We highlight one of tonight's heavy moneyline underdogs for our Friday night NBA picks, as we feel the betting value is just too good to pass up.
We head west with our NBA picks tonight, as the Utah Jazz take on the Phoenix Suns as valuable dogs.
After losing handedly at San Antonio a couple weeks ago the Utah Jazz have played respectable basketball, even against some of the elite teams in the league. In that time frame they played the resurgent Cavs tough after a bad first quarter, beat a very solid Bucks team, beat the best team in the NBA in Golden State (insert argument for Atlanta here), had a tough loss at Portland, and another tough loss off a back to back against a very good Memphis team.
In that same time frame the Suns have played decent as well going 4-4 against the better teams in the league. They are essentially that word, “decent”. Where they do struggle is when they play back to back games. The Suns are 3-8 this year when playing back to back games and when they are on a road to home back to back they are 0-3 losing to Memphis, Miami, and Milwaukee this season. Defensively the Suns, well the Suns… hey how about that offense! Here is the guts of the matter, the Suns don’t play defense. Sure you could say it is because of their pace and spacing and other factors, but I think we all know the inherent problem of the Suns, fun to watch, but it is hard (or shall I say impossible) to win an NBA championship without a solid to superior defense.
Phoenix does rank second in points in the NBA. The problem is out of the top ten teams in this category they are 9th in point differential at +89 (Denver is 10th at -171), and out of the top 15 they rank 13th. So sure they can put the ball in the hoop, but so can their opponent, overall they rank 28th out of 30 professional basketball teams in points against, the two below them… the Lakers and Sixers.
I don’t anticipate the Jazz are going to get out and run with the Suns. I expect them to control the pace and use their better interior match ups to dominate the post. Their rebound differential is second in the league compared to Phoenix’s 24th ranking, and although that stat doesn’t have a lot to do with wins and losses it does predict the Jazz should use the advantages they have to win this game. Strategy and match ups aside, with the Suns off a back to back, this should be a lot closer than the NBA odds makers have it which gives us our play.
Free NBA Pick: Utah +175 at 5Dimes