The new-look Brooklyn Nets have made the Over a highly profitable NBA pick – but can they can do it again this Tuesday versus the Phoenix Suns?
Brooklyn Nets vs. Phoenix Suns
Tuesday, February 16, 2021 – 10:30 PM ET at PHX Arena
The Brooklyn Nets are absolutely incredible. Now that James Harden is playing alongside Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving, the Nets have arguably the best offense basketball fans have ever seen – and the worst defense. I touched on this a couple of weeks ago when the Nets hosted the Los Angeles Clippers, and recommended the Over for your NBA picks; sure enough, Brooklyn (+1.5) won 124-120 to just slip over the 241.5-point total.
But is it too late to hammer the Over for Tuesday’s road game against the Phoenix Suns? With the Over now sitting at 21-8 for the Nets, their totals are getting larger and larger, and while Tuesday’s over/under opened at 230 points on the NBA odds board at PointsBet, that’s one of the biggest totals Phoenix (Under 15-11) have seen all season. Maybe the spread is the right call with PointsBet pricing the Suns at –2, and Brooklyn going 10-6 SU and 7-9 ATS since the Harden trade.
Better Call Paul
There’s no question about Phoenix (17-9 SU and ATS) and their ability to beat the NBA lines. This small-market team hasn’t made the playoffs since 2010, partly because of a string of failed front offices, but all those lottery picks are starting to bear fruit. Mikal Bridges (plus-1.0 VORP) has been the best of the bunch; Deandre Ayton (plus-0.2 VORP) has his flaws, but he’s a useful big man with a nose for rebounds, and Devin Booker (plus-0.3 VORP) is the club’s top scorer at 25.1 points per 36 minutes.
The biggest change for the Suns has been at point guard, where the offseason acquisition of Chris Paul (plus-1.2 VORP) has pushed them into the top half of the Western Conference. At age 35, Paul isn’t playing at the same MVP level we saw earlier in his career, but he’s still a viable All-Star, and a significant upgrade over Ricky Rubio. Jae Crowder (plus-0.4 VORP) has also provided solid 3-and-D play for his new employers after signing a three-year, $29-million deal in November.
The Nets have been through even bigger changes the past season or two. They took a gamble when they signed both Durant and Irving (plus-1.2 VORP apiece) last year, given their injury situation and Irving’s difficulty jelling with his teammates. Then Brooklyn doubled down by adding Harden (plus-1.5 VORP) to the mix. Getting Harden and Irving on the same page hasn’t been easy, but Irving recently told reporters that he’s going to focus on scoring, while Harden handles the point guard duties. How serious he was about that remains to be seen.
Unfortunately for the Nets, they won’t have all of their superstars in the lineup on Tuesday. Durant was held out of Monday’s 136-125 win over the Sacramento Kings (Over 242.5) as 5-point road faves with a tender left hamstring, and was ruled out for the Phoenix game as well. Without the most reliable member of their Big Three, and playing on zero days of rest with travel included, this is a tight spot for Brooklyn – and a golden opportunity for Phoenix supporters to cash in.
NBA Pick: Suns –2 (–110) at PointsBet