It is time for another NBA on TNT doubleheader! This time the Brooklyn Nets host the Chicago Bulls at 4:30 p.m. PDT, followed by the Phoenix Suns hosting the Minnesota Timberwolves at 7:00 p.m. PDT. Let’s take a look at where to put your money.
As Always, we’ll start with the early game.
CHI Spread: +1 (-110) Moneyline: +100
BKN Spread: -1 (-110) Moneyline: -120
Things to consider…
1) The Nets have parted ways with coach Steve Nash. Jacque Vaughn has been named the interim coach. Either the Nets will use the coaching change as fuel for the game tonight or it will continue a downward spiral that they have been on since the beginning of the season.
2) While the Nets are defending their home turf, they are also playing the second half of a back-to-back. Star players Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving played a combined 82 minutes on Monday and may not yet be rested for another potentially grueling game. This is of particular concern with Chicago, which features Zach LaVine and DeMar DeRozan, both of whom are fierce attackers.
2) The Bulls remain without point guard Lonzo Ball (knee) who is still not close to returning. This means that we should continue to see extended minutes for Ayo Dosunmu in his stead. That is, of course, if Dosunmu plays. He missed Saturday’s contest with a thoracic contusion and is questionable to play tonight. If he sits as well, look for Goran Dragic and Alex Caruso to take on a larger role.
3) Each team has struggled mightily to start their 2022-23 campaign. The Bulls (3-4) have lost their last two games and should have a hard time taking one on the road. The Nets (2-5) just snapped their four-game skid with a win over the Indiana Pacers. Neither should dominate this matchup, and both cannot afford to continue slipping.
Main takeaway: The Nets are probably going to take this one because they are healthy and playing at home, but they have done little to instill confidence in the betting community of late. Whether or not you roll with them should depend on if you think their stars have enough gas (and cohesion) to put forth a consecutive winning effort.
Now let’s look at the late game.
MIN Spread: +3.5 (-115) Moneyline: +140
PHO Spread: -3.5 (-105) Moneyline: -165
Things to consider…
1) Deandre Ayton will miss this game as he continues to recover from a left ankle sprain. Even though the Suns are favored here, this should even the playing field quite a bit. The Minnesota frontcourt of Karl-Anthony Towns and Rudy Gobert is one of the strongest in the NBA, on both offense and defense. No Ayton roaming the paint means these two should be able to contribute at an even higher level than usual. In Ayton’s stead, Bismack Biyombo could draw another start.
2) The Suns have lost just one game this season, to the 5-1 Portland Trail Blazers. They are red hot coming into this one, having won four in a row by an average margin of nearly 20 points. Even without Ayton, they are favorites to defend at home for good reason.
Main takeaway: If you are going to bet on the underdog today, the Timberwolves are worth a look strictly because of personnel. However, the Suns are a well-coached and well-constructed team that should be able to cover Ayton’s absence admirably. Look for the Suns to (likely) win in a (likely) close contest.