Fast Offense Meets Poor Defense: Take 'Over' In Spurs vs. Suns Game

Ted Sevransky

Thursday, January 21, 2016 7:35 PM UTC

Thursday, Jan. 21, 2016 7:35 PM UTC

Let's take a look at this late Western Conference matchup between the San Antonio Spurs & the Phoenix Suns, we break it down so we can get our sharp NBA pick for tonight.

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NBA Pick: Over 201
Best Line Offered: at Heritage


San Antonio Spurs vs. Phoenix Suns
The Spurs have been the single best pointspread team in the NBA this year, yet they’re showing no signs of being overvalued. They’ve been at their very best in ‘blowout’ spots; 19-5 ATS when laying between -7 and -13.5. But once we start getting into the really inflated pointspreads at -14 or higher, the Spurs become easier to fade if you choose to do so, with a more modest 5-3 against the NBA odds mark laying points in the range the Spurs are laying this evening.

And the Spurs will be rested and ready here, off since yet another dominating win over Dallas on Sunday. They’re on the first night of back-2-backs, but the second game tomorrow comes against the Lakers; not exactly a worrisome foe. And there’s no lookahead just yet for the Spurs first matchup against Golden State this season – San Antonio will have two more days off after leaving the Staples Center before their matchup against the Warriors on Monday Night.

San Antonio has dismantled Phoenix in both previous meetings this season, winning the two games by a combined 47 points. And the Suns are certainly no better now than they were then; a team in absolute free-fall since point guard Eric Bledsoe got hurt and forward Markieff Morris got suspended for throwing a towel in head coach Jeff Hornacek’s face. 

The results don’t lie. Since winning three out of four, including an outright upset at Chicago in mid-December, the Suns have gone 3-15 SU, 5-13 ATS. Six of their last nine losses have come by 14 points or more, largely non-competitive in defeat.

The Suns fought hard in their most recent game, a three point home loss to the Pacers. But that effort was buoyed by some unsustainable stats, like their 27-29 (93%) free throw shooting and their +7 rebounding margin. For a team that has been getting their clock cleaned on the boards every night, we can’t expect them to have success against a San Antonio frontcourt that ranks #2 in the NBA in rebounding margin.

That being said, the Suns have been far more competitive at home than they have on the highway. Their last home loss by 16 or more points came back in November against Golden State. But at least some of that is schedule related – the Suns have actually been favored in seven of their last eleven at home, hard as that is to believe given their dismal play in recent weeks.

You’re not going to get rich betting 16 point road favorites in the NBA, especially in a game where starting point guard Tony Parker is expected to sit. The Spurs have been fine playing without Parker this year. In three previous games without him, they won by 22 against the Lakers, by 25 against the Bucks and by 25 against the Jazz. But Phoenix is a one way team for me – it’s hard to make money betting on bottom feeders, every bit as much as it’s hard to make money laying big prices with elites on the highway.

I do have a lean on the total for my NBA pick, however. In those three games without Parker, the Spurs have had no hesitation pushing the pace and their offensive efficiency has been just fine. They’ve gone 3-0 to the Over in those contests, scoring 109, 123 and 123 points in the process. A similar offensive showing here should get this game Over the total against a Suns team that doesn’t play much defense and has no hesitation pushing the pace.  

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