Phoenix Suns vs. Golden State Warriors Preview and Pick

Phoenix Suns (36-15) +2, 231 at Golden State Warriors (31-20), 9 pm Eastern Wednesday, ESPN
by Zman of

The scoreboard operator at Oracle Arena in Oakland should be even busier than usual when the two highest-scoring teams in the league, the Phoenix Suns and the Golden State Warriors, go at it Wednesday night.

NBA Bookies have listed as two-point home chalk for Wednesday’s game, with a total of 233. The Warriors are also posted at around -135 on various moneylines, with Phoenix getting +115 as road underdogs.

The Suns have won two games in a row and eight of their last 11, but they’ve struggled to defeat lesser opponents in those last two games. Phoenix beat Seattle 103-99 five days ago, then slipped by a short-handed Washington Wizards team 108-107 Sunday. Still, Phoenix leads the Pacific Division by two games over the second-place Los Angeles Lakers, and sits atop the Western Conference standings, a half-game ahead of the New Orleans Hornets.

Golden State has won four of its last five games and eight of its last 11 after rallying from 23 points down to beat Washington 120-117 Monday. So the Warriors sit in third place in the Pacific, five games back of the division-leading Suns, and are tied for the eighth and final Western Conference playoff spot with the Houston Rockets.

In the first meeting this season between these two teams, GS shot 51% from the field in knocking off the Suns 129-114 back in November. But Phoenix took three of four games from the Warriors last season. And yet in those most recent five meetings in this series, Golden State has covered the spread in four of them. Also, the o/u is 4-1 in those last five games between these two teams, which have averaged 230 total points.

This season, the Suns are 22-28 against the spread, 17-9 straight up and 13-12 vs. the numbers on the road. Meanwhile, the Warriors are 22-29 ATS this season, and while 16-9 straight up just 9-16 vs. the numbers at home.

Statistically speaking, Phoenix ranks 4th in the league in point differential at +5.9 per game, GS 13th at +2.4.

The Suns, as usual, are one of the very best teams in the league at putting the ball in the hole, shooting 49% from the field, 38% from 3-point land and 79% from the free-throw line this season.

At the other end of the court, the Warriors are shooting 46% from the floor, 35% from long range and 75% from the stripe.

But these are the two worst rebounding teams in the league; Golden State ranks 29th at -5.1 boards per game, and Phoenix ranks dead last at -5.9 per game.

As we all know by now, the Suns traded Shawn Marion and Marcus Banks to Miami last week for some guy named O’Neal. But thanks to a sore hip, the Diesel isn’t quite ready to take the court, and most likely won’t play until after the All-Star break. And not only is Phoenix without Marion and S-Daddy, guard Leandro Barbosa and his 17 ppg is questionable for Wednesday’s game because of a bout with the flu.

The Sagarin PREDICTOR ratings at ranks the Suns 7th at 94.8, the Warriors 13th at 91.6. Sagarin’s current NBA home-court advantage figure is 3.0.

The o/u is 27-24 in Phoenix games this season, which are averaging 213 total points, while the totals are 28-22 in GS games, which are averaging 217 points.

Zman’s Pick: This total is really lofty. All it will take is one bad quarter to make it go UNDER and that is our expectation.