The two premier powers in the Western Conference tip-off in what is Wednesday’s marquee matchup. Let’s break down this primetime showdown and keep cashing our NBA picks!
Utah Jazz vs. Phoenix Suns
Wednesday, April 07, 2021 – 10:00 PM EDT at PHX Arena
Utah saw their nine-game winning streak snapped in Dallas on Monday night when they bowed, 111-103, to the Mavericks. The Jazz still sit atop the Western Conference standings, leading the second-place Suns by 2 ½ games, but online bookmakers have slowly caught up to them after a sizzling ATS start to the season. Utah was just 5-5 against the number over their last 10 games, yet they still own an impressive 31-19 ATS record on the season.
The Jazz had previously defeated the Mavericks twice this season and both by double digits but Luke Doncic was not to be denied and gave Utah a case of the blues when he lit them up for 31 points en route to the eight-point victory.
In the two previous meetings between the clubs, the Mavericks led for a total of 19 seconds in both games combined. However, in Monday night’s matchup, Dallas came to play and never relinquished the lead they established just four minutes into the opening quarter.
"To hold these guys to 103 is a hell of a job," said Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle. "The difference was we just came out and we were much more physical than we were last time we played them. That was a long time ago; that was light years ago."
Suns Continue to Shine
Phoenix is proving they are no early-season fluke, having rattled off six straight wins and nine of their last 10 while owning one of the best records in the NBA at 35-14. After annihilating the Thunder, 140-103, on Friday the Suns hit the road and defeated the Rockets by three points on Monday night.
Unlike their previous victory, Phoenix’s defense took the night off but the Suns still prevailed in a game in which they were as high as 14 ½ point favorites at some sports betting websites. When the dust settled at the Toyota Center in Houston, the Suns claimed a 133-130 victory and moved to within 2 ½ games of the conference-leading Utah Jazz.
Who else, but Devin Booker, would lead the Suns in scoring with 36 points while Deandre Ayton chipped in 27 with 11 boards? Frank Kaminsky III remained sidelined due to the league’s health and safety mandates but there was more than enough offense to go around, just not nearly enough attention to the defensive side of the ball.
"I was just taking what the defense gave me," Booker said. "I got a couple of quick easy 3’s and was just trying to win the game. That's a hard-fighting team over there. A couple of times, we had the opportunity to put them away, but they didn't go anywhere. We wanted to get this one bad."
Wanna Make a Bet?
The early NBA odds on this battle for Western Conference supremacy reveals the Jazz as 2-point road chalk in this one. I’m not sure I agree with that and would even counter that the wrong side is favored here. Granted, the Suns lose some of their depth in the paint without Frank Kaminsky but they have gone 8-1 since he last took the court so this isn’t a big issue, despite the opponent being the top dog in the West.
Phoenix has covered their last three meetings with Utah, and their last two, including one this season back in December, have been double-digit victories. Let’s also not lose sight of the fact that the Jazz are coming off of a loss to the Mavericks in Dallas on Monday night and now must put it all together to play their chief rival in the conference on their home court.
Here are a few trends for your consideration:
- Utah is 1-4 ATS in their last 5 games as a road favorite.
- Utah is 1-4 ATS in their last 5 games playing on 1 day’s rest.
- Utah is 1-4 ATS in their last 5 road games.
- Utah is 1-6 ATS in their last 7 road games vs. a team with a winning home record.
- Phoenix is 6-0 ATS in their last 6 home games vs. a team with a winning road record.
- Phoenix is 12-1 ATS in their last 13 games vs. a team with a winning percentage above .600.
*The pick reflects the line at the moment the writer made the play, the odds at the beginning of this article show the live line movement. Since the lines might vary, don’t forget to refer back to our live odds.