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NBA SO/UP Bets and Analysis: Suns-Raptors and Warriors-Grizzlies

Analysis and bets for Tuesday's NBA matchups featuring the Suns visiting the Raptors and the Grizzlies welcoming the Warriors.

The Raptors have defeated some of the top teams around the league in the last few weeks now that they have a mostly healthy squad available.

Meanwhile, the Suns are looking to separate from the Warriors, whom they’re tied with for the best record. Golden State will put that record on the line Tuesday evening in Memphis against a Grizzlies team that hasn’t lost since before Christmas.

Aaron Rose of All Raptors joins me as a guest picker to make bets for Tuesday’s games.

Season record: 65-64-1
Guest pickers: 44-80

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Toronto Raptors' Precious Achiuwa (5) gestures after a made 3-point basket by Gary Trent Jr. (33) during the second half of an NBA basketball game against the Milwaukee Bucks, Wednesday, Jan. 5, 2022, in Milwaukee.

Phoenix Suns (30-9) vs. Toronto Raptors (20-17)

Time: 7:30 p.m. ET
Spread: Suns -3.5 (-110) | Raptors +3.5 (-110)
Moneyline: Suns (-163) | Raptors (+138)
Total: Under 223.5 (-110) | Over 223.5 (-110)
Injuries: Suns F Cameron Johnson—Out; Suns G Landry Shamet—Out; Raptors G Gary Trent Jr.—Day-to-day; Raptors F Scottie Barnes—Day-to-day

Suns Profile

Record Over Last 10 Games: 6-4
ATS Record: 21-18
Over/Under Record: 19-20
Points Per Game/Rank: 112.1/3
Points Allowed Per Game/Rank: 105/5

Phoenix was spanked, 123-100, by the Heat on Sunday. Though the drubbing was an obvious negative for the Suns, they did get Deandre Ayton back from a six-game COVID-19-induced absence. Tuesday’s game in Toronto begins a five-game road trip for Phoenix, which has fared about as well on the road (13-4) as it has at home (17-5).

Raptors Profile

Record Over Last 10 Games: 7-3
ATS Record: 20-17
Over/Under Record: 23-14
Points Per Game/Rank: 108.2/16
Points Allowed Per Game/Rank: 106.6/11

Toronto is on a six-game winning streak that overlaps with Fred VanVleet’s barrage of 30-point games. The Raptors beat the Warriors, Jazz and Bucks over the last few weeks, and now get another crack at one of the league’s top teams on their home floor, where they are 12-10 and have won five in a row.

Kyle Wood’s Bets:

Spread pick: Raptors +3.5

I really like what Toronto has done lately and I think this game will be close. The Raptors have performed slightly better ATS this season and have played like the better team over the last few weeks. I still like the Suns to win simply because I don’t see a team as good as Phoenix dropping two games in a row, something its done twice all season. All that said, Scottie Barnes’ status is definitely something to monitor before locking in your pick. The rookie is a huge part of Toronto’s success and he’s been one of the team’s most consistent and available players this year.

Over/Under pick: Under 223.5

Deandre Ayton’s presence in the paint can limit the Raptors’ ability to score in and around the paint, and the Suns have the lengthy wings to throw at a guard like VanVleet to keep him from going for a huge scoring night. Toronto games hit the over at one of the highest rates in the NBA, but when playing the league’s No. 5 defense it will be more difficult to get into the 110s needed for this game to go over.

Prop: Fred VanVleet Over 3.5 Three Pointers

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This is a volume bet. VanVleet tossed up 17 threes in his most recent game and he connected on eight of them. In five games in January, Toronto’s leading scorer is shooting 47% on 13.2 three-point attempts per game and he’s gone over 3.5 made threes in his last eight games. The numbers this month are not an aberration, either. He’s shooting 40.9% on the year on 9.4 attempts.

Guest picker Aaron Rose’s Bets:

Spread pick: Suns -3.5

The Raptors have jumped up the Eastern Conference standings on the back of a six-game winning streak, but beneath the surface, major questions persist. All those wins came against an opponent missing its best player, save for maybe the Pelicans, depending on how you account for Zion Williamson. Finally, the Suns are coming to Toronto as a real litmus test for the Raptors and, well, I’m skeptical. The Suns are mostly healthy, and the Raptors could be without two starters and nobody to really slow down Deandre Ayton. Give me the Suns -3.5.

Over/Under pick: Under 223.5

The Raptors have been putting up some big offensive numbers of late, but they haven’t come against very good defensive teams. The Suns will pose a tough challenge for Toronto, especially if Gary Trent Jr. can’t go. That 223.5 number is a little too high for my liking. Go with the under.

Prop: Fred VanVleet Over 1.5 Steals

This is a weird one but at +105 there’s certainly value in Fred VanVleet over 1.5 steals. He’s gone over that number in eight of his last nine games and he’s averaging 1.6 steals per game this season. He'll be locked in on the Suns' two guards for most of the night and is probably due for a steal off Ayton when Toronto doubles the post. You might be waiting for the fourth quarter for one more, but good value is good value.

Golden State Warriors guard Klay Thompson (11) looks to pass against the Cleveland Cavaliers during the second half of an NBA basketball game in San Francisco, Sunday, Jan. 9, 2022.

Golden State Warriors (30-9) vs. Memphis Grizzlies (28-14)

Time: 8 p.m. ET | NBA TV
Spread: Warriors -2.5 (+100) | Grizzlies +2.5 (-118)
Moneyline: Warriors (-125) | Grizzlies (+105)
Total: Under 219.5 (-110) | Over 218.5 (-110)
Injuries: Warriors F Otto Porter Jr.—Day-to-day; Warriors F Draymond Green—Out; Warriors C James Wiseman—Out; Warriors G Gary Payton II—Day-to-day; Grizzlies C Steven Adams—Out; Grizzlies G Dillon Brooks—Out

Warriors Profile

Record Over Last 10 Games: 6-4
ATS Record: 23-14-2
Over/Under Record: 12-25-2
Points Per Game/Rank: 109.8/11
Points Allowed Per Game/Rank: 100.9/1

Golden State’s torrid pace has slowed down in the last few weeks, losing three games in which it failed to score 100 points. This team goes as its top-ranked defense goes, and it just got the best reinforcement imaginable in Klay Thompson, an elite shooter and apt wing defender. The Warriors likely didn’t expect to be tied for the best record in the NBA when they got Thompson back, so they’re afforded even more leeway in easing him back into the fold—he played 20 minutes Sunday against Cleveland.

Grizzlies Profile

Record Over Last 10 Games: 9-1
ATS Record: 27-15
Over/Under Record: 20-20-2
Points Per Game/Rank: 112.1/4
Points Allowed Per Game/Rank: 107.9/15

Memphis has soared in the standings in recent weeks thanks to its nine-game winning streak. The Grizzlies’ last loss was Dec. 23 on the road against the Warriors. Since then, they’ve defeated the Suns, Nets, Cavaliers and Lakers (twice). It’s not all Ja Morant, who’s been on a tear—he’s also getting ample help from Desmond Bane and Jaren Jackson Jr. while Dillon Brooks misses time.

Kyle Wood’s Bets:

Spread pick: Grizzlies +2.5

Golden State is averaging less than 100 points over its last six games, while Memphis has logged less than than 110 points just once during its current win streak. Simply put, the Grizzlies are playing great basketball while not being at full strength and are playing much better defensively. The Warriors’ defense hasn’t been the issue—they’re first in the league in defense—but the offense has left something to be desired while Steph Curry has gotten off to a rough January. That’s why I like Memphis getting points here and I’m tempted to take them to win outright.

Over/Under pick: Over 219.5

Warriors' games go over at the lowest rate in the league due to their lockdown defense. Meanwhile, Grizzlies games do so about half the time. Even with Golden State’s defensive prowess, I find this line to be too low. With Draymond Green and Steven Adams out, both defenses will be weakened down low, which opens up the door for more scoring.

Prop: Andrew Wiggins Over 16.5 Points

Wiggins failed to clear this figure in his last game but he did so in his previous seven outings. He averages 18.8 PPG, and Brooks, one of Memphis’ top wing defenders, isn’t available to guard the lengthy forward on the perimeter.

Guest picker Aaron Rose’s Bets:

Spread pick: Warriors -2.5

The Grizzlies may be the hottest team in the league right now, but their last loss came against the Warriors and their next one will too. Ja Morant looks like a man on a mission right now, but the loss of Brooks is going to cause Memphis problems against the Splash Brothers. With Steph Curry playing at an MVP level and Thompson finally back healthy, the Warriors are a team nobody should be taking lightly. Curry dropped 46 points in his last meeting against the Grizzlies and another offensive outburst shouldn’t surprise anyone with Brooks out. The 2.5-point spread for Golden State isn’t enough to deter me, even without Green.

Over/Under pick: Over 219.5

These teams totals 217 in their last meeting, but that was without Thompson and with defensive stars Brooks and Green, who have already been ruled out. If Adams can’t go for Memphis, this one could be a very high-scoring affair. Regardless of his status, the over is certainly the better side here.

Prop: Steph Curry Over 25.5 Points

Curry might not put up 46 points again, but 25 seems easily beatable for the MVP frontrunner who dropped 36 points against Memphis back in October. Again, with Brooks out of the lineup, the Grizzlies will be without their best on-ball defender. Give me Curry to go over 25.5 and over his 26.8 points per game average for the season.

DFS Value Plays

(Prices based on 7 p.m. main slate)
PG/SG Cade Cunningham, Pistons (FD: $6,500 | DK: $7,800)
SG Desmond Bane, Grizzlies (FD: $7,200 | $6,500)
SF Saddiq Bey, Pistons (FD: $6,500 | $7,500)
PF Jarred Vanderbilt, Timberwolves (FD: $6,300 | $6,200)
C Jonas Valanciunas, Pelicans (FD: $7,900 | $8,500)

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