Suns vs. Nets: Target the Total in Booker's Return

Kenny Ducey previews how to bet Suns vs. Nets, including updated odds, picks & predictions for Tuesday's game.

Suns vs. Nets Odds

Suns Odds -6
Nets Odds +6
Over/Under 225
Time 7:30 p.m. ET
Odds via FanDuel. Get up-to-the-minute NBA odds here.

The Phoenix Suns are on some kind of roll right now having won eight of their last 10 games, and now they’re getting set to welcome back their best player in Devin Booker.

While the Nets may have lost one of their best players via trade, they sure didn’t look any worse in a heartbreaking loss on Monday.

The two will meet in a highly anticipated battle on Tuesday. Let’s get into how to bet this one with a Suns vs. Nets preview and prediction.

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Suns Bringing Booker Back

The Suns are set to welcome Booker back into the fold on Tuesday night. The star guard has missed the last 21 games with a left groin strain and has been seen just once since December 17, when he scored 58 points in a win over the Pelicans.

Booker is listed as probable for this game, though it’s anyone’s guess how much he’ll play or how effective he’ll be. His point total is set at 20.5 points, but his 3-point prop is set at just 1.5 threes, so I’m not even sure oddsmakers can make up their minds on what Booker’s role will be.

However many minutes Booker plays, that will surely help the Suns significantly. Phoenix has posted a 120.2 Offensive Rating in the minutes with Booker and just a 108.8 Offensive Rating with him off the floor.

Without Booker, though, the Suns have found something of late. They’ve won and covered in eight of their last 10 games, boasting the third-best defense in the league during that span. Offensively they’ve really struggled, but that’s where Booker should come in handy.

Can Thomas and the Nets Get Stops?

The Nets are a mystery right now, given they’ve just cut bait with Kyrie Irving and are undergoing some serious changes. They’re replaced him with second-year guard Cam Thomas, who has scored 91 points in his last two games. However, Thomas has also struggled with losing his focus defensively.

Brooklyn was already 28th defensively over the last 10 games and now will have to live life without Irving, who had brought a 0.3-point increase in defensive production per 100 possessions when on the floor. It’s no surprise that the Nets have posted a Defensive Rating of 117 or worse the last two nights. They were already struggling to get stops, and now losing Irving, who had seemed engaged on defense, won’t help matters.

The Nets now stand at 4-1 against the spread in their last five games, but that’s where the positive trends end. They’re only 12-12-1 ATS at home and 3-3 ATS as home underdogs. On the second night of a back-to-back, Brooklyn is 4-5 ATS.

Suns-Nets Pick

It’s always difficult to pick between two red-hot teams against the spread, and that’s something I won’t be doing here. While Booker should breathe some life into the Suns, Thomas has been exceptional on the offensive side for the Nets, who look to be playing with some incredible energy.

I believe in both offenses here, particularly with Booker giving Phoenix some minutes. He’s had an overwhelmingly positive impact on several players, like Mikal Bridges, and should bring the best out of this scoring unit.

The key metric I want to highlight here is Pace. The Nets play with a Pace rating of 101.93 in the minutes without Irving and a 98.57 with him on the floor. While Phoenix has played slightly slower with Booker in the lineup, this is a massive difference we can’t ignore.

With a faster game and two offenses looking strong, I think you can make a great case for this number being too low.

Pick: Suns-Nets Over 225 (-110)