Game: Utah Jazz @ Phoenix Suns
Time: 9:00 p.m. ET
Odds: Jazz +10, Suns -10
Tonight’s Western Conference clash features the first-place Phoenix Suns against the fourth-place Utah Jazz. It should be a great game, but looking at tonight’s spread makes you wonder. The Suns are a 10-point favorite playing at home at the Footprint Center. There are a couple of reasons why Phoenix enters tonight’s game as a double-digit favorite.
The Suns are in the midst of yet another winning streak. This one is now six games long and the Suns have won all six games by an average margin of 13.5 points. The Suns beat Indiana by 10 and Dallas by seven but blew out San Antonio (121-107), Detroit (135-108), and the Pacers (112-94) in the three previous games.
Utah, on the other hand, has been struggling despite its 30-17 record. The Jazz just lost to Golden State 94-92 last night. It was Utah’s third loss in four games. The only victory came against the worst team in the NBA – Detroit. If you go back a little further, you will find that Utah is just 3-7 in its last ten games and since the calendar flipped to 2022 the Jazz are 4-8.
The problem for Utah has been defense. The offense still ranks first in the NBA. The Jazz average 114.2 points per game. The defense, on the other hand, has gone downhill going from sixth in points allowed per game to 11th. At the end of December, Utah allowed 105.6 points per game. That number now is 112.7.
The Jazz are also faced with some injury concerns heading into tonight’s game. Donovan Mitchell (concussion) and Hassan Whiteside (COVID) are out. Three-time NBA Defensive Player of the Year Rudy Gobert (calf) and Bojan Bogdanovic (knee) are questionable for tonight.
Phoenix is actually in the same boat with a number of injury issues. The difference is that the Suns have been able to have success despite their injury problems. Deandre Ayton is listed as doubtful and Jae Crowder, Abdel Nader, Dario Saric, and Cam Payne will not play.
Utah, with all its injuries over the past week, have averaged just 104.7 points per game in their last three games. That is a full 10.1 points fewer than their season average. The Suns, on the other hand, have averaged 114.8 points per game (more than two points above their season average) over the last six games.
Phoenix, which is 25-20 ATS for the season, is 4-1 ATS in its last five games. They were double-digit favorites in two of those games. The Jazz have been much less successful against the spread this season. Utah is 20-26-1 ATS on the season and recently they have failed against the number. In their last nine games, the Jazz are 1-7-1 ATS. The Jazz haven’t had much luck against Phoenix either going 0-5 ATS in the last five games against the Suns.
This is the first meeting between the two teams this season. The last time they played was in April 2021. Phoenix won 121-100 at home as a 3.5-point favorite.