Utah Jazz vs. Phoenix Suns Preview and Pick

Utah Jazz (13-9) at Phoenix Suns (16-6), 10:30 pm Eastern Wednesday
by Zman of Predictem.com

Slumping Western Conference powers collide when the Utah Jazz visit the Phoenix Suns on the back end of an NBA/ESPN double-header Wednesday night.

Online Sportsbooks list Phoenix as seven-point home favorites for Wednesday night’s game, with a total of 225. Also, the Suns are posted at anywhere from -270 to -360 on various Vegas moneylines, with Utah getting from +210 to +300 as road underdogs.

The Jazz had led the Northwest Division all season until embarking on a four-game losing streak, which includes a 97-89 loss at home to Portland Tuesday night. So Utah now sits in second place in the Northwest, a half-game back of division-leading Denver.

Phoenix had won five straight games before falling twice in a row, at Minnesota and, Monday night, at home to Miami 117-113, getting outrebounded in the process by a 101-62 margin. But the Suns still lead the Pacific Division by three games over the second-place Los Angeles Lakers.

Last season, the Jazz won three of four games vs. Phoenix. But while Utah was winning those three games by four, three (in overtime) and three points, the Suns won the finale in the season series with the Jazz by 28. The o/u went 2-2 in the four games these two teams played last season, and the point totals of those four games, excluding the one overtime period they played, were 212, 213, 224 and 212.

This season, both teams are 10-12 against the spread. Also, while Utah is 5-7 straight up and just 4-8 ATS on the road, Phoenix is 6-3 SU and only 4-5 vs. the numbers at home.

Statistically speaking, the Jazz, despite their four-game losing streak, are outscoring opponents on average by 6.4 points per game, which ranks 4th in the league. On the other side, the Suns rank 6th with a +5.4 ppg margin.

Utah is shooting 50% from the field as a team this season, 35% from 3-point range and 76% from the free-throw line. Phoenix is shooting 49% from the floor, 37% from long range and 78% from the line.

The Suns own a 2.1 team assist-to-turnover ratio, which ranks 2nd-best in the league, while the Jazz own a 1.66 A/TO ratio, which ranks 7th.

But while Utah ranks 2nd in the league in rebounding at +3.6 per game, Phoenix ranks dead last at -5.3 per game.

The Sagarin PREDICTOR ratings at USAToday.com rank the Suns 6th at 95.1, the Jazz 7th at 94.4.

The o/u is 15-7 in Utah games this season, which are averaging 207 points per, while the totals are 13-9 in Phoenix games, which are averaging 215 points.

Zman’s Pick: Under 225 points.