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After the hosts won Game 1 of the Western Conference semifinals, NBA playoff betting action continues on Wednesday night with a duel in the desert between the San Antonio Spurs and the Phoenix Suns.
San Antonio Spurs @ Phoenix Suns (-2.5)
San Antonio Notes: HC Gregg Popovich can't be happy with the fact that he really only had three contributors in Monday night's Game 1 loss to the Suns. G Manu Ginobili (27), G Tony Parker (26), and F Tim Duncan (20) all reached the 20+ point plateau on the night, but no one else scored more than G George Hill, who netted just nine points on 2/9 shooting. The biggest disappointment has been F Richard Jefferson, who only took three shots for the entire game in a series that should suit him quite well. The former New Jersey Net has only averaged 8.6 points per game in the playoffs, and it's starting to look more and more like he is going to just be a non-factor for the silver and black.
Phoenix Notes: The Suns didn't really get much more than three contributors either in Game 1, but the trio of G Steve Nash, G Jason Richardson, and F Amare Stoudemire didn't need much help. Nash was particularly effective at cutting into open space and taking a free shot, which resulted in him scoring 33 points. The Canadian guard has averaged 17.6 points and 9.8 assists per game during the playoffs. Richardson just keeps hitting outside shots, which makes the Phoenix a very, very dangerous club, particularly in transition. He is shooting 51.0 percent from beyond the arc in these playoffs, and is leading the team in scoring at 24.0 points per game. Stoudemire finally logged his first double-double of the playoffs in Game 1 against the Spurs. Even though he hasn't had a truly dominating performance yet in the postseason, there's no shame in averaging 20.9 points and 6.6 rebounds per night.
NBA Betting Odds: San Antonio Spurs vs. Phoenix Suns
Trends of Note: The Suns are now 4-0 SU and ATS this season against San Antonio. They're also a perfect 4-0 SU and ATS when scoring more than 100 points in a game in the playoffs. The Spurs are only 1-3 SU and ATS on the road in the postseason. Both teams are just red hot overall right now, as Phoenix is 30-11-1 ATS in its L/42 games overall, while San Antonio is 21-10-1 ATS in its L/32 overall. The Suns are 39-19-2 ATS in their L/60 attempts as home favorites. The Spurs are just 1-7 ATS in their L/8 playoff games as underdogs.
The Final Word: This is a game that Phoenix absolutely cannot lose, and both teams know it. San Antonio knows that it has the ability to run with the Suns, but it would really prefer not to, especially at that quick of a tempo. However, Nash just doesn't have anyone that can guard him right now, and for as long as he has the ability to drive into open areas to pull up for easy shots and have the option to kick it out to Richardson for threes, this is going to be a very, very tough team to beat. The Spurs have the horses to win games in this series, but stealing at game at US Airways Arena seems to be more of a pipe dream right now than a reasonable reality.
Prediction: Phoenix 106 – San Antonio 99