Moore’s Friday NBA Betting Angles (Oct. 25): Why the Suns-Nuggets Spread Is Too High
Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Devin Booker
I’ve got two matchup-dictated angles for Friday.
We’re 1-3 so far on the season. We’re on the board, but have work to do. These early season games are a mess trying to figure out what’s real and what’s not.
Mini-trend: The Under is 9-7 so far, a far cry from last year’s early-season overs bananza.
Odds as of Friday morning. Check out PointsBet, where Action Network users can access an exclusive promotion to get a 200% deposit match (deposit $50, bet with $150).
THE ANGLE: Style Dictates Pace Dictates the Under for Jazz-Lakers
10:30 p.m. ET, ESPN
The Lakers and Clippers played at the slowest pace of any game so far in this young season in their Tuesday opener. The Jazz and Thunder played the third-slowest.
For all the conversation about Utah’s offense being improved — and it will be; Mike Conley won’t shoot 1-of-16 again — the defense remains integral to their success. The Lakers are a veteran team and those teams always rely more on defense.
There’s also just simple physics involved. The Lakers play Anthony Davis and JaVale McGee (or Dwight Howard) together. The Jazz play Rudy Gobert. Neither team has speed freaks that streak down the court. There are no afterburners.
Both teams will be patient with creating the best offensive look possible. The return of Rajon Rondo (depending on which Rondo shows up) might help the Lakers’ defense, just in terms of perimeter size and steal quickness.
This is a big test for both teams, and a game with some urgency for the Lakers. Starting out 0-2 vs. two West contenders, even this early, ain’t great. It’s not a big deal, but it ain’t great, either.
The Jazz will struggle to counter the Davis-McGee lineup without Derrick Favors on the court and will likely have Bojan Bogdanovic and Joe Ingles on LeBron, which could get rough. (Ingles has slipped a bit since he locked up Paul George two years ago.)
But this still should be a grind.
THE PLAY: Under 219, Lakers Team Total Under 111.5 [In New Jersey? Bet now at PointsBet]
THE ANGLE: Suns Market Catch-Up
9 p.m. ET
So Deandre Ayton is out for 25 games (pending appeal) for violating the NBA’s banned substance policy. The line has since ticked up from 11 to 12 at most books after the news.
The Nuggets went 9-5 at home vs. double-digit spreads last season, a great mark. Reviewing those games, they were excellent vs. the league’s absolute worst and most hopeless teams, including 2-0 vs…. the Phoenix Suns.
Except these aren’t those Suns. Of the ten players who played double-digit minutes in the Suns’ home opener route of the Kings, seven of them were not on roster in the two Nuggets’ blowout wins a year ago. This Suns team has competent veterans, shooting, and yes, defense.
The Kings surely imploded, and it was just one game, but we have established track records of defensive capability from Ricky Rubio, Dario Saric, Aron Baynes, Tyler Johnson, and Kelly Oubre.
The loss of Ayton will surely hurt the Suns’ offense, but will only help their defense, which fills in with more experienced players in Baynes, an excellent defender, and Frank Kaminsky, who is tall and has been around.
The Nuggets shot 56% from 3-point range in their win vs. the Blazers, and still finished with just a 104.3 offensive rating. Their defense was excellent, and they benefitted from some Blazer cold-shooting. Some of that offensive struggle was tied to Nikola Jokic’s foul trouble.
But the Nuggets are also likely to regress from 3-point range while shooting a little better overall. Their team total is at 116. Denver can absolutely put up that number, but with Phoenix’s defensive profile, it, along with the Nuggets’ 11-point spread, are too high.
THE PLAY: Suns +12, Nuggets Team Total Under 116 [In New Jersey? Bet now at PointsBet]