Phoenix Suns vs Utah Jazz Betting Preview: Jazz Could have an Early Season Edge

Ryan K

The Phoenix Suns (3-1) travel to Utah on the last day of the year, December 31st, to play the Jazz (2-1) as road underdogs.

Betting Odds & Game Information

  • Spread: Suns +3.5 (-110) | -3.5 (-110)
  • Moneyline: Suns +134 | Jazz -158
  • Total: OVER 219.5 (-110) | UNDER 219.5 (-110)

Odds via FanDuel as of 12/31/20 (8:30 AM ET)

  • Date: Thursday, December 31, 2021
  • Time: 9:00 PM ET
  • Location: Salt Lake City, Utah
  • Stadium: Vivant Smart Home Arena
  • How to Watch: NBATV, League Pass

Will the Sun Keep Shining on Phoenix this Season?

The Phoenix Suns barely missed the playoffs last season and ended on an amazing run, going undefeated in the NBA Bubble. The Suns have carried this momentum through the offseason, acquiring perennial NBA All-Star Chris Paul from the Oklahoma City Thunder. Paul brings a much-needed court presence and leadership to the young Phoenix core. All-star and elite scorer Devin Booker now has that teammate he can rely on on down the stretch. The Suns were literally a game away from the postseason last year – they will be on a mission every game this season.

Center Deandre Ayton is off to a nice start for Phoenix, averaging 11 points and 11.7 rebounds per game. Chris Paul is only averaging 12.7 points per game so far, but he is more than capable of putting up 20+ per game, even at this point in his career. Booker leads the way at 22.7 – he is only shooting 31 percent from beyond the arc, but that number is sure to rise as the season goes on. He is a top-tier shooter.

Restrung Jazz Look to Make a Deep Run

Utah seems as if they will be in contention for the Western Conference as long as they have their young phenom, Donovan Mitchell. Mitchell proved himself as an elite scorer and, at times, an un-guard able offensive talent last postseason in the NBA Bubble in Utah’s series against the Denver Nuggets. He hasn’t let off the pedal this year either, starting the season off averaging 20.5 points and five assists per game. Rudy Gobert has been sensational, averaging 19 points and 17 rebounds per game thus far. Their veteran floor general, Mike Conley, is averaging 19 points and three assists per game.

Utah has options on the offensive end – they brought in wing sharpshooter Bojan Bogdanovic which has allowed Joe Ingles to come off the bench. Paired with Jordan Clarkson, this makes their bench rotation very effective as these two average a combined 31 points per game.

Suns vs Jazz: Game Preview

The Jazz are the better team at this stage of the season. Their core returned from last season, so they already have a lot of chemistry and understanding of how each other play. They were playing in the NBA Bubble less than three months ago. They have the advantage in the post with Rudy Gobert and the bench matchup. Both back courts will be the strength and determining factors of this game. Can Mike Conley and Donovan Mitchell outplay Chris Paul and Devin Booker? If so, they may be a blowout. If not, the Jazz could still very much win as they have the better overall roster.

If the Suns hope to win, a third player will have to step up offensively, and they will need to help Ayton on the glass. The Jazz lead the NBA in rebounding, averaging 14.5 more rebounds per game than the Suns, 58.5 to only 44. Phoenix’ second-leading rebounder is small forward Jae Crowder. This will not get the job done versus the Jazz.

Suns vs Jazz Betting Advice

Take the Jazz on the moneyline and the spread.

The Jazz have the advantage in team chemistry, rebounding, and scoring ability. For the Suns to win, Chris Paul will need to rally the troops and put on a performance that includes more than his season average of 12 points.

This will be a fun one to watch. Mitchell and Booker are two of the top young premier talents in the Western Conference – we’ll be seeing this matchup for years to come!