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Jazz vs Suns Picks – Fresher Phoenix Wins the Day

Posted by Craig Parsons on 3/18/2010 3:42:08 PM
NBA Odds: Pick Suns

The online betting skinny isn’t really that different from other forms of betting wisdom when it comes to the NBA. Amidst the long slog of the regular season, it always helps to be the fresher and more rested team. Such is the case this Friday night in Phoenix, Ariz., as the hometown Suns welcome the Utah Jazz to the Valley of the Sun for a Western Conference clash.

Jazz vs Suns Picks betting odds: Suns
  • What: NBA Betting
  • When: Friday, March 19th – 10:05 PM ET
  • Where: U.S. Airways Center, Phoenix, AZ
  • Key Stat: Suns are 26-9 at home, while the Jazz are 17-16 on the road

The Storyline - Jazz vs Suns picks

Sportsbook odds will generally lean in favor of the home team in most NBA games, at least if the talent level is appreciably equal. It can be reasonably argued that such a scenario exists in this tussle between Utah – sitting in fourth place in the Western Conference at the moment – and the sixth-place Suns, who stand just two games behind the Jazz for the final home-court slot in the first round of the upcoming NBA Playoffs. Both teams have had the look of a winner at some points in the 2010 NBA season. The Suns raced to a 14-3 record to start the season and have now won 10 of their last 13. Coach Alvin Gentry’s group looks very impressive whenever it can play well at the defensive end of the floor. Wing Jason Richardson, in his best moments, elevates the Suns with this offensive versatility and open-court prowess, but that ingredient isn’t always in the mix for the Suns, whose inconsistency has prevented them from cracking the upper echelon in the West.

The Jazz were extremely dysfunctional through the first two and a half months of the season, and on Jan. 19 – exactly two months ago to the day – coach Jerry Sloan’s squad was floundering at 23-18, just outside the realm of playoff-worthy teams. Then, however, it caught fire. Utah has won 21 of its last 27 games in a two-month span and has been the best team in the West in recent times. Yes, the Los Angeles Lakers are still the class of the West, and yes, the Denver Nuggets probably have the best chance of knocking off the Lake Show in the coming playoffs, but the Jazz have made up more ground than anyone else since Jan. 19. The big question is this: Will Utah slide downward in much the same way the Suns did after their tremendous start? More to the point, can Utah continue to win road games… the road games it didn’t manage to capture in November, December and early January?

Offensive Matchups - Jazz vs Suns picks

The Jazz score an average of 103.6 points per game, and have scored at least 111 points in five of their last six contests. Superstar point guard Deron Williams, in his nine March outings, has delivered double-digit assist figures on seven of those occasions. Utah is getting the good ball distribution it needs.

The Suns average 110.1 points per game, a number that looks good but is inflated by the occasional thermonuclear performance against a bad team. On Tuesday, March 16, the Suns obliterated the woeful Minnesota Timberwolves by a 152-114 score. Phoenix has also made it a habit to score 125 points – or something close to it – on almost every occasion that the Los Angeles Clippers take the court as a gameday opponent. This is a fabulous Phoenix offense, but one shouldn’t get too carried away about it.

Betting Edge: Suns

Defensive Matchups - Jazz vs Suns picks

The Jazz concede 98 points per game, while the Suns cough up 106.1 points per contest. This shouldn’t be very surprising. Jerry Sloan insists on rugged defense and tireless effort, and in Utah’s surge toward the upper tier of the West standings, the Jazz have finally seemed to get the message. It also needs to be said, though, that when Deron Williams is doing his thing at the offensive end of the floor and the Jazz are scoring 115 points, giving up 104 – not considered a good thing in general – suddenly ceases to matter as much.

Betting Edge: Jazz

Notable Injuries - Jazz vs Suns picks

Forward Andrei Kirilenko (calf), guard Wesley Matthews (knee), and guard Deron Williams (ankle) are all listed as questionable for the Jazz.

Betting Edge: Suns

Betting Prediction - Jazz vs Suns picks

Utah is dinged up and the Suns have had two days of rest. (Utah will have just one off day before this contest.) Being fresh makes a difference over the course of an 82-game regular-season grind. Fitness and health play into the NBA equation, so take the rested Suns on Friday night.

Craig’s Pick: Suns

For more sports betting tips and articles, check out the betonline.com Betting Edge daily.


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