The Phoenix Suns will arrive at Barclays Center on Sunday afternoon coming off of a loss, though they had won six of their previous seven before the rough defeat at the hands of an undermanned Boston Celtics squad on Thursday night. Meanwhile, the Brooklyn Nets enter this clash with the Suns coming off of a 109-104 win against those same Celtics on Friday night.
Free Picks: Brooklyn Nets vs. Phoenix Suns
Two Of NBA’s Top Three Teams Meet In Brooklyn On Sunday Afternoon (Season Betting Record: 88-93)
The Nets won that one against the Celtics without the services of Kevin Durant, who has missed a couple more games with that thigh contusion he suffered after his return from a two-month absence due to a hamstring strain just a couple of weeks ago. The Durantula is expected to be available for this Sunday afternoon tilt barring any setbacks, however.
What kind of restrictions they put on Durant remains to be seen. He was very limited in his return from the hamstring injury, and he still suffered the thigh contusion. With the playoffs approaching, it wouldn’t be a surprise to see head coach Steve Nash and his staff wrap their best player up in cotton wool. Durant will be out there for Brooklyn, but we’d expect his minutes to be capped around 25 after missing the past three-plus games.
James Harden will remain out for the Nets, who likely won’t see Beardo back in the lineup before the playoffs start. So, as has often been the case since Harden arrived in Brooklyn back in January, the Nets will only trot out two of their big three talents on Sunday afternoon.
Whether it’s one of them in there, two of them, or all three, they’ve played pretty good ball overall—but taking the Suns on when the latter are coming off of a loss is quite another story. Chris Paul and company have not lost consecutive games since January 27th, and we’d expect that trend to continue, especially considering the Suns got two full days to prepare for Durant, Irving, and the boys.
This season, the Suns have gone 13-3 against the spread after a defeat, an 81 percent hit rate that ranks them tops in the NBA in that department by a pretty considerable margin. Monty Williams’ team has not lost by wide margins very often this season, losing just five games by double-digits all year long. In those games, they have gone 4-1 ATS, which represents another enticing 80+ percent hit rate.
The Suns have also been very reliable when taking on the cream of the crop from the East, going 4-0 straight up and ATS against the Philadelphia 76ers and Milwaukee Bucks this year. The Suns did lose their matchup against the Nets back in February, but that game had some extenuating circumstances.
First off, it was Nash’s first trip back to Phoenix as a head coach, so no doubt his players were out there killing it for him. Not to mention that Nash’s assistant, Mike D’Antoni, was the coach of those Nash Suns teams, so there was even more incentive. Top all of that off with one of the best performances of Beardo’s career, and a comeback win for the ages for Brooklyn is what you get.
That will not happen this time around without that emotional factor. Another point to note is that the Suns beat the Bucks in Milwaukee and then beat the Sixers in Philly before falling to the Celtics in Boston on the back end of a back-to-back. The Suns have now had time to gather themselves and should have no problem covering their -1.5 NBA point spread at solid -111 NBA odds as one of our best bets for today.
I mean, the Suns are literally set to play five of the Eastern Conference’s six best teams all in a row and all on the road. Now that is tough scheduling for Paul and friends, but they’ve been exceeding expectations all season, so why not again?
- Brooklyn has not won or lost 2 straight in their last 9 games
- Phoenix has not lost consecutive games since Jan. 27th
- Phoenix is 13-3 ATS after a loss this season
- Phoenix is 15-9-1 ATS against the East this season
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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.