NBA Odds & Picks for Wizards vs. Suns: Phoenix Will Continue Dominance (April 10)
- Phoenix is No. 2 in the West but actually lost by 21 points to Washington in January.
- The Wizards are riding high after a thrilling 110-107 victory over the Golden State Warriors.
- With Bradley Beal ailing, Raheem Palmer is backing the Suns.
Wizards vs. Suns Odds
|Moneyline||-770 / +525|
|Time||10 p.m. ET|
|TV||NBA League Pass|
Fresh off a thrilling 110-107 victory over the Golden State Warriors, the Washington Wizards hope to build some momentum on their seven game road trip as they take on the Phoenix Suns. The Suns have been downright dominant this season with the second-best record in the Western Conference at 36-15 and a league-leading 33-18 against the spread mark.
The Suns have won 10 out of their last 12 games and saw their seven game win streak snapped at the hands of the Los Angeles Clippers in their 113-103 loss Thursday night.
The Suns look to rebound as they begin the first game of a five-game home stretch against the Washington Wizards where they’ve been installed as an 11-point favorite with a total of 229. So, let’s find out where the betting value lies.
Wizards Will Struggle If Beal Can’t Go
With a 18-32 record and 13th in the Eastern Conference, the Washington Wizards don’t have any playoff aspirations. They’re unlikely to make the play-in game and are just seven games losses away from hitting the under on their season win total (32.5). Nonetheless, this team isn’t really a pushover with the NBA’s scoring leader in Bradley Beal averaging 31.2 points per game.
Beal missed five straight games with a hip injury before returning in Wednesday’s win against the Orlando Magic. Despite struggling with his hip injury and previously going 0-4 from behind the arc, his last second heroics in last night’s game against the Warriors snatched victory from the jaws of defeat as he got fouled by Andrew Wiggins on a game tying three and made the subsequent free throw to take the lead with 6.1 seconds to go. The Wizards are scoring a whopping 114.2 points per 100 possessions on the floor vs 102.4 with him off the floor (+11.8) so it’s clear he’s making a star level impact offensively.
Beal’s status is uncertain for tonight as he had some hip discomfort in the win over the Warriors — we give him a 50% chance to play as of Saturday morning. It’s likely he’ll rest which means the Wizards, who are just 21st in Offensive Rating, scoring 109.6 points per 100 possessions in their non garbage time minutes, will struggle to score in his absence, particularly against a Suns team which in the top 10 defensively.
The Wizards are 1-7 without Beal this season, have a net rating of -10 and are scoring just 101.9 points per 100 possessions in these games.
The Wizards play the fastest pace in the league at 104.43 possessions a game so many of their games have high scores despite the lack of efficiency. Wizards primarily thrive through mid range jumpers where they’re shooting the second highest percentage of field goals (39.4%) while making the fifth highest percentage (44.8%).
Russell Westbrook, Bradley Beal and Rui Hachimura are in the 88th, 97th and 93rd percentile in mid range shot attempts according to Cleaning The Glass. Unfortunately only Beal is efficient from midrange, shooting 49% while Westbrook and Hachimura are shooting 40% and 44% respectively. If Beal can’t go, we’ll see a lot more Westbrook and Hachimura and we could likely see Raul Neto or Garrison Matthews step into the starting lineup.
The Wizards also shoot 66.5% from the rim but they are shooting the fifth lowest percentage (29.1%) there. Even with Davis Bertans on the roster playing 24.5 minutes a game, the Wizards are still just 28th in 3-point shooting percentage (34.8%). With them scoring most from the area of the floor where opposing teams hope to give up points, I think this Wizards team might have trouble scoring with or without Beal against this tough Suns defense.
Defensively the Wizards are just 25th in Defensive Rating, allowing opponents to score 113.8 points per 100 possessions this season. Although the Wizards have improved recently, allowing teams to score just 107.5 points per 100 possessions over the past two weeks, they still have weaknesses the Suns can exploit.
The Wizards are 21st in opponent field goal percentage at the rim (65.2%) and dead last at opponent field goal percentage from mid range (46.4%) which spells trouble against Chris Paul and Devin Booker.
The Phoenix Suns have been on an unbelievable run. They’ve won 10 out of their last 12 games and were on a seven game win streak before they ran out of gas in Thursday Night’s loss against the Clippers. Although they led 67-61 with 8:20 in the third quarter, tired legs eventually did them in.
The Suns 3-point shooting just didn’t show up Thursday night as they were 0-of-8 from behind the arc in the third quarter, 1-of-5 the fourth quarter and 6-of-24 for the game. It’s truly a make or miss league because while the Suns couldn’t buy a bucket from 3-point range, the Clippers were hotter than July, making 18-of-37 3s (48.6%). The Suns were competitive against last year’s preseason Finals favorite the night after their 117-113 overtime victory against the Utah Jazz, which says a lot about this Phoenix team.
The Suns are well rested for this one, having a day off after Thursday’s game and they have the advantage of taking on a Wizards team that played a tough back-to-back against the Warriors. It hasn’t mattered who the Suns have played this season, as they’re 18-7 against teams above .500 and 18-8 against teams below .500, and 17-4 in 10-point games. This team is beating everyone and with a top 10 offense and defense, you have to wonder why more people aren’t considering this team as a championship contender or Monty Williams for Coach of the Year.
The Suns are third in Net Rating (6.6), so this is one of the best teams in the league this season. They play the slowest pace in the league at 98.01 possessions but they make up for the slow pace in efficiency as they’re seventh in Offensive Rating, scoring 116.6 points per 100 possessions in their non garbage time minutes, according to Cleaning the Glass.
As good as they are offensively, they’re equally as good defensively. The Suns are fifth in Defensive Rating (109.6 points per 100 possessions) and are allowing teams to shoot the fourth lowest percentage on 3-point field goals (35.2%). The Wizards are one of the worst 3-point shooting teams in the league so this is a game in which the Suns can outscore the Wizards just from behind the arc. The Suns are also close to the top 10 in opponent shooting percentage in the mid-range (42.1%) which is key against a Wizards team which is shooting the majority of their field goals from the midrange.
Wizards vs. Suns Pick
This feels like the perfect revenge spot for the Suns. These two teams played on Jan. 11 and the Wizards won 128-107 in one of the most perplexing games of the season. The Suns were never in the game, and hot 4-of-27 from behind the arc. It was the third game of a five-game road trip in which the Suns finished 2-3 so it wasn’t their best stretch.
Now, the Suns are rolling and catch the Wizards on a back-to-back after a tough game against the Warriors. With Bradley Beal recently returning from a hip injury and dealing with back soreness, he may be absent for tonight’s matchup.
My model makes this game Suns -12 but I think this has some blowout potential. Lay the points with the Suns in the first half and full game and they should have no problems bouncing back from Thursday’s loss to the Clippers.
Pick: Phoenix Suns first half spread & full game -11 (-110)