Fresh off their stunning victory over the NBA’s top team in the Utah Jazz, the Phoenix Suns will try their luck on the second night of a back-to-back against yet another power in the West, the Los Angeles Clippers. L.A’s form is just as good as Phoenix’s at the moment, and it now has welcomed back a member of the starting five. Can Phoenix muster up enough energy to make this one a game, or will the Suns get steamrolled on the road against the surging Clippers? We’ll tell you where to look at SBR’s top-rated sportsbooks.
Phoenix Suns vs. Los Angeles Clippers
Thursday, April 8, 2021 – 10:00 PM ET at Staples Center
Well, that was thrilling. After an overtime victory over the class of the NBA, the Suns have now won 10 of 11 games and covered in six of them. They’ll now enter this one having traveled from Phoenix to Southern California and having played less than 24 hours before tip. That’s no worry, though. The Suns have gone 8-3 against the spread on the second night of back-to-backs this year, generally keeping up their level of production from night to night.
Over the past 11 games, things have been great. The Suns rank top six in offensive and defensive efficiency, though the one area they could be doing better is rebounding, where they’re just 12th. Against a strong frontcourt, that could be a concern.
Injury-wise, there shouldn’t be too many concerns here. The Suns have been playing all their starters on the second night of back-to-backs, though it should be stated that none of those were as taxing as an overtime game against the best team in the NBA.
A key matchup will be Chris Paul against the returning Patrick Beverley. Both play outstanding defense, but Paul’s importance to the offense for Phoenix cannot be understated. He was a team-best +17 on Wednesday, seeing the entire floor with clarity down the stretch and knocking down big shot after big shot. If Beverley is able to put the clamps on him, the game could end quickly.
The Clippers are absolutely rolling at the moment, coming into Thursday the winners of eight of their last 10 games. They’ve covered in eight of those, with spreads of 5.5 or more six of seven times they’ve been asked to. Simply put, Los Angeles has looked strong after a mid-season dip in production. They will be happy to stay at home, where the team just took down the Blazers convincingly to improve to 19-8 straight up at Staples Center and 16-11 against the spread in those games.
It’s hard to run through the numbers and find something that the Clippers haven’t done well during the last 10 games. They’re second in the NBA with a 41.6 three-point field goal percentage, No. 1 in offensive efficiency at 120.1 points per 100 possessions, and fifth in defensive efficiency with a rating of 105.8. They’re also rebounding the ball at a 52.9% rate, which is fourth in the league. That’s particularly of interest because the frontcourt hasn’t exactly been where the Clippers have made their mark this year.
The best part for the Clippers? They just got Patrick Beverley back from injury on Tuesday, marking the first time he’s played since March 11. Together with Rajon Rondo, the point guard position for L.A. could be stronger than when it first began its eight-game run. Beverley is a key to the Clippers’ defensive prowess and should be under the microscope in this one against Chris Paul. He could very well prove to be the difference.
To me, five points are far too many to be giving the team with the second-best record out West. I recognize that this NBA line makes sense on paper, considering how good the Clippers are and how they have been playing, but given Phoenix’s prowess on the second night of back-to-backs, I can’t ignore them here. I’m going to be taking the points that the top betting sites are giving us.
*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.