Daily Underdog Picks: Injury-riddled Jazz will cover against red-hot Suns
It’s the eve of the Kentucky Derby – the most exciting two minutes in sports – and we’re offering pre-post thrills with our Daily Underdog Picks.
We have our sights set on three underdogs in particular, including two in the NBA and one in Major League Baseball.
Utah Jazz vs. Phoenix Suns
Sat, May 1 2021, 2:10 AM
The Utah Jazz haven’t looked their best recently, and injuries have been a big reason why. Donovan Mitchell has been out with an injury and Mike Conley is expected to miss Friday’s game with the Phoenix Suns – a clash of the two top teams in the Western Conference.
With their injury situation, the Jazz are currently 4.5-point underdogs against the Suns, who have won seven of their last 10 games and have clinched a playoff spot with an impressive 44-18 record.
The Jazz are coming off a massive victory on Wednesday, as they scored 154 points and crushed the Sacramento Kings by 49.
There is no way the Jazz will replicate that kind of performance against the Suns. But after two straight losses to Minnesota in a home-and-home set earlier this week, and an overtime loss to the Lakers earlier this month, the Jazz responded in a big way against the Kings. They should take a little extra confidence and still be highly motivated for this game, even with a depleted roster.
The key will be containing the Suns duo of Chris Paul and Devin Booker while trying to muster enough offense against a Suns team that has the fifth best defensive rating in the NBA.
The Suns should prevail as the winner straight-up, but the Jazz – even with their injuries – should still be able to keep this close until the bitter end.
Portland Trail Blazers vs. Brooklyn Nets
It’s not often you get the Brooklyn Nets as 2.5-point underdogs at home, but such is the case Friday when they host the Portland Trail Blazers.
The Nets will be without Kevin Durant, who gets a rest tonight as Brooklyn plays the second half of a back-to-back.
Being without Durant could definitely factor into this game, but the Nets could also catch a break as they face a Trail Blazers team that is 29th in the league in defensive rating. The Blazers have given up 114.7 points against per game.
The Nets knocked off the Trail Blazers earlier this season, winning by four points despite missing Durant. Despite injuries and resting situations, the Nets should still cover as home underdogs given Portland's pitiful defense.
Los Angeles Angels vs. Seattle Mariners
Sat, May 1 2021, 2:10 AM
The Seattle Mariners are back at home, as they begin a three-game set with the L.A. Angels on Friday.
The Mariners are moneyline underdogs at home, despite being fresh off a 1-0 victory over the Houston Astros on Thursday. Seattle will send righty Chris Flexen to the mound (2-1, 2.74 ERA).
Flexen was solid in an 8-2 win over the Red Sox in his last outing, giving up four hits and one run over seven innings. He’s been very strong at home, allowing only one run in two starts. The only problem was, in his last outing at home, he didn’t get any run support despite throwing well enough to hold Houston to just a single run.
The Mariners' pitching has been better in their own ballpark, and they’ll need a big game out of their staff. The Angels certainly have the edge offensively, but if the Mariners can get a solid game on the mound, they could score just enough to win this one.