When the Jazz vs Suns meet on Sunday afternoon, it will be a matchup between two of the best teams in the Western Conference.
But we will not be seeing the best version of the Phoenix Suns in this game, as their veteran point guard Chris Paul is set to miss the next six to eight weeks with a broken thumb. That will give the Utah Jazz a massive advantage from an NBA betting perspective heading into this game.
Chris Paul is like a battery that powers the rest of the Phoenix Suns. He knows exactly where to send the ball and when and when he needs to take over a possession and shoot the ball himself. Just as important, Paul acts like an irritant on defense and would normally be able to pester Jazz point guard Mike Conley into having a game that is below his usual standard of excellence.
Making matters worse for the Suns is the fact that their backup point guard in Cam Payne is also on the injury report for this key Western Conference clash. Payne has been making his opponents feel plenty of pain ever since he had his breakout run during the playoffs last season but is feeling his own pain due to a wrist injury. If Payne is unable to play in this Jazz vs Suns game, that would mean a combination of Aaron Holiday and Elfrid Payton running the point for the Suns, which would be a substantial downgrade for them.
On the Jazz side, health is much less of an issue, as Rudy Gay is the only consistent member of their rotation on their injury report. That means the team finally has Rudy Gobert, Donovan Mitchell, and the rest of its weapons available for the stretch run of the regular season. In this Jazz vs Suns game, look for the Jazz to take advantage of the absence of Paul and potentially Payne as well, and for Mike Conley and Donovan Mitchell to benefit the most from the Suns’ injury situation.
One X-factor coming into this game will be the early Sunday start time for both teams. This is a 3:30 Eastern start on Sunday, which is a 12:30 PM start locally in Phoenix. As someone who likes to sleep in on Sundays, you can believe that having to go through shootarounds and walkthroughs in the morning to be ready for a tip-off just after noon does not sound like an enviable task for either team here.
One thing that could derail the Jazz in this game is the play of the other two members of the Suns’ big three. Devin Booker and DeAndre Ayton are both capable of scoring at high volume and doing so efficiently, even if Chris Paul is not there to make their jobs as easy as he normally does. It will still require a great game from the Jazz on the defensive end of the floor for them to remain one of the best NBA bets today.