NBA Pick: San Antonio Spurs, Phoenix Suns ‘under’ 201½

LT Profits Sports Group

Sunday, February 24, 2013 5:00 AM GMT

This total seems inflated with Tony Parker out for the Spurs, as the Suns have reached 100 points only once in their last 14 games. With the ‘under’ 18-8 in Phoenix home games, go ‘under’.

Expect a lower scoring game than the lofty posted total may indicate Sunday night when the San Antonio Spurs (44-13, 22-11 away) wrap up their annual “Rodeo Trip” with a visit to the Phoenix Suns (18-38, 12-14 home) at the US Airways Center in Phoenix, AZ at 8:05 ET.

The posted total at Pinnacle Sports is 201½ for this contest with the current odds on the ‘under’ set at -105.

The Spurs are coming off of a double overtime 107-101 loss to the Golden State Warriors on Friday in a game where San Antonio shot just 38.9 percent from the field and blew a 13-point fourth-quarter lead. The end result was just the Spurs’ second loss in the last 18 games, and under normal circumstances, it would make this game a prime bounce-back spot.

However, there are a couple of reasons why a San Antonio offense that ranks fourth in the NBA in scoring with 104.4 points per game could have its struggles again in this game. First and foremost, the Spurs will be without Tony Parker as he suffered a right triceps contusion, although it is unclear whether he suffered the injury during the game in Oakland or during Saturday’s practice.

Parker leads the team in both scoring (21.1 points) and assists (7.6 per game) as the 10-year veteran is one of the best point guards in the NBA. Furthermore, backup guard Gary Neal may also be sidelined with a calf injury, meaning that first-year player Nando de Colo, who is averaging 3.4 points and 1.8 assists in limited minutes, will start in Parker’s place.

Another concern is that with this being the final game of a nine-game road trip necessitated by the rodeo coming to San Antonio, the Spurs could already be looking ahead to playing 13 of their next 15 games at home, especially since they are ending this trip vs. a Suns’ team with the worst record in the Western Conference, and also a Suns’ team that they will face again when they finally return home on Wednesday.

If the Spurs are not up to their usual offensive standards, we feel it would make it difficult for this game to go ‘over’ as after so many years of playing a run-and-gun offense when Stave Nash was in town as the point guard, the Suns are simply not a good offensive team this season. Apparently, the oddsmakers have been a tad slow to adjust as the ‘under’ is 18-8 in all Phoenix home games this season.

This Phoenix team is ranked 21st in the league in scoring at 94.7 points per game and it has reached 100 points only once in the last 14 games. Moreover, the Suns are averaging just 88.4 points on a woeful 42.4 percent shooting over the last five games.

Look for the run of Phoenix home ‘unders’ to continue in the desert on Sunday.

[gameodds]5/219238/238-19-93-92-1096/us[/gameodds]

NBA Pick: Spur, Suns ‘under’ 201½ (-105)