Nets vs. Suns Odds, Pick, Prediction: Phoenix, Brooklyn Looking to Rebound (January 19)

Action Network contributor Jim Turvey previews Thursday's NBA game between the Brooklyn Nets and the Phoenix Suns, including a betting prediction.

Nets vs. Suns Odds

Nets Odds -1.5
Suns Odds +1.5
Over/Under 223 (-110/-110)
Time 10 p.m. ET
Odds via FanDuel. Get up-to-the-minute NBA odds here.

TNT’s Thursday night late game pits the 27-16 Brooklyn Nets on the road against the 21-24 Phoenix Suns.

Both teams are riding three-game losing streaks, but one team feels like it could be ready to turn the corner toward more success, while the other may keep that success on hold for a few more weeks.

Let’s pull it apart.

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Brooklyn Nets

When Kevin Durant went out with his knee injury on January 8, the expectation was Kyrie Irving — who had been playing excellent basketball in November and December — was going to get a chance to lead this team to success.

That has not happened. The Nets are 0-3 without Durant.

They’ve lost at home to the Boston Celtics (understandable) and the Oklahoma City Thunder (less understandable), and then lost on the road to the San Antonio Spurs their last time out (definitely not understandable).

Irving was out for that most recent game, but that’s kind of the point. Irving as a number one option just isn’t reliable. Maybe he’ll get hurt, maybe he’ll say something dumb or maybe he’s just not a winning player when he isn’t surrounded by generational talent.

This is a three-game sample, so I don’t want to go crazy extrapolating, but I do find myself much lower on the Durant-less Nets than the market appears to be.

Phoenix Suns

Of course, the vibes don’t seem much better in Phoenix. The Suns have been without their best player since Devin Booker went out nearly a month ago. Chris Paul has also been in and out of the lineup, and in many ways, these teams have mirrored each other this season.

Despite the Nets sitting much higher in the standings, it’s the Suns I am more bullish on in this game … and for the next few weeks.

The Suns appear to be getting some pieces back. Cam Johnson, who has been out since early November, appears poised to return and is listed as probable for Thursday.

Paul is also listed as questionable. He went through a full practice Wednesday and it wouldn’t be surprising to see him back against the Nets after he missed the past five games. Additionally, Booker and Cameron Payne are set to be re-evaluated within the next week.

Add to that the fact that the Suns next five games — and seven of their next eight — are at home. This has all the making of a team about to wake up.

Regarding Thursday night, there’s also the fact that the Suns match up pretty well with the Nets. The Nets defense has consistently been much better against 2-pointers than 3s this season, and it makes sense considering who is defending the paint (Nic Claxton) vs. who is guarding the perimeter (Irving).

Scheme also plays into this and the Suns (especially if Johnson is back) are primed to punish from beyond the arc, where they rank third in 3-point field goal percentage this season.

There’s also the Pythagorean record for both teams. There is a seven-game gap between these two teams if we go by overall record, but if we use Pythag, the gap is just four games, as the Nets have been a bit lucky, while the Suns have had the opposite luck.

Nets-Suns Pick

With all that in mind, especially considering how the Suns have looked without Durant, I’m taking the Suns at home.

I’m also going to look at the first half under. The Suns have been the most profitable team to bet the first half under on this season, and if they are indeed welcoming Johnson and Paul back into the lineup, there’s bound to be a little rust.

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