We comfortably cashed our NBA Best Bet on Sunday as Rudy Gobert soared over his rebounding prop of 12.5 to finish with 19 on the night. On Monday, the NBA will have a 12-game slate with six matchups occurring during the afternoon as the league honors the life of civil rights leader, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Thus, with six early games, we’re only left with six to choose from in the evening. However, despite the limitations, I still managed to track down a best bet for us on the night.
Let’s head to San Antonio, where the Spurs will host the Phoenix Suns.
Phoenix Suns vs. San Antonio Spurs, Moneyline, Total and Odds
Moneyline: Suns -178 | Spurs +150
Spread: Suns -4.5 (-106) | Spurs +4.5 (-114)
Total: Over 227.5 (-110) | Under 227.5 (-110)
NBA Championship Odds: Suns +800 | Spurs +50000
Odds courtesy of FanDuel Sportsbook. Sign up for FanDuel Sportsbook today and get your first bet risk-free for up to $1,000.
Phoenix Suns vs. San Antonio Spurs, News, Analysis, and Picks
I came pretty close to passing on today’s games, with so many occurring in the afternoon. It just didn’t make sense to handicap a play that’ll only be available for a few hours to much of the public. That led me to take a closer look at the later games, and I was able to identify a player prop that I believe to be undervalued.
Spurs’ point guard Dejounte Murray has an assists prop set at 7.5 with -122 odds. He’s coming off three straight games with at least eight assists, and he’s managed to reach that mark in 12 of his past 13 games. Murray’s become a complete player when you consider that he’s improved his production every season since entering the league in 2016. This year, he’s averaging 19.1 points, 8.9 assists, and 8.3 rebounds. That’s quite an improvement from the previous season when he averaged 15.7 points, 5.4 assists, and 7.1 rebounds per game. Keep in mind that Murray averaged 2.9 assists in 21.5 minutes during his second year in the pros. Now, he’s tripled that production while playing an additional 13 minutes on the court. I don’t think this type of progression happens by accident. Instead, I think the Spurs coaching staff has played a pivotal role in developing Murray’s skill set. It’s never easy to find that next superstar as you still need the player to have some belief and buy into the process.
In 2019, Murray signed a four-year, $64 million contract extension to San Antonio. He has 2.5 years remaining on the deal before likely an even bigger payday in 2024. Thus, I think Murray is fully motivated to possibly become the next Russell Westbrook â a player who averages a triple-double throughout an entire season.
The Spurs will now face a Suns team that ranks second in defensive efficiency (101.6 points allowed per 100 possessions). For San Antonio to have a chance, it’ll need to prioritize ball movement to get some easier shots at the cup. This is something San Antonio’s thrived in all season as according to TeamRankings, the Spurs place ninth with 13.8 fastbreak points per game.
The good news is we already have some tangible data points in this matchup as the Spurs have played two games against the Suns. Given San Antonio’s ability to get easier baskets with Murray pulling the strings at point guard, I’m not surprised it covered the spread in both of those meetings. Moreover, Murray racked up 14 and 11 assists in those games.
I think this prop is criminally low when you couple Murray’s recent run with his performances against the Suns. I like Murray to go over his prop of 7.5 assists as this might be my favorite play of the New Year.
Pick: Dejounte Murray over 7.5 assists (-122)
All NBA predictions and picks are courtesy of SportsGrid.