Spurs vs. Suns: 2 Picks for Tuesday's Night Cap

Action Network contributor Andrew O'Connor-Watts previews how to bet Tuesday's matchup between the Spurs and Suns.

Spurs vs. Suns Odds

Spurs Odds +7
Suns Odds -7
Moneyline +235 / -290
Over/Under 225.5
Time Tuesday, 10 p.m. ET
Odds via FanDuel. Get up-to-the-minute NBA odds here.

The San Antonio Spurs take on the Suns for the first game of a two-game set in Phoenix for both teams. Both teams get the advantage of rest on Thursday when they suit up again, and maybe one of Bradley Beal and Devin Booker will suit up for that game. For tonight, Beal has been ruled out and Booker is doubtful, so all eyes will be on the tall, skinny guys for both teams: Victor Wembanyama and Kevin Durant. We’ll see which team will come away with the win.

Spurs vs Suns Picks, Prediction

The Victor Wembanyama-led Spurs have been a roller coaster of fun and incompetence through three games. Opening night against the Mavericks was as good of a debut as we could have hope for from Wemby, finishing with 15 points, five rebounds, 2 assists, a block, two steals, but most importantly, five fouls. The defensive upside was in plain sight, but so were the growing pains. It will take time for Wemby to adjust to NBA offenses, but the good news is that we get to watch him figure it out!

And he’s already starting to get the hang of it. Since that opening night loss to the Mavericks—a true 126-119 barnburner—Wemby has started to get the foul trouble under control. Against the Rockets, he had just two to go along with his first career double-double of 21 points, 12 rebounds and an added bonus of three blocks and three steals.

Last game, against the Clippers, he fouled just once. It will probably be a struggle all year, but the fact that he’s clearly made a concerted effort to lay of the unnecessary hacking is a great sign for Wembanyama stockholders. The Spurs team defense, however, continues to be a problem. They have the worst defense in the league so far (113.8 Adjusted Defensive Rating, per Dunks and Threes), but their offense hasn’t been much better, resulting in the worst Adjusted Net Rating in the league by a pretty wide margin (-7.6).

One of the big surprises of the season for me—if you’ll allow me an overreaction—has been the Phoenix Suns defense, which is No. 1 right now! I’ll keep announcing the small-sample-size disclaimer until I’m blue in the face, or at least until the sample size gets bigger. But until then, allow me to overreact to the first-ranked Suns defense and their eighth-ranked offense—an offense that’s only had one game of Booker and Kevin Durant playing together. It seems like the roster additions Phoenix made this offseason are paying off so far, even with the injury bug biting them earlier than expected.

Part of why I liked the Suns to go under their win total this season was because of that injury bug and their perceived lack of depth and continuity on the margins. Players like Grayson Allen, Josh Okogie, Drew Eubanks have given the Suns good minutes thus far and their ability to consistently contribute will be key. Allen in particular has thrived in Booker’s absence. He shot just 0-6 from 3-point range on opening night with Booker in the mix, but since then he’s a combined 5-11 from deep.

Last game against the flimsy Utah defense, Allen was able to really come alive, scoring 17 points with three 3-pointers. Durant is another person to see some uptick without Booker, but where I see the most advantage is in his playmaking. In the two games without Booker, Durant has averaged 10.5 potential assists, according to Second Spectrum, and last game against the Jazz, he dished out seven assists in a game he played only 29 minutes due to blowout.

Spurs vs Suns Picks, Odds

Both teams play at a top-10 Pace and I predict a lot of points scored tonight, but I’d like to avoid a repeat of the Spurs 83-point performance last game. The Clippers defense overwhelmed, the Spurs offense dried up, and they couldn’t get to 40 points by halftime. For those reasons, I’m targeting the Suns team total over 116.5 points—a number Spurs opponents have eclipsed in all three games this season.

I project Phoenix closer to 120 against the Spurs skinny defense that’s allowing 123.7 points per game. While Booker is doubtful, there’s still the chance he could play, which is great for this angle, but I like the over regardless. If he’s out, I’ll also look to Durant’s assists prop as he sees a significant increase in usage with Booker out of the lineup.

With an average of 10.5 Potential Assists, but just 4.5 assists per game in the last two games, I see value with the over at his assists line of 5.5 (+105) and I like it up to -120.

Pick: Suns Team Total over 116.5 (-115) 1u | Kevin Durant over 5.5 assists (+105) .3u