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basketball | Friday, November 18, 2022 1:24 PM

Utah Jazz vs Phoenix Suns Best Bet: Back Suns to Extend Jazz Losing Streak

Utah Jazz vs Phoenix Suns Best Bet: Back Suns to Extend Jazz Losing Streak
Marty Jean-Louis / Alamy Stock Photo

Utah Jazz vs Phoenix Suns Best Bet: Friday, November 18th

The 10-6 Utah Jazz are 2.5-point underdogs for their game against the 9-5 Phoenix Suns at Vivint Arena on Friday night. This is the first meeting between these teams in 2022-23, and the Jazz come in on a three-game losing streak after falling to the Wizards, Sixers and Knicks.

Phoenix beat the Warriors a couple of days ago, but have some injury concerns with Cameron Johnson and Landry Shamet accompanying Jae Crowder (who is away from the team) on the sidelines. Chris Paul and Josh Okogie are both questionable.

As has been the case through the first month of the season, Utah has limited health issues. Rudy Gay is the only absentee due to a finger issue.

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Utah Jazz vs Phoenix Suns Preview

Sat, Nov 19. 02:10 (UK time)

Utah has a scorching 9-2 record against the spread as an underdog. After a hot start to the season, though, Will Hardy’s team have returned to earth with a thud. Joel Embiid dominated them a couple of games ago, and they allowed 118 points to the Knicks last time out. While not as bad as preseason projections painted them, this roster is not a top-four team in the Western Conference, and their interior defence was always going to be a problem.

The Jazz are bottom five in opponent shots at the rim and from short-mid-range. Phoenix doesn’t take a massive number of shots at the basket, but they are lethal finishers in the restricted area. Even if Paul is out, they are an efficient team from the mid-range too with Devin Booker’s mastery accompanied by an improved off-the-bounce game from Mikal Bridges.

Deandre Ayton is not going to post an historic line like Embiid did, yet the former first overall pick has a big role to play here. His size and impact on the glass is going to be hard for the Jazz to stop.

When aggressive, Ayton can put up big numbers as a scorer and rebounder. Utah is particularly vulnerable to defensive rebounds, which is an area where Ayton can earn extra possessions and easy points.

Phoenix is a regular season winning machine even after a turbulent offseason. Paul’s role has decreased, yet Booker has quietly taken another step forward. Mikal Bridges and Ayton have stepped up. Cam Payne has come up big on occasion, and the bench has been productive.

Utah Jazz vs Phoenix Suns Best Bet

The Jazz are still competitive, especially at home. There is no denying the shine has come off their surprising start to the campaign, however, and for all the improvement by individual players, this is still a roster with emphatic flaws.

Phoenix’s last eight wins have all been by at least three points. Utah’s three straight losses have all been by seven or more points. There is a temptation to take a shorter price on the moneyline, but this spread is good value given the trajectory the Jazz appear to be on.

  • Selection: Phoenix Suns -2.5
  • Selection: 2.05 (Pinnacle)
  • Stakes: 4/10

Odds as of 1:30 am November 18th, 2022. Odds may now differ.

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