Warriors vs. Suns: Phoenix Set to Slow Down Golden State

In a potential Western Conference Finals preview, our betting expert shares his prediction that the Suns to cover is your best bet on Tuesday.

Warriors vs. Suns Odds

Warriors Odds +2.5
Suns Odds -2.5
Over/Under 224.5
Time 10 p.m. ET
Odds via FanDuel. Get up-to-the-minute NBA odds here.

The Golden State Warriors will travel to Phoenix in their first road game of the season to take on the Suns on Tuesday night.

Both Golden State and Phoenix enter this matchup with a record of 2-1. The Warriors’ lone loss came in a 128-123 defeat against Denver last Friday night, while the Suns lost to the Trail Blazers by just two points on that same day.

Phoenix and Golden State have both since gotten back on track with wins, and for the most part will both be at full-strength in what could be a preview of the Western Conference Finals. Will the Suns get the best of the defending NBA champs and secure their third win of the season, or will we see the Warriors steal a win on the road?

Here’s everything you need to know about Warriors vs. Suns odds and the best bet for Tuesday, October 25 in our preview and predictions.

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Pedal to the Metal for Golden State

Golden State has been firing on all cylinders since the 2022-23 season began last week, and I think it is likely we see that continue even while on the road.

The Warriors are getting up and down the floor at an historic rate, which has allowed them to generate an average of 110.33 possessions per game through their first three games. That number ranks first in the NBA in the young season and is up from 98.74 a year ago.

Giving themselves that many offensive possessions has resulted in a ton of points for Golden State. The Warriors enter this matchup scoring an average of 125.33 points per game, and, according to TeamRankings, rank first in the NBA in first half points per game with 66.7.

They managed to score 89 points in the first half of their most recent game against Sacramento, which shows that the reigning champs have everything going for them on the offensive end of the court.

However, the same thing can’t be said about their defense, which was the strength of this team last season.

Golden State ended last year with a Defensive Rating of 106.6, ranking second in the NBA behind only the Celtics. However, that number has risen to 110.4 this year, and as a result, the Warriors have given up an average of 120.7 points per game while allowing their opponents to shoot 47.5% form the field overall.

They have some things to clean up on that end of the floor, and it is going to be tough to continue to win games if that doesn’t happen despite their historic offensive start.

Suns Defense Surging Early

The Phoenix Suns are a defensive powerhouse one again, which will give them a shot at competing for a title this season.

Phoenix ended last season with a Defensive Rating of 106.8, which ranked third in the NBA and just behind the Warriors. However, unlike Golden State, they have improved on that number early on in the 2022-23 season, seeing their Defensive Rating drop to 104.0 in the early going.

That is largely due to their defensive presence in the paint. Phoenix is allowing just 43.3 points per game in the paint, the eighth fewest in the NBA, and their opponents are shooting just 44% from the floor this year.

Golden State doesn’t get much offensive production in the painted area, scoring the eighth fewest points per game in the paint, so the Suns are going to have to shift their focus to the perimeter.

However, Phoenix already appears to have that area covered on the defensive end, as their opponents are shooting just 34% from behind the arc and only scoring an average of 33 points per game from 3-pointers, both which rank within the top 12 in the NBA.

Combine that defensive presence with Devin Booker, Deandre Ayton, and Mikal Bridges leading the charge on offense, and it looks like the Suns are well on their way to potentially winning the Western Conference.

Warriors-Suns Pick

Golden State has shown us how lethal they can be on offense, but if anyone is going to be able to slow them down, it is going to be Phoenix.

As I mentioned earlier, the Warriors enter this matchup ranking first in the NBA in Pace (110.33). However, Phoenix has played an entirely different brand of basketball up to this point, ranking 27th in Pace (96.81). That is going to slow down this game tremendously, which is something that the Warriors have yet to experience.

In addition, two of Golden State’s opponents so far, the Kings and Nuggets, rank in the bottom 12 of the NBA in Defensive Rating, so it is no surprise that they were able to score over 120 points in both of those games. Golden State would end up losing to the Nuggets despite scoring 123 points, and that is because the defense simply hasn’t been able to hold its ground very often.

The Suns are a team that bring a new dimension to the game that the Warriors have not seen yet, and I expect them to slow this game down and hold the Golden State offense in check while taking advantage of their shaky defense.

Pick: Suns -2.5 (-110)

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