The desert is somehow going to get even more scorching hot on Wednesday night when the West’s two hottest teams—who just so happen to be the conference’s top two teams as well—converge in Phoenix for a clash of epic proportions. The Phoenix Suns remain 2.5 games back of the Utah Jazz for the top seed in the conference, so this matchup won’t see a new top team crowned, but nonetheless, it is must-see TV.
Free Picks: Phoenix Suns vs. Utah Jazz
Suns, Jazz Battle In A Clash Of The Class Of The West On Wednesday (Season Betting Record: 77-84)
It must be acknowledged how much both of these teams have overachieved this season as well. The Jazz lost in tragic fashion in last season’s playoffs and the Suns didn’t even make it into the play-in despite going 8-0 in the bubble. Not only are they now perched atop the conference ahead of the favorites from the City of Angels, but they’ve been at or near the apex of the West for pretty much the whole season.
These two outfits are a few of the only groups in the NBA to have found any semblance of consistency throughout the campaign, which explains their sparkling records. The Suns come into Wednesday night’s clash of the Western Conference’s surprise titans having won six straight, nine of their past ten, and 18 of their past 22. Consistency.
The Jazz, meanwhile, are actually coming off a rare loss, a 111-103 defeat at the hands of the Dallas Mavericks. But that was just the 12th game they’ve dropped all year, and before that loss they had won nine straight, and 23 of their last 29.
So what happens when two red-hot comets are set up on a collision course? Well, one of them is going to blow through the other one, and we think the team to emerge victorious—and to make an NBA pick on—at Phoenix Suns Arena will be the team after which the venue is named.
Phoenix has been the best team against the spread all season, going 32-17 versus the oddsmakers so far during this campaign. Utah is not far behind, but it’s their ATS records against their own conference, the much tougher West, that sets this pair of overachieving squads apart somewhat.
While most of Utah’s ATS splits look great, their 12-11 ATS mark against the Western Conference leaves much to be desired. The Suns, meanwhile, have been much more dominant against the vaunted West Coast (20-9 ATS) than against the lesser East (12-8 ATS).
Chris Paul has led this youthful and dynamic group to a 6-3 straight up record against the rest of the top six teams in the West as well, which means they’re not just beating up on the West coast’s bottom feeders. Not to mention that Phoenix beat the Jazz in their only other matchup so far this season, a 106-95 road victory on New Year’s Eve.
The Suns haven’t been underdogs very often this season (just seven times) but they do pretty darn well when they are doubted by the sportsbooks. Phoenix has won outright in six of the seven games in which they were listed as the underdog this season, including wins in their last four straight in that situation. Phoenix’s recent dominance can be exhibited by the fact that they have not been listed as an underdog since February 10th.
The red-hot Suns will live up to their name and their recent play and take down the Jazz on Wednesday. We’re taking Phoenix’s underdog moneyline, and it’s one of our best bets for today because we’re getting it at beautiful +110 NBA odds that would leave any prospective bettor with hearts in their eyes
- Phoenix is 3-0 ATS in the last three meetings
- Phoenix is 20-9 ATS against the Western Conference this season
- Phoenix is 6-2 ATS as the underdog this season
- Utah is 5-6 ATS after a loss 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.