Midway through the third quarter in Sacramento, the Nets were in a back-and-forth affair with the Kings, leading 82-80 after giving up a Buddy Hield 3-point shot. On the ensuing possession, Brooklyn ran a dribble-handoff pick-and-roll with Green and Harden that led to an uncontested dunk for Green, and the Nets never looked back. That dunk sparked a 20-0 run for Brooklyn and the Nets would go on to win, and cover, their third consecutive game.
Three games ago the betting market downgraded this team, making the Nets a 1.5-point underdog on their own court to the Pacers. On Saturday, even with Kevin Durant back on the floor, Brooklyn was just a 3.5-point favorite and won in a blowout. Last night, the Nets opened as a 4-point favorite against a Sacramento team that was catching 4.5 the night prior against Memphis. Yes, the betting market thought a team with James Harden and Kyrie Irving was power rated the same as the Memphis Grizzlies.
When I write about “market adjustments”, these are the adjustments I am talking about. The Nets are not going to be a pick-em on a neutral floor against the Grizzlies, nor is Brooklyn 1.5 points worse than the Indiana Pacers. Yet, the market has deemed that to be the case. I have bet on Brooklyn in each of the past three games because I believe the market has over-adjusted its power rating of the Nets, and that sets up a fascinating game against the Suns in Phoenix tonight.
Note: *indicates that team is on the second leg of a back-to-back
Updated injury reports can be found here.
Updated odds for every game can be found here.
The Main Event
Brooklyn Nets at Phoenix Suns (-3, 230)
There is no denying how hot Phoenix is right now. Their winning streak of 6-0 SU and ATS with a 10.5 net rating burns with the white-hot intensity of 1,000 suns. Overall, they are in the midst of a 9-1 SU and ATS run that began with a win over Golden State. The problem I have with this run for Phoenix is the competition: six of their 10 opponents rank 21st or lower in net rating this season, and they lost to one of those opponents in blowout fashion (New Orleans). They trailed by 13 in the third quarter to Milwaukee, and beat Boston without Jalen Brown. You can only play who is on your schedule, but it is not the most thrilling competition Phoenix has rolled through.