Jazz vs. Suns Preview: Back Phoenix to Roll at Home

Action Network Senior NBA Writer Matt Moore previews how to bet Monday night's matchup between the Utah Jazz and Phoenix Suns.

Jazz vs. Suns Odds

Jazz Odds +9.5
Suns Odds -9.5
Over/Under 222.5
Time 9 p.m. ET
Odds via BetMGM. Get up-to-the-minute NBA odds here.

The Utah Jazz are reeling, having lost seven of nine, now on a back-to-back vs. the best team in basketball likely without their two best players. The Phoenix Suns are just chugging along, leaving track marks on anything in their way.

Can Utah hang with the defending West champs or will the Suns just breeze past them? Let’s take a look at both sides of Monday’s national TV matchup.

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Injuries, Matchups Spell Trouble for Utah

Donovan Mitchell will not play in this game with a concussion. Rudy Gobert suffered a calf strain Sunday night and will likely miss this game. Bogdan Bogdanovic suffered a bruised knee and will likely be questionable or a game-time decision for this contest. Hassan Whiteside missed Sunday’s game with conditioning returning from health and safety protocols.

There’s a very good chance that the Jazz rest other players in this game. Without Mitchell and Gobert, their odds of winning are already compromised. On a back-to-back, those odds are compromised further. This feels like a very clear spot to just pack it up and take the loss to regroup. Mike Conley has been on a rest program this season anyway.

This is a best matchup for the Jazz system. Utah has always struggled to score vs. switching defenses and the Suns can switch when they want to. They run more drop coverage in pick-and-roll this season because they don’t have Dario Saric but they still are 11th in switch rate this season.

Without Mitchell, the Jazz struggled with composure and getting timely buckets. Their defense has imploded completely when Gobert has been out.

I’m a little surprised this number isn’t higher. Their replacement options — either playing Whiteside, or a small-ball approach with Rudy Gay — are not equipped to beat even a compromised Suns team.

Suns Can Adjust to Anything

The Suns are without Cameron Payne and Jae Crowder due to wrist injuries. Deandre Ayton is doubtful with an ankle injury, so the Suns aren’t full strength, either. If Utah were full strength, missing Crowder and Payne would matter, and Ayton matters any time.

However, the Suns’ depth is so good, they don’t miss a beat. No Ayton? Frank Kaminsky stepped up early. No Kaminsky? JaVale McGee comes through. Need another guy? Here comes Bismack Biyombo. They just rattle through guys and Chris Paul sets them up so well that everyone succeeds.

Here’s how good the Suns are: Devin Booker was 5-of-23 on Saturday and the Suns beat the Pacers by 10. They’re just a machine.

Jazz-Suns Pick

I get a little nervous in these spots, assuming that, at least, Mitchell and Gobert are out (and probably Bogdanovic).

It just seems like a letdown spot. You’ll have guys playing for Utah who aren’t on the top page of the scouting report and who the veterans haven’t seen play before. That’s usually a good opportunity.

But with full-season numbers, I have this as Suns -9. Crowder, Ayton and Payne probably account for 1.5 points towards Utah. That moves it to Suns (-7.5). Gobert moves the line back towards the Suns a full three points. He’s that important to what Utah does on both ends. Mitchell moves it another 2.5. We wind up with something closer to Suns (-13).

Without Gobert, I don’t want to mess with the total. I show a lean to the under given how good Phoenix’s defense is, but in the games Gobert has missed, the Jazz defense was a wreck.

I’ll have the Suns in parlays. They might slip up, it’s definitely a game they’re at risk of overlooking, but the Jazz are too dependent on Gobert and Mitchell to believe this should be single digits.

Pick: Suns -9.5, good to -11.