The Daily Sweat: Kevin Durant set to make Suns debut, how good can they be?
The bad part about the Phoenix Suns' huge trade for Kevin Durant was we had to wait to watch Durant's latest superteam in action. Durant was out with a knee injury.
Durant makes it back to the lineup on Wednesday night. He is expected to make his Suns debut against the Charlotte Hornets. The Suns are a 9.5-point road favorite at BetMGM.
On paper, the Suns look dangerous. Durant was great with the Brooklyn Nets this season, even at 34 years old. Phoenix had a fantastic team in place even without Durant. Devin Booker is a star, Deandre Ayton is a productive big man and Chris Paul still has a lot left at age 37.
There should be some chemistry questions. You never know how it will work with so many stars on the floor, though Durant has won big on similarly built teams before. Monty Williams is a very good coach and he'll probably figure it out.
From a betting perspective, it might be worthwhile to go against the Suns the next couple weeks. Durant will probably be on some minutes restrictions. He hasn't played since Jan. 8. The Suns are chasing a championship, not regular-season wins, and the rest of this season will be spent learning how to play with each other and peaking for the postseason. But their spreads will be high right away because the buzz for them is high. Laying 9.5 points on the road, even against a mediocre Hornets team, is a tough ask.
The Suns will presumably be an excellent team, but it might take a little while. It will be fun to watch it all unfold though.
Here's a first look at the sports betting slate for Wednesday:
Bucks go for 16 in a row
The Milwaukee Bucks swept through February.
It's a little easier than most months because it's a short month with a long all-star break. But the Bucks didn't lose. Jan. 21 is the last time the Bucks lost. Since then they're 15-0 and now have the best record in the NBA. The Bucks will try to make it 16 wins in a row at home against the Orlando Magic. Milwaukee is a 7.5-point favorite over the Magic at BetMGM. It's hard to bet against the Bucks. They're a strong 10-5 against the spread during the streak.
Rest of the NBA
There are nine games overall in the NBA, with some good ones on the schedule. The best game could be the Cleveland Cavaliers at the Boston Celtics. The Celtics are 4.5-point favorites. That's the second game of the ESPN doubleheader; the first game is the New Orleans Pelicans at Portland Trail Blazers. The Blazers are 1.5-point favorites.
College basketball hits March
It's March, and that's a month-long celebration of college basketball. There are nine games involving top-25 teams and plenty of others with bubble teams trying to improve their NCAA tournament resumes. The game of the night is Texas at TCU. The Horned Frogs is really good at full strength, and it's a 2.5-point favorite over a strong Longhorns team. Texas has lost three in a row on the road, and TCU looks like the right side on Wednesday.
What's the best bet?
I don't like taking road teams in college basketball but will make an exception for Maryland on Wednesday night. Ohio State has been in a free fall for weeks, and Maryland looks like a team that is getting better as the NCAA tournament gets closer. Maryland is a 2-point favorite and while that looks like a trap, I'll take it. This game features two teams going in opposite directions.