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Phoenix Suns guard Devin Booker (1) drives past Philadelphia 76ers guard Ben Simmons (25) during the second half of an NBA basketball game, Monday, Nov. 4, 2019, in Phoenix.
Phoenix Suns guard Devin Booker (1) drives past Philadelphia 76ers guard Ben Simmons (25) during the second half of an NBA basketball game, Monday, Nov. 4, 2019, in Phoenix.|Ross D. Franklin | Associated Press
NBA

NBA Thursday: Greg Frank picks Heat vs Suns with Devin Booker at center stage

Greg Frank

Greg Frank

2-0-1 Wednesday, 14-11-1 overall.

Heat (+1.5) @ Suns (218.5)

Pick: Suns -1.5

Maybe it’s because they play on the west coast. Maybe it’s because their No. 1 overall pick from 2018 is in the middle of a 25-game suspension. Maybe it’s because they don’t play in a big market. It might just be because it’s only seven games. However, the Phoenix Suns are one of the better stories in the first month of the NBA season that no one is talking about. They’re 5-2 with wins over the Clippers and Sixers and both their losses were by one-point to Western Conference contenders Utah and Denver. Ironically enough, the opponent for Phoenix tonight has also overachieved in the first couple weeks of the season. Miami sports an identical 5-2 record and is 5-1-1 ATS. Coming into the year, Philadelphia and Milwaukee were the favorites in the East and it looked to be wide open after that. Boston might be inching its way towards being the third favorite, but for the rest of the season it’s probably easier to assume Miami continues to play at this level than Phoenix. There’s just too much depth in the West for a team like the Suns to be anything more than a 7-8 seed in the playoffs. However, we like the Suns to remain undefeated ATS tonight. Miami slowed down in a big way on Tuesday in Denver losing by 20 to the Nuggets two days after beating the Rockets by 29. Four of the Heat’s seven games have been decided by double digits whereas five of seven for the Suns have been decided by single digits. The handicap on this game is a little different in February than it is right now. With a larger sample size, it’s easier to assume a team doing well in close games will drop a few based on the randomness that comes with those decisions. One blocking foul can be called a charge and the game can be decided in that moment. However, early on, we think Phoenix playing more tight games is an advantage against a Heat team that hasn’t been in as many pressure situations. This line certainly indicates a close game and we’re trusting the home team to win it.

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