It’s a squash match as the Phoenix Suns (46-18) look for an easy win over the hapless Cleveland Cavaliers (21-43). Phoenix is a massive -1000 betting favorite on the money line and 12½ on the point spread. The comeback on Cleveland is +700, but it’s won only one game of its last nine.
The Suns continue to creep up the standings and are just a half-game behind Utah for the top seed in the Western Conference. A win here will tie them for first place and they’ll be set up to seize it all to themselves with a soft remaining schedule. They should win this one done with little pizzazz.
Suns: Securing the Bank
Yep, the Phoenix Suns are a well-oiled winning machine. But the question here is if Phoenix can handle business from the NBA betting lines standpoint. The Suns are 7-5 against the spread (ATS) when favored by double digits. But they’ve failed to cover the last four games.
Those five opponents were Oklahoma City, San Antonio, Sacramento and Houston (twice). Both the Thunder and Rockets have terrible offenses, much like Cleveland, and both of them outscored Phoenix in the fourth.
Therein lies the problem with heavy chalk. Phoenix took its foot off the gas pedal and allowed these lottery teams to engineer a comeback. All it did was bust the bets of its backers. Yet winning $10 on a $100 bet seems so steep, especially since Phoenix has been upset by much lesser teams.
The Suns lost to Orlando, Minnesota and Charlotte as a 5-1 favorite at least. They have plenty of motivation to win this game so they shouldn’t lose.
Cavaliers: Bad Dogs
Kevin Love throwing a hissy fit in the middle of a game is the most publicity this sad franchise has seen since LeBron James left town. The Cleveland Cavaliers remain helpless and are destined for another top-five pick in the lottery.
The team’s high points are its back-to-back upsets over the “Big Three” Brooklyn Nets. That pushed the Cavs to a respectable 8-7 record. And then everything crashed and burned from there as the team proceeded to lose 36 of its next 49 games.
The Cavs likely saw how “well” the Thunder were tanking so they upped their game these last few games. They’ve gone 1-9 and have the second-worst defensive rating. If the Sacramento Kings didn’t allow 154 points to the Jazz, Cleveland would be last.
As far as covering as double-digit underdogs, the Cavs are 3-9 for the season and have failed to cover the last five instances. This team will happily get itself blown out, especially with a growing list of injuries.
Both teams have performed poorly on the point spread when it’s listed as double digits. In Phoenix’s case, it has had a rough time closing teams out. In Cleveland’s case, it has just had a rough time playing.
Phoenix should blow out Cleveland here. The Suns edged them by six the last time they played but that was when Cleveland was healthier. The Suns are 20-6 in double-digit game results and are 38-14 as a favorite.
Moreover, they are only missing forward Jae Crowder and have been one of the healthiest teams in the league. Hence why they’ve stayed consistent. Cleveland is missing several of its key players, including its best defender in forward Larry Nance Jr. and one of its main scorers in guard Darius Garland.
Still, I can’t recommend throwing this much cash on the Suns nor am I entirely confident they don’t cruise in the fourth and blow the spread. Instead, throw them in a parlay or bet their team totals to go over 116 (-115) as they score at will against the tanking Cavs.