don’t lie, not usually at least.
And since the teams are better in the West, Western teams are also more acclimated to playing more premier competition. Steel sharpens steel and all that jazz. That would seem to give the advantage in this matchup to the Suns, not the Bucks.
Oddsmakers see it differently, however, listing the Bucks as -3.5 NBA point spread favorites despite having five less wins on the campaign than the underdogs. That makes the Suns’ moneyline odds about as juicy as a Thanksgiving Day turkey, and will force our hand in making it one of our top picks of the day. Our NBA pick for this matchup simply has to be the Phoenix moneyline at smoochable +132 NBA odds.
Phoenix is 40-16 on the season, so the fact that they’re multiple-point underdogs is comical, much less against an Eastern Conference team, and much much less against the Bucks. Milwaukee has been bad against the West, dropping three of their past four while amassing a 15-11 straight up record and a 10-16 mark against the spread when taking on the West this year.
The Bucks have been especially bad against the West’s top six teams, which are those that will earn automatic playoff bids and avoid the play-in. Against those teams, they have gone 5-6 SU this season, including a 125-124 loss to the Suns back in early February when they were -4 point favorites.
If you were wondering, the Suns are 16-6 SU and 14-8 ATS against the Eastern Conference. Phoenix has been taking sportsbooks and oddsmakers to the cleaners all season, putting up a 7-3 ATS mark as the underdog and a 5-1 ATS mark when they’re a road dog.
The stewardship of veteran point guard Chris Paul alongside the astute coaching of Monty Williams have kept the Suns on a very even keel all season as well. Other than perhaps the Utah Jazz, the only team with a better record than them, the Suns have probably had the most luck with roster continuity, but more importantly, they have been as consistent a group as they come.
Before their defeat to the San Antonio Spurs in their last outing, the Suns had lost just 15 games all season. While that is impressive in and of itself, it’s how they have responded to those losses that is worth considering: they have won 12 of 15 contests following losses, both straight up and ATS. The Suns have only lost consecutive games thrice this season, and we’d expect that number to remain low after Monday night.
- Phoenix is the best team ATS this season, with a 35-20 record
- Milwaukee is 1-4 ATS in their last 5 games as a home favorite
- Milwaukee has lost its last 4 straight games at home
- Phoenix has won their last 6 games against the East Conference
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The Los Angeles Clippers will renew hostilities with the Dallas Mavericks, who they dispatched in the first round of last season’s playoffs.
The Denver Nuggets and the league’s presumptive NBA MVP will look to get off to a strong start against the Portland Trail Blazers in Game 1.
The Golden State Warriors will host the Memphis Grizzlies in the final play-in game, which will determine the Western Conference’s eighth seed.
The Washington Wizards will host the Indiana Pacers on Thursday night with the No. 8 seed in the Eastern Conference on the line.
Alex is an alumnus of Ryerson University's RTA Sport Media program, a contributing NHL, NBA, and MLB writer in the BetPicks.ca team. He has been writing on sports, betting, and fantasy contests for several years, including pitstops as an NFL Editor for theScore and as one of the lead NBA news writers for fantasy sports site FantasyPros. As a lifelong athlete, bettor, and sports fan, Alex is uniquely qualified to help you reach the sports betting success that you've always dreamed of and your wife never believed you could achieve.