Friday Betting Analysis & Free Picks: New Jersey Nets at Phoenix Suns

Nash is still averaging 10+ assists per game in under 30 minutes of play per night
New Jersey Nets vs. Phoenix Suns
Tip off: 9:05 PM EST
Spread: PHX -6.5
Total: 195.5
M/L: PHO -290, NJN +240

At one point, Dwight Howard thought he wanted to go join Deron Williams in Brooklyn. I’m pretty sure he has given up that notion now. The Nets have busted out of the gates 2-9 after losing their second best player in Brook Lopez early on. The increase in pressure defensively has had nothing but negative effects on franchise player Deron Williams. Williams, a free agent at seasons end, is shooting a career worst 35.4% this season, and really, he has been bad ever since he arrived in New Jersey, as he shot 34.9% from the floor in his 12 games with the Nets last season. The Nets are doing everything they can to keep Williams in town, but maybe they should just let him go.

Rookie MarShon Brooks has been nothing but a pleasant surprise, although surprise is a bit of a stretch since he was 2nd in the NCAA in scoring last season. The Providence product has averaged 14.0 points per game and he’s shooting 38.7% from behind the arc. He’s already had six games with 17 or more points and he has scored in double figures in all 5 of the last 5 games in which he has played. Expect the 6’5″ guard to see more and more time as the Nets fall further and further out of contention. Brooks and Williams are the backcourt that the Nets want, and if Deron can get back on track, maybe we’ll see why.

The Suns haven’t been any better nor any worse than expected. They’ve won 4 of their first 10 games, but their loss to the Cavs might have been a bit upsetting. They allowed 101 Cavaliers’ points and allowed rookie Kyrie Irving to score 26. Six Suns reached double figure scoring, but the Suns still only totaled 90 points. Steve Nash is starting to hit stride now, but is seeing under 30 minutes a game. Even with the playing time reduction, Nash is still averaging a double double (12.5 points per game, 10.1 assists per game).

The problem for the Suns is exactly what Charles Barkley said it was: Their two best players are 38 and 39 years old. Until the Suns can find a way to go into full on rebuilding mode, it’s hard to imagine them doing much more than wallowing in mediocrity as Nash wastes away the end of his career playing for a poor team. The 39 year old I mention, Grant Hill, is day to day with a sore quadricep muscle.

Nets Betting Trends:

New Jersey is 1-9 SU in their last 10 games and the total has gone OVER In 5 of their last 6 games. The total has gone UNDER in 6 of their last 9 on the road and the Nets are 2-12 SU in their last 14 road games.

Suns Betting Trends:

The total has gone UNDER in 4 of the Suns’ last 5 games and it has gone UNDER In 5 of their last 7 at home. The Suns are 6-3 SU in their last 9 home games and they are 9-1 SU In their last 10 against New Jersey.

Key Matchup:

Deron Williams vs. Steve Nash

I mentioned Deron’s struggles, and Nash is winding down his career. Ideally, both these point guards are mentioned in the discussion of the best point guards in the league, but it seems Nash is passing the torch, and with Williams struggling, all the real attention is being given to Derrick Rose and Chris Paul.

Nonetheless, Williams and Nash are still very good and warrant a good look tonight in this game. Neither is ridiculously quick afoot, but both utilize great footwork on both ends of the court to make up for short comings athletically. Both are adept at finding teammates in transition and both are top flight shooters. I have trouble seeing Williams struggling like this for an entire season, but he has been horrible since arriving in Jersey, as I said.

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