San Antonio at Phoenix NBA Odds, Free Pick & TV Info

Posted by Michael Hunt on Friday,January 13, 2017 7:59, EST in

The Phoenix Suns aren’t very good but they will make history on Saturday in becoming the first team in NBA history to play a second game in one regular season in Mexico. Alas, the Suns will be sizable NBA betting underdogs against one of the league’s best teams in San Antonio.

San Antonio at Phoenix NBA Odds, Free Pick & TV Info

When: Saturday, Jan. 14, 6 PM ET
Where: Mexico City Arena
TV: NBA League Pass
Stream: NBA TV
Radio: San Antonio / Phoenix
NBA Odds: Spurs favored by TBA

Why Bet on San Antonio?

The Spurs were 30-8 this season entering Thursday’s likely win against the Lakers, equaling their second best starting record through 38 games and have now won at least 30 of the first 38 games five times in Spurs history. The franchise’s best record in 38 games is 32-6 and through 39 games is 33-6. San Antonio is second in the league behind Golden State (33-6).

The team could have been 31-7 but was upset at home by Milwaukee on Tuesday to end a nine-game home winning streak. The defeat was uncharacteristic in that San Antonio did not make the defensive stops in the end of the game that it is noted for. Despite the subpar work on the defensive end, San Antonio had a final shot to win. Reserve guard Manu Ginobili’s 3-pointer from the corner with one second to play caromed off the side of the backboard and out of bounds as the horn sounded.

The Spurs placed six players in double-figure scoring, led by the 30-point performance by forward Kawhi Leonard. It was Leonard's ninth game of 30 or more points this season. San Antonio played against Milwaukee without star forward LaMarcus Aldridge, who was out due to a stomach illness. Aldridge should be good to go Saturday.

Leonard is the MVP conversation as he has claimed the top spot in NBA history for both best winning percentage at .778 as well as most wins in 300 starts with 235. He has led the team in scoring in 26 of his 36 games by tallying at least 20 in each. Leonard is the first Spur to average 24 points or more since Tim Duncan in 2001-02 (25.5 ppg) and just the fourth Spur to accomplish the feat (George Gervin, David Robinson).

Meanwhile, the San Antonio bench has outscored or matched production of the opposing reserves in 25 games thus far. The San Antonio reserves are first in the league in assists per game (10.2). They are second in three-point percentage (.394, Cleveland- .398) and tied for second in blocks per game with Miami and Golden State (2.3, Toronto- 2.4). They are also third in steals per game (3.8, L.A. Lakers- 4.2, Toronto- 4.1).

Why Bet on Phoenix?

The Suns “hosted” the Mavs in Mexico City on Thursday. As noted, it will be the first time an NBA team will play two regular-season games in Mexico, which has been home to more NBA regular-season and preseason games (22 since 1992 entering Thursday) than any nation other than the United States or Canada. It’s the first time the Suns have played regular-season games outside the U.S. or Canada since they opened the 1990-91 season with two games in Tokyo, Japan, against Utah.

Suns head coach Earl Watson’s maternal grandparents emigrated from Mexico. The Suns also were the first organization to have a Mexican-born player play for them when center Horacio Llamas signed in 1998.

The Suns have been playing exceptional defense lately, allowing an average of 99.3 points while forcing 16.2 turnovers over their last six games. The Suns had been allowing an average of 114.3 points and forcing 15.6 turnovers in their first 32 games. The Suns rank in the NBA’s top 10 in all four miscellaneous points categories, ranking 2nd with an average of 18.7 fast break points, 5th in with 46.2 points in the paint, 8th with 13.8 second chance points and 2nd with 18.9 points off turnovers.

The Suns rank 7th in the NBA with 45.1 rebounds per game, the team’s highest average since 1990-91 (45.5). Over the last 21 games, the Suns are averaging 9.0 three-point makes on 36.4 3FG% (7.1 per game on 31.5 3FG% in first 17).

The Suns are averaging 105.9 points per game (11th in the NBA); they last averaged at least this many points in 2009-10 (110.2). The Suns rank 3rd in the NBA in pace with 102.5 possessions per 48 minutes. The Suns have come through in the clutch thus far this season, shooting a combined 7-of- 16 on field goal attempts to tie or take the lead in the final 30 seconds of regulation or overtime.

The Suns and Spurs meet for the final of three meetings in three different locations this season; Dec. 15 (Phoenix), Dec. 28 (San Antonio), Saturday (Mexico City). The Spurs have won the first two this season handily.

San Antonio at Phoenix Free Pick: San Antonio Spurs

The Spurs have won nine straight vs. the Suns and will make it 10 as long as all the starters play.