Pointspread: Utah -5.5
Total Line: 199.5
The eighth and final postseason spot in the Western Conference will be up for grabs this Tuesday night at the Energy Solutions Area as the Phoenix Suns and the Utah Jazz clash in this winner-take-all battle. The game tips-off at 10:30 p.m. (ET) and it will be broadcast nationally on TNT.
Phoenix comes into this showdown fresh off a 118-107 loss to Denver as a four-point home favorite that dropped its overall record to 33-31 straight-up and 34-30 against the spread. It is 14-18 SU on the road this season and 16-16 ATS. The total has stayed ‘under’ in 21 of its 32 road games.
There is little doubt that the Suns have the offensive firepower to win this game with an average of 98.4 points a game, but their defense is ranked 20th in the league in points allowed; giving-up the exact same amount.
Utah has gained the edge on Phoenix in the conference with three straight victories that have raised its overall record to 34-30 SU and 33-30-1 ATS. It raced past Orlando 117-107 in overtime this past Saturday as a 9.5-point home favorite to improve to 23-8 SU and 19-12 ATS at home. The total has gone 16-14-1 in those 31 games.
Behind Al Jefferson and Paul Millsap, who have combined for 35.8 points and 18.3 rebounds a game this season, the Jazz also have one of the most potent offensive attacks in the league with an average of 99.7 points a game. Just like the Suns, defense remains the issue as they are allowing their opponents to average 99.3 points against them.
The Suns are 5-0 ATS in their last five games following a SU loss and 10-1 in their last 11 games following an ATS loss. The total has stayed ‘under’ in six of their last seven games when playing on two day’s rest.
The Jazz are 3-1-1 ATS in their last five games following a SU win and 5-2-1 ATS in their last eight games overall. The total has gone ‘over’ in four of their last five games with two day’s rest.
Head-to-head, the road team is 5-1 ATS in the last six meetings and the total has stayed ‘under’ in five of the last seven games. Phoenix is a perfect 4-0 both SU and ATS in its last four trips to Utah and 6-1 ATS in the last seven meetings overall. Given the current spread in this game, the Suns are a solid play with the points as they keep this a one or two possession game right down to the bitter end. The Free NBA Pick: Utah 104 Phoenix 101.
DJ is a freelance writer that concentrates on his true passion in life; the world of sports. He produces a number of articles each week for BangTheBook.com as well as a select group of other websites that specialize in providing the most up-to-date information for the sports gaming industry. His goal is to write insightful articles on a wide variety of sporting topics that can provide an edge to today's sophisticated online player.