Brooklyn Nets vs. Phoenix Suns – NBA, February 16, 2021

By Dean McHugh in NBA
| February 16, 2021 5:04 am PDT

Third, in the East takes on fourth in the West, and it could be a classic. The Nets are a win behind the 76ers in the Eastern Conference, so a victory here would not only close the gap on them, it could potentially lift them into second place above the Bucks. Although the Suns are having a great season, they are beginning to fall behind the top three in the Western Conference, so they can not afford to lose any more ground.

The Nets have dominated this fixture recently, winning four of the previous five meetings between them. That is the same record over the last five games played in Phoenix, although the Suns did win the most recent of those games.

Brooklyn is averaging eight more points per game than the Suns in their last ten meetings, highlighting their dominance of this fixture.

Here is my Nets vs. Suns betting preview.

Nets vs. Suns Odds

Nets (+2) -110
Suns (-2) -110
Nets To Win +125
Suns To Win -130
Over 230 Points -110
Under 230 Points -110

The betting is as close as I expected, but the total points look enormous and could be our biggest opportunity to make some money in this game.

Nets Analysis

The Nets ended their worst run of the season, which was three defeats in a row, by beating the Pacers, the Warriors, and the Kings comfortably in their last three games.

With a team with as much ability and experience as theirs, you would think that they would own a better record on the road than 6-7. The win over the Warriors also ended a run of three straight away defeats. This run included losses against the Wizards and the Pistons, both of whom are struggling this season.

The win over the Warriors was not only good because it ended their losing streak, but they also lead by 26 points going into the final quarter, so they were able to ease up and conserve some energy for the next game.

Here are the latest betting trends for Brooklyn:

Against The Spread
  • They have won seven of their previous ten games over the Suns.
  • The Nets have not lost any of their last five games against teams from the Western Conference.
  • Brooklyn has a perfect record of 9-0 in their previous nine matches against teams based in the Pacific Division.
Points Total
  • The total has gone over in 17 of their last 20 games.
  • Ten of their previous 11 games on the road have gone over the betting total.
  • Of their last ten visits to Phoenix, only two failed to go over the points total.
Other Pointers
  • They have won two-thirds of their previous 18 matches.
  • Brooklyn has won eight of their last ten games against Phoenix.
  • They have enjoyed playing on a Tuesday night, having only lost one of their previous nine games played on that day.

The Nets are playing some incredible, attacking basketball this season, producing 120 points per game on average. They don’t seem like they are ever going to miss when they shot.

That includes shooting from range as they have a three-point percentage that isn’t far off some other teams’ field goal percentage. They are also shooting well from the free-throw line and probably from the parking lot if allowed!

Their offensive rebounding stats are low, but I believe this is because they tend to make so many baskets that they don’t need to rebound their shots.

They move the ball around the court so well, which is the most significant factor in their shooting percentage as they are often open to make the shots slightly easier. James Harden has been a passing machine since he joined the Nets this season and is the league leader in assists. He was in great form against the Warriors, recently making 16 assists, adding to his already impressive tally.

What’s more worrying for the Suns is that they are averaging three more points in their games on the road this season.

If I had one criticism of their attack, it would be that they can sometimes become complacent, which can often lead to a high number of turnovers.

The obvious downside to this gung-ho approach is that their defense is next to non-existent. They can certainly be a decent defensive unit, but they either have nothing left in the tank to defend or think they will outscore their opponents and don’t need to defend. Either way, it’s a tactic that hasn’t always worked this season.

They could also work harder to win the ball back from their opponents as they have the third-lowest steals average per game in the league. However, the Nets block the ball well, averaging just under six per game, which is only bettered by the Lakers and the 76ers this season.

Unlike their offense, their defense has not performed on the road, which is why they have a negative record this season!

The Nets have a few injuries at present, which is a concern. They will miss Durant, Shumpert, Dinwiddie, and Claxton for this game.

Suns Analysis

This game ends a seven-game home run for the Suns, and it has certainly been a fruitful period for them as they have won all six of their previous games.

They have the second-best home record in the Western Conference, having won ten of their 14 games this season. The Suns have won their last seven games at home. The last team to beat them was the Thunder, which was at the back end of January.

Here are the latest betting trends for Phoenix:

Against The Spread
  • They have won their previous six games in a row.
  • The Suns have won all of their last seven matches at home.
Points Total
  • Four of their last five games against Brooklyn has gone under the betting total.
  • Only one of their previous five matches against the Atlantic Division teams has failed to go over the points total.

The Suns have a poor return for a team that has all the attributes of a great offense. They are averaging only 110 points per game this season.

They are deadly from the free-throw line as they have the second-highest scoring percentage in the NBA, and therefore the Nets will have to maintain their discipline against them.

They have a great defense, but much like the Nets, they could be doing more at times to win the ball back from their opponents.

Deandre Ayton has been the shining light for the Suns this season, and he has undoubtedly been impressive on the boards, just as he was against the Magic last time out when he made 13 rebounds against them. However, there are plenty of things for him to improve on also as he hasn’t made a steal in eight games and a block in three.

The Suns only have one player listed as doubtful for this game, and that is Smith, who could miss the game tonight for personal reasons.

Nets vs. Suns Betting Pick

However good a run the Suns are on right now, if the Nets had a fully fit team to choose from, then I would certainly be picking them to win this game at these odds. But because they don’t and because these teams have a combined average of 214 points over the last ten head to head matches, I am going to choose under the points total.

Now I know that it’s a bold play against the Nets offense, but they are coming up against a mighty good defense tonight that will more than likely base their whole game plan on trying to stop Brooklyn’s attack.

Pick
  • Under 230 Points
    -110

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