Jazz vs. Suns NBA Odds & Picks: Phoenix Has Value to Pull Upset (Wednesday, April 7)
Christian Petersen/Getty Images. Pictured: The Phoenix Suns celebrate.
- The Jazz and Suns are battling for home-court advantage in the Western Conference playoffs.
- Phoenix, the 2-seed, is an underdog at home against Utah on Wednesday.
- Where's the value? Phillip Kall breaks it down below.
Jazz vs. Suns Odds
|Moneyline||-135 / +110|
|Over/Under||225.5 (-110 / -110)|
|Time||10 p.m. ET|
|Odds as of Tuesday evening and via BetMGM.|
An exciting matchup between the West’s top two seeds lies ahead as the Jazz take on the Suns. For Utah, a win would mean a 3.5-game lead with just a little more than a month left in the regular season. However, a loss means Phoenix is only 1.5 games back and there is much less room for error.
The battle for home-court advantage has both teams playing some of their best ball lately. In their past 10 games, both Phoenix and Utah are 9-1 with Net Ratings of better than +10 Per NBA.com.
With this game having major implications and both teams playing so well, it is not one to miss. Let’s dig deeper and see if we can find an angle with value to add spice to our viewing experience.
On Monday, the Jazz suffered a disappointing loss as the Mavericks beat them at their own game. Utah shot an uncharacteristically low 27.3% from deep while allowing an outrageously high 46.9% from 3-point range. For a team that ranks second in both 3-point percentage and 3-point percentage allowed, this is not likely to happen again. As a Jazz backer in that game, the complete fall-off from their averages still hurts.
Finding their rhythm again will be easier said than done against the Suns. Phoenix allows only a 34.7% 3-point percentage which ranks fourth.
If forced off the 3-point line, Utah will likely turn to star guard Donovan Mitchell to carry the offensive load. Since the All-Star break, Mitchell has taken his game up a notch. His 27.4 points per game are top 10 in that time. Not only is he scoring more but he is doing so with improved efficiency. Mitchell’s 47.4% field goal percentage is substantially improved from his 42.1% pre-All-Star break.
On nights the Jazz have shot worse than 36%, their record is a mere 8-8. To advance in the playoffs, they will need to find a second punch when the shooting is not there. Against the Suns, they could get their chance to show they can beat good teams even without elite shooting.
The Suns have taken care of business during this hot stretch, but have not faced a member of the NBA’s elite during it. Taking down Utah in a high-stakes game is their opportunity to show their young guns are ready for the big stage.
A major reason Phoenix looks ready to make a playoff run is its ability to win multiple ways. This mostly can be attributed to the Suns’ offense being proficient at scoring from all over the court. Phoenix currently shoots 37.9% from behind the arc, which ranks eighth. They also shoot 56.2% from 2-point range, which ranks second.
Leading the charge for this efficient offensive attack is point guard Chris Paul. Last season, the Suns looked much more trigger happy on offense, ranking 10th in pace. Behind its new floor general, Phoenix has slowed the pace and looked for the best shots. This has dropped the team’s pace down to the fifth slowest, but helped create high percentage looks.
Against the Jazz, the Suns’ love for attacking in the mid-range could give them the upper hand. While the statistician in me screams shooting mid-range jumpers is a waste, the Suns have shown they are the best at it, shooting 50.0% on 10–16 foot jumpers, per Basketball-Reference. This is typically the area Utah forces opponents, as it allows the highest percentage of shots from that distance. Phoenix should have a golden opportunity to take advantage of Utah’s defensive scheme.
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The Jazz have rewarded backers with a 31-19 record against the spread on the year, but are only 6-8 since the All-Star break.
In a game with serious playoff implications, both teams will show up ready to go. The Suns will likely focus on piggybacking off the Mavs’ success and stopping the Jazz 3-point attack. If they are successful, it’s hard to imagine Utah pivoting on offense and finding success elsewhere.
On the other hand, the Suns should be positioned to take advantage of the Jazz weak points. Utah’s typical defensive game plan forces teams into the mid-range, which is where Phoenix thrives. However, even if Utah takes this away, Phoenix has the ability to adjust and attack in different ways.
The Jazz remind me of the Bucks in recent years where they are built to dominate with a certain style. We have seen how lacking flexibility can cause problems when the stakes are higher. With both teams looking to lock in homecourt, this game will have that more intense atmosphere.
As the home underdogs, I like the Suns to pull the upset thanks to Paul’s leadership.
Pick: Suns +110 bet down to even money +100