NBA Basketball Betting Preview
Utah Jazz (38-22) at Phoenix Suns (38-24)
Thursday March 4th, 10:30PM Eastern
Betus.com betting line – Phoenix -1, 213
Western Conference action returns Thursday night when the Phoenix Suns host the Utah Jazz in an interesting betting match-up. The Suns own the NBA’s top scoring offense draining 109 points per contest and the Jazz can light up the score board on any given night as well. Utah will actually enter the game on a rare two day’s rest which should give them a good edge. However, the Jazz were upset by the Clippers in their last outing 108-104. The surprising loss opened a lot of eyes because that was Utah’s 3rd loss in their last 5 games and the Jazz, who were one of the hottest teams in the league, have seemingly lost their momentum. The Suns roll into the contest after a late road trip where they blasted the Clippers 127-101. The Suns have now won 7 of their last 8 games and will be slight favorites when the Jazz come into town.
Phoenix is led by their big man Amare Stoudemire who at one time just a few weeks ago were in the middle of the trade drama. However, Stoudemire did not perish and that is good news for the rest of the Suns. Stoudemire has averaged 21.7 points on the season and dropped a team-high 30 points last night against the Clippers while also pulling down 14 boards. Another important player to the Suns new found confidence has been the recent performance of Jason Richardson. Richardson has shown signs of high scoring potential throughout the season, but is becoming a much bigger every night consistent threat during the 2nd half of the season. Richardson’s average has climb to 15.4 points per game and the Suns are 17-4 SU when he scores 20 or more points. Point guard Steve Nash is the man responsible directing the offense. Nash has the ability to race up the stat sheet, but has been sort of complacent over the last few games scoring just 13 points combined in the last two contests. If Nash can make a few shots it will definitely add fuel to the Phoenix fire that has been burning of late.
One of the underlying problems in the Jazz starting roster that has not received a lot of attention is that point guard Deron Williams has played mostly hurt since the all-star break. Williams has played with a sprained wrist that has dampened his field goal percentage from the floor as he is shooting just 38% over the last 7 games. However, Carlos Boozer has been very solid for the Jazz scoring 22 points per game over the last 5 contests. Boozer had a huge performance in a victory over Phoenix earlier this year scoring 21 points and pulling down 20 boards in the contest. Boozer will likely be the anchor of the Utah offense again on Thursday night. Another guy that really stepped up in that previous meeting was Andrei Kirilenko who led the team with 25 points. Kirilenko has missed 3 of the last 4 games with back problems adding to the injury woes that have definitely held the Jazz from performing at their best. The question is how will those injuries affect the Jazz on Thursday?
The Jazz are winners of 6 of their last 9 games against the books. Utah has also reached the over in 5 straight games. However note before those 5 over totals, the Jazz scored the previous 5 straight to the under total. Phoenix has really turned up the heat winning 7 straight games ATS leading up to their meeting with the Clippers. The Suns have also reached the under total in 10 of their last 13 games. The Suns have also won the last 7 out of 8 games ATS where they were favored to win the contest. However, Utah has won the last 5 out of 7 games SU against Phoenix will the total has averaged 218 during that stretch of games.
Pick – Suns -1