Free NBA Pick: Suns Team Total To Stay 'Under' Against Clippers

Jay Pryce

Monday, February 22, 2016 1:36 PM GMT

Monday, Feb. 22, 2016 1:36 PM GMT

The Suns and Clippers clash for the third time this season. Phoenix covered the spread in the the first two mathups. What's the best bet for tonight's contest? NBA pick and anlysis here.

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NBA Pick: Suns Team Total Under 97.5
Best Line Offered: at Pinnacle

 

The Suns and Clippers meet for the third time on Monday night (10:30 p.m. ET) at the Staples Center. Phoenix covered the spread in the first two meetings, including winning outright 118-104 as a 1-point favorite back in early November. Both games, in fact, occurred early in the year when the Suns appeared in a much brighter place. The 16.5-point spread in this one is the largest L.A. has laid all season, and fans are just hoping for a close game.

 

Phoenix Suns (14-42 SU, 22-34 ATS)
The Suns have won just three games in its last 31 attempts, losing by an average margin of 12.0 points. They are 10-21 against the NBA odds during this dismal run, failing to beat the number by an average of 5.4 points a night. Can they maintain momentum following a competitive 118-111 defeat to the Spurs last night?

Defensively, it's been a horror show for Phoenix this year. Its 47.1 opponent shooting percentage is dead last in the NBA. The offense has taken a hit as well during the recent 30-game run. Putting up 96.5 points a night, interim coach Earl Watson's crew are shooting a less-than-stellar 42.7 percent from the field. They've failed to score above their market projection in 19 games during this stretch.

Devin Booker, and Archie Goodwin, with three years of combined NBA experience, have handled the backcourt since PG Brandon Knight, Eric Bledsoe's backup, went down with a groin injury in mid January. The young and inexperienced couple are struggling with ball control; the team's 17.0 turnovers are the second most in the league behind the 76ers. Newly acquired Phil Pressey may help sure things up.

The Suns lives and die by the three. They sink 9.1 per game and maintain the league's fourth best success rate at 36.3 percent. Away from home, when up against a team defending the arc better than average, points have been tough to come by. In 13 road trips against foes allowing 34.5 percent or less, the Suns put in just 7.4 a night and see their average point total plummet to 91.7 a contest. In 13 games versus those above this mark, they score 104.3 with 9.8 from downtown a night. The Clippers own the 11th best defensive mark in the league at 34.4 percent.

Watson is fielding a deep rotation after some player movement at the trade deadline. Bad boy Makieff Morris was shipped off to the Wizards, and in came power forward Kris Humphries. 10 players saw 18 minutes of action or more in the Spurs game. Watson is hoping fresh bodies can make a difference late in ball games.

 

L.A. Clippers (36-19 SU, 29-25-1 ATS)
The Clippers hosted the Western Conference's best immediately following the All-Star break. They beat the Spurs straight up 105-86 on Thursday, but slumped to defeat versus the Warriors 115-112 on Saturday, letting a 13-point lead evaporate late in the contest. Now they lay the most points to an opponent all season. Do the Clip stay up for this game, or sleepwalk through it?

Since All Star Chris Paul came over from New Orleans in 2011, the UNDER is 41-22-2 when the Clip tip off as double-digit favorites in L.A. Defense has been key to the number with L.A. allowing 93.2 points per game.

DeAndre Jordan has ripped down 18.8 rebounds on average in his last four games, but it is the number of points he scores that may make the difference for bettors. In the last 10 games, the 6-11 center is averaging 13.3 points per game. When he puts in this amount or less a night, the UNDER is 23-10-2 with the team posting 101.2 per contest. In 18 games where he's sunk 14 points or more, the OVER is 13-5 with the Clip posting 112.1 per game overall. In 26 lifetime matchups versus the Suns, Jordan has posted 14 points or more just twice in his career.

 

Final Analysis
I have to think Phoenix left it all on the court last night in their close tilt with the Spurs. The Suns played the Clip tough earlier in the year, but both had yet to show their true colors. L.A. Should win this handily, but the spread is too rich to put money on, nor can bettors trust the Suns in this spot. The line has slipped to 15.5 points at some shops with the total climbing to 211. We'll play the Suns team total UNDER 97.5 at these numbers as the sharp NBA pick.

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