- The 3-1 Phoenix Suns visit the Utah Jazz on Thursday night in the first game of a road back-to-back
- Both teams are coming off victories in their last contests
- Get the odds, preview, and best bet below
The Phoenix Suns and Utah Jazz will face off on Thursday, December 31st, tip-off 9 PM EST at Vivint Smart Home Arena.
Phoenix is off to a promising start with their new-look big three of Devin Booker, Chris Paul, and Deandre Ayton, winning three of their first four. Utah meanwhile, has gone 2-1 to this point.
These two teams split the season series in 2019-20. But previously, Utah won eight straight contests over the Suns dating back to February of 2018.
Utah Jazz vs Phoenix Suns Odds
|Phoenix Suns||+3.5 (-110)||+136||Ov 218 (-110)|
|Utah Jazz||-3.5 (-110)||-162||Un 218 (-110)|
Odds taken Dec 31st at FanDuel
Big Three Finding Their Groove
The Suns are off to a promising start, but it’s much in part to an all-around team effort. In a 25-point win over the Pelicans on Wednesday night, Booker only had eight points while Paul dropped just nine. It was actually Jae Crowder who led Phoenix in scoring with 21 points. They had six different players in double-digits, which proves just how much depth Monty Williams’ team really has.
Ayton continues to be an impactful force around the rim, but his offensive output hasn’t been spectacular quite yet. However, his rebounding numbers have been solid, averaging 11.8 boards through four games.
Booker was relied on to produce most of the offense last year, going off for more than 30 per game in the bubble. With the likes of Crowder, Dario Saric, Mikal Bridges, and Cameron Johnson contributing offensively, it’s allowing Book to flourish as more than just a scorer.
CP3 is one of the best facilitators ever, and is showing early on just how easily he can elevate Booker and Ayton’s game, among others. Paul is averaging 9.5 dimes per contest, while also contributing 11.8 points. He makes this team so much better in a number of ways and it’s already evident that many different players are feeding off his versatile skill set.
Despite their early success, Phoenix will need to limit their turnovers, with an average of 12.8 per game. All in all, though, it’s certainly a positive start for a team that is expected to make some noise in the West this season. Once Booker really gets going offensively as well, the Suns are going to be scary.
Utah Looking for First Home Victory
The Jazz come into this contest on two days rest, having last played in a one-point victory over the OKC Thunder on Monday night. Donovan Mitchell hit a game-winning layup with just seconds left to secure Utah’s second win of the season.
Their first home game was against a dismal Minnesota Timberwolves team, where they actually lost by five points on Saturday. However, Utah’s opening night win over the Trail Blazers was a promising sign. The return of Bojan Bogdanovic has been very effective thus far as the Bosnian is shooting 40 percent from downtown and dropping 15.7 points per night.
With a solid core of Rudy Gobert, Bogdanovic, Mitchell, and Mike Conley, Utah is definitely a team to keep an eye on. They’re extremely physical on the glass with Gobert and Royce O’Neale, while possessing a versatile backcourt who can keep up with the best of them.
The fate of this team will lay on the shoulders of franchise star Mitchell, who currently leads Quin Snyder’s team in scoring. Nonetheless, there’s a lot of buckets coming from their entire rotation, with the likes of Joe Ingles and Jordan Clarkson also offering fantastic production off the bench.
Although the Suns enter this game at 3.5-point underdogs, they’re 5-1 against the spread in their last six road contests. Utah, meanwhile, barely scratched out a victory over a rebuilding Thunder team a few nights ago. Other than a win over Portland, the Jazz has yet to really put forward any convincing performances to make one think they can beat a red-hot team like the Suns.
With the visitors currently on a two-game winning streak, I believe they’ll continue their dominance on Thursday against the Jazz. With betting trends and the Suns’ current run in consideration, they’re a safe bet here to collect their fourth win.
Pick: Phoenix Suns +3.5 (-110)
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