Once again, it looks like the Phoenix Suns will miss the playoffs. But should they be getting 11.5 points on the basketball odds for Thursday’s matchup in Oakland versus the Golden State Warriors?
Jason’s record as of Mar. 31: 64-61-5 ATS, 7-11 Totals, plus-1.15 units ML
It’s back to the drawing board for the Phoenix Suns. At 38-37 SU and 38-35-2 ATS, the Suns are 4.5 games out of a playoff spot in the Western Conference as we go to press. They’ve lost four games in a row SU and ATS. Their starting combo guard and center just got injured again. And the Suns have to hit the road Thursday night (7:30 p.m. ET, TNT) to face the No. 1 team in the league, the Golden State Warriors. Sorry about your damn luck.
But have the NBA odds gone too far this time? Golden State (61-13 SU, 45-28-1 ATS) is laying 11.5 points at home – that seems like a lot of points against a Suns team that’s still above .500 and still has some talent. Then again, the way the Warriors are playing lately, they could beat the 2004-05 Phoenix Suns by double digits.
Don’t Look, Ethel~!
You remember the Warriors, right? They put a headlock on the West right out of the gate, winning five in a row SU and ATS, then rattling off another 16 straight wins at 11-5 ATS. Remember that? How about Golden State’s eight-game winning streak at 6-1-1 ATS coming out of the holidays? No?
That’s what the Warriors get for playing in Oakland. Granted, the betting market did dry up for Golden State after that. Despite winning 14 of their next 19 games from the beginning of February, the Dubs became an awful basketball pick at 7-12 ATS, including 2-4 ATS as double-digit faves. Too much chalk will do that to you.
Well, don’t look now, but the Warriors are on a 10-game winning streak, and once again, they’re cashing in handsomely at 9-1 ATS. They’ve covered three of their four games at –10 or higher, even against two teams with winning records: the New Orleans Pelicans (+14 away) and the Washington Wizards (+11 away). Money money money.
Of course, the Wizards are a mess right now, and the Pelicans didn’t have Anthony Davis or Omer Asik for that game. However, the Suns have their own injury problems. Brandon Knight (10.6 PER, minus-4.5 BPM) is questionable to play Thursday after spraining his ankle again, and Alex Len (13.5 PER, minus-0.9 BPM) is out for a week after breaking his nose in Monday’s 109-86 loss to the Portland Trail Blazers (–8.5 at home).
Maybe this isn’t such a bad thing from a betting perspective. We took a flyer on the Suns two weeks ago as a moneyline pick against the Houston Rockets, in part because Knight and Len were both injured – and were getting outplayed by their replacements, especially Brandan Wright (17.9 PER, plus-2.1 BPM) in Len’s spot. Okay, Len ended up playing in that 117-102 win over Houston, but he shot 2-for-10 and only played 18 minutes, thankfully for us.
10 Days of Spring
As much as we happen to like Wright here at the home office, things are a little different for Phoenix this time. The playoffs are much less likely, and there’s a good chance we’ll see the Suns focus on preparing for next year instead. For example, point guard Jerel McNeal has been brought up from the Bakersfield Jam on a 10-day contract. McNeal was a D-League All-Star in 2013 and a former Big East Defensive Player of the Year at Marquette. He could get some burn on Thursday.
Besides, we’re not about to fade the Warriors with our NBA picks when they’re making money hand over fist. The only bugaboo here is whether they’ll decide to rest some of their starters – Draymond Green (16.5 PER, plus-5.3 BPM) has already been given a game off to rest his sore shin. This is the NBA, so wait until the shootaround before betting, but we’ll give our unconditional love to Golden State anyway.
Free NBA Pick: Take the Warriors -11.5 at BetOnline