No Booker, No Beal, No Problem for Suns?

Spurs vs Suns Betting Preview: Phoenix's Big 3 Still Not Whole

The San Antonio Spurs visit the Phoenix Suns in one of the few NBA matchups on a quiet Halloween slate across the NBA.

Phoenix opened as an 8-point favorite (-110) and -345 on the moneyline, while San Antonio is +8 (-110) on the spread and +275 to win outright. Meanwhile, the total is 232 (Over -110, Under -110), easily the highest of the three games.

Read on as we break down the odds in our Spurs vs Suns betting preview.

Spurs logo San Antonio Spurs at Phoenix Suns Suns logo

Location: Footprint Center; Phoenix
Streaming: TNT

Betting Trends

The San Antonio Spurs were one of the least profitable teams among bettors last season, going 33-49 against the spread. Their 40.2% cover rate was the second lowest in the NBA. They’re just 1-2 ATS to start this year. Meanwhile, the Phoenix Suns have covered the spread in each of their first three games following a 51-42 mark (54.8%) last year. That’s important to remember when assessing the odds in our Spurs vs Suns betting preview.

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Big Three Still Not Whole

The Phoenix Suns have started the season 2-1, but questions are already surfacing about the durability of their Big Three lineup. Devin Booker (foot) and Bradley Beal (back) have both been hurt, leaving Kevin Durant to fend for himself. Durant has looked as advertised, averaging 27.7 points, 8.7 rebounds and 4.0 assists over the first three games. But the Suns would be wise not to put too much strain on the 13-time All-Star, especially at age 35.

That said, it’s still way too early to worry about Phoenix’s NBA results. The Suns are on the short list of the NBA Finals contenders, with +550 odds to win it all. That matches defending champion Denver for the second-best price on the board. The Suns are also +300 to win the Western Conference, slightly trailing Denver (+250).

The absences of Booker and Beal — for what it’s worth, Booker did play the season opener against Golden State, scoring 32 points in a 108-104 win — has meant extended minutes for the likes of Eric Gordon and Jordan Goodwin in the backcourt. Gordon, in particular, has stepped up, with three straight double-digit scoring performances.

Projected for 52.5 wins, Phoenix is the clear team to beat in the Pacific Division. The Suns are a +175 favorite, sitting comfortably ahead of both the Clippers and Lakers at +375. Unless Booker and Beal become extended absences, that shouldn’t change. Durant, a four-time NBA scoring champion, is good enough by himself to carry Phoenix to the top of the NBA playoff standings in the short term. Keep that in mind when analyzing the odds in our Spurs vs Suns betting preview.

Youth Movement in Play for Spurs

After a pair of competitive games to open the season, the San Antonio Spurs were blitzed 123-83 by the Clippers Sunday. A 9.5-point underdog, San Antonio shot only 37.5% from the floor (11 of 33 from 3-point range) and trailed by as many as 41 points.

Rookie sensation Victor Wembanyama had 11 points and committed five turnovers in the blowout loss, giving him 14 giveaways in three games. The 19-year-old from France has flashed All-Star potential — he’s averaging 15.7 points, 7.3 rebounds and 1.7 blocks — but it may be best to temper expectations early in the NBA season.

Oddsmakers have largely done that for the Spurs, projecting them for just 28.5 wins. That’s the fourth lowest total in the NBA ahead of Washington (24.5), Detroit (27.5) and Portland (27.5). They’re also the longest of longshots to win the Southwest Division (+4000) and are +800 to make the NBA playoffs. Both seem highly unlikely to cash.

As was the case last year, this season is very much about developing the Spurs’ young core. While Wembanyama, a -110 Rookie of the Year favorite, is the focus of San Antonio’s youth movement, the likes of Devin Vassell, Keldon Johnson, Jeremy Sochan and Zach Collins can’t go overlooked. All are under the age of 25.

Since averaging 5.5 points as a rookie in 2020-21, Vassell’s scoring has progressively increased. He averaged 18.5 points last year and is up to 20.7 points per game this season. He’s also shooting an impressive 55%. Look for the Spurs to continue leaning on Vassell as Wembanyama and others acclimate themselves.

Handicapping the Game

While the future is bright, San Antonio is going to take its lumps early. Sunday was a good reminder. The Spurs were vastly outplayed by a superior opponent.

Turnovers have been a problem for Wembanyama early, which may only change with time and experience. On top of that, the 7-foot-4 phenom has also yet to find his outside shot. He’s 3-of-13 from 3-point range.

At the moment, it’s hard to have any trust in San Antonio, especially against a veteran NBA team like Phoenix. The Suns are a deserving favorite in this spot.

For NBA picks today, NBA odds, analysis and more, visit Point Spreads Sports Magazine.

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