The Suns bring a 16-game win streak into Tuesday night’s showdown with the Warriors in one of the biggest games that can possibly be played in November (10 p.m. ET, TNT).
Phoenix is priced as a 2.5-point favorite on most oddsboards as of Tuesday morning, while FanDuel is dealing -2. The total ranges between 220.5 and 221.
Just One Of 82, But ….
To be clear, anyone believing this game is a must-win for either of the current owners of the NBA’s top win-loss records traffics in nonsense and hyperbole.
Outside of long-term injuries, virtually nothing that happens in the first quarter of the NBA season is truly significant. Golden State doesn’t even have Klay Thompson back.
These teams play again in San Francisco on Friday night and will be back in Phoenix to put on a show on Christmas night. The one with the most impact will likely be that final meeting on March 30.
This is one of 82 for sure, but there is one amplifier ensuring both of these teams will be deadly serious about claiming the first of four matchups this season. It’s the number 17.
Golden State would love to deny the Suns a win that would give them a new franchise record for consecutive victories. Phoenix’s core ended a 28-year run between NBA Finals appearances and has already carved out its place in history. However, it wants no part of being denied a record by the Warriors.
The number 17 makes this matchup bigger than Friday night’s rematch. The streak is the sweetener.
After opening the season 1-3, the defending Western Conference champs have feasted. The Suns have avenged losses to the Nuggets, Trail Blazers, and Kings, swept a pair of matchups from Dallas and most recently took out the Knicks and Nets on back-to-back nights.
Futures Market Not Yet Convinced On Suns
Despite all the Suns’ success, the betting markets haven’t really been swayed. The Nets remain the betting favorite to win the championship (+250 at BetRivers, +260 at Fan Duel and DraftKings). Golden State is the second choice at +600 at all three sportsbooks, moving ahead of the preseason favorite Lakers as the top choice to win the West. FanDuel lists the Dubs at +290 to take the conference, while DraftKings and BetRivers are at +300. The Lakers are +350 at BetRivers, +380 at DraftKings, and +500 at FanDuel.
While the Suns are +390 at FanDuel and +450 at BetRivers and DraftKings in conference futures, they are between +900 and +1300 at these books to win the NBA title, so it will be interesting to see whether anything that transpires in Tuesday’s game causes a shift.
Thompson’s absence means getting the Warriors at their current price offers up nice value, since those odds should move closer to where Brooklyn’s reside if he returns, stays healthy, and looks like his old self. Outside of the misfortune he’s dealt with in suffering a pair of season-ending injuries since signing his extension back in 2019, there’s nothing to suggest his game will have eroded once he’s back out there. His plug-and-play style is ideal in terms of not disrupting the groove Golden State has settled into.
Phoenix is also a solid play because GM James Jones went out and addressed the need for improved outside shooting by adding Landry Shamet. JaVale McGee has been an asset as the new backup center. Deandre Ayton, Mikal Bridges, and Cameron Johnson continue to develop as they gain experience. At 36, Chris Paul still looks sharp. After a slow start, Devin Booker is again proving he’s an elite shooting guard.
Where Tuesday’s Game Will Be Won
Tuesday’s contest will show us whether either team’s killer instinct needs work, but so long as both bring passion, the winner is going to come down to who is more accurate from beyond the arc. Both teams defend and share it.
The Warriors, who have a seven-game win streak of their own working, average just 1.2 rebounds more than the Suns, one of many stats in which the teams are nearly identical.
Golden State averages 114.0 points per game, ranking second behind Charlotte. Phoenix averages 112.6. The teams each shoot roughly 48 percent from the field. The Warriors’ 3-point shooting clip of 36.8 percent ranks fifth, while the Suns check in at 36.2 from beyond the arc, currently seventh. Golden State owns the top scoring defense in the league at just 100.4. The Suns rank eighth, surrendering 105.0.
Warriors Vs. Suns Pick
Golden State became just the second team in NBA history not to lose a game by four or more points in its first 20 contests, matching a feat its 2015-16 version managed. Phoenix would love to end that little run as badly as the Warriors want to ensure no franchise records are set on their watch.
With defense likely to rule the night, the recommendation here is to strap in and take a shot with ‘under’ 221.