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The 4-seed Phoenix Suns‘ odds is the most interesting storyline heading into the 2023 NBA playoffs. Their odds to win the title (+425), to win the West (+175), and vs. the 5-seed Los Angeles Clippers (-500) in the 1st-round.
Phoenix is being priced like it’s accomplished something and it hasn’t. Sure, the Suns acquired Kevin Durant at the trade deadline, made the 2021 NBA Finals and were the 1-seed out West last season.
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But, Phoenix sacrificed all its depth for KD who has been injury-prone for the last three years. Chris Paul looks like he’s hitting a wall and has a sketchy injury history himself.
The Suns had an easy path to the 2021 NBA Finals because of their opponents’ bad injury luck. Phoenix was exposed last postseason when getting pants’d by the Mavericks in the 2022 Western Conference semifinals.
That said, smarter bettors than me think the Suns are going to roast the Clippers in the 1st-round. Which totally makes sense. The Clippers have been a disgrace to professionalism over recent seasons.
They’ve almost thumbed their noses at the fans and basketball itself during this “load management” era. But, if the Suns are going to get the benefit of the doubt entering the playoffs, then why not the Clippers too?
LA Clippers at Phoenix Suns Odds (DraftKings Sportsbook)
- Tip-off: 8 p.m. ET on Sunday, April 16th.
- Venue: Footprint Center in Phoenix, Arizona.
For the record, these teams tied 2-2 straight up (SU) in their regular season series and the Suns were 3-1 against the spread (ATS). Those results are somewhat useless since both were dealing with injury or load management situations.
When comparing both rosters, I don’t see how the market has the Suns as -7.5 favorites. Even with the Clippers missing All-Star Paul George for who knows how long.
But, Kawhi Leonard will be the best player in this series and LAC is the deeper team with the better coach. The Clippers have a ton of players with big-game experience including Norman Powell, Eric Gordon, and Russell Westbrook.
Everyone is sleeping on Westbrook. Why is CP3 so much better than him? I’d take Paul as my point guard over Westbrook. But, both are hall of famers, neither have won a title and Westbrook has an NBA MVP and is closer to his athletic prime.
Furthermore, the Clippers have a better shot profile than the Suns who settle for too many long, contested 2-pointers. Plus LAC has the length and athleticism at the forward position to make it tough for anyone to operate in the mid-range.
Also, too much has been made of Phoenix’s 8-0 SU record with Durant in the lineup. Aside from a win over the T-Wolves at full strength and the Thunder, none of those Suns’ victories are “quality wins”.
They also beat the tanking Hornets and Spurs, had two wins over the Nuggets without Nikola Jokic and Jamal Murray and the floundering Mavericks.
Ultimately, the Clippers at full-strength are my No. 1 power-rated team in the West. Sans George, I only have LAC behind the Warriors and Suns. However, I don’t think the Suns are 7.5 points better than the Clippers.
BET: LAC +7.5 (-110) at DraftKings, down to +6.5
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