For this Western Conference bout between the Utah Jazz and Phoenix Suns, there is a 5.5-point spread in favor of Phoenix, the home team. With Devin Booker and Bradley Beal likely out for this matchup, can Kevin Durant and the Suns hold on, or will Utah snag an upset win on the road? Let’s get into our prediction.
Utah Jazz Vs. Phoenix Suns Prediction
After an impressive road win against the Golden State Warriors without Bradley Beal, the Phoenix Suns lost by five points to the Los Angeles Lakers at Crypto.com Arena. Phoenix dominated the first three quarters, leading by 12 points heading into the fourth. However, the Lakers went on a late-game run, locking down the Suns to just 11 points in what was one of their worst quarters in recent history, to secure the home win. The good news for Phoenix is it just proved that it can contend with any team in the Western Conference, even with a depleted team on the road.
Meanwhile, the Utah Jazz will be on the second night of an early season back-to-back. They’re riding high on a narrow two-point home win against the Clippers, but they will not be able to extend the winning streak to two against this Phoenix team. The Jazz were one of the worst road teams in the Western Conference last season, only holding better away records than San Antonio, Houston, and, of course, Golden State.
Even though Phoenix will be without Booker and Beal, Durant is still dominant enough to carry this team over the finish line. The Suns have plenty of firepower still, with Eric Gordon, Grayson Allen, and Jusuf Nurkic also aiding KD, so expect one of the better teams at home to pull this one out.
Utah Jazz Vs. Phoenix Suns Prediction: Suns -5.5
Best NBA Betting Promo Codes
Utah Jazz Vs. Phoenix Suns Best Odds
The Phoenix Suns are 5.5-point favorites at home against Utah, even though they will be without Bradley Beal and Devin Booker. Beal is out with a back injury, while Booker is nursing a minor foot injury.
Utah Jazz Starting Lineup
Phoenix Suns Starting Lineup
Utah Jazz Vs. Phoenix Suns Injuries
As reported by Shams Charania, Bradley Beal has been listed as out against the Jazz due to a lingering back injury, while Devin Booker is doubtful with a foot injury. Without Booker and Beal, expect Eric Gordon and Grayson Allen to enter the starting lineup.
Meanwhile, Utah has no reported injuries as of Friday night, but keep an eye on the injury report ahead of the game in case someone happens to be an unexpected, late scratch.
Utah Jazz Vs. Phoenix Suns Key Matchups
Kevin Durant vs. Jazz Forwards
The defensive expectations from the Utah Jazz starting forwards (Lauri Markkanen, John Collins) are low. The Jazz will lean heavily, as they have in the past, on a rim-protecting center (Walker Kessler) to deter drivers.
However, Kessler’s presence isn’t going to help Markkanen and Collins in this game: Durant lives in the mid-range and around the perimeter. Kessler can’t reach him there. Without Booker and Beal, KD will get touches every possession, and Collins and Markkanen do not have the lateral quickness or overall defensive IQ to contest Durant or even deter him from shooting properly.
For further proof, just look at what Harrison Barnes did to this Jazz defense; he posted 33 points on 11-16 shooting from the field. And Barnes, at this stage of his career, will usually be the fourth or fifth-leading scorer on that Kings roster.
Our Utah Jazz vs. Phoenix Suns prediction? We will see a clinic from Durant in this game. He should finish with at least 40 points against a frontcourt that has no shot at stopping him. Advantage: Durant