The Phoenix Suns (16-7) visit the Dallas Mavericks (11-11) on Monday. Action tips off at 8:40 pm ET. Below we continue our NBA odds series with a Suns-Mavericks prediction and pick.
Phoenix has won seven of their last eight games coming into tonight and currently sits in first place in the Western Conference. The Suns are 14-9 against the spread while 55% of their games have gone under.
Dallas, meanwhile, has won two of their last three games but resides in 10th place in the West. The Mavericks are 6-15-1 against the spread while 59% of their games have gone over.
This will be the second of four meetings between the teams. Phoenix took the first game in October, 107-105.
Here are the Suns-Mavericks NBA odds, courtesy of FanDuel
NBA Odds: Suns-Mavericks Odds
Phoenix Suns: +3 (-110)
Dallas Mavericks: -3 (-110)
Over: 222 (-110)
Under: 222 (-110)
Why The Suns Could Cover The Spread
Phoenix picked up right where they left off last season as one of the best regular-season teams in the league. The Suns get things done on both ends of the floor as they feature a top-ten offense and defense. They are seventh in scoring and second in offensive efficiency.
Defensively, they rank fifth in points allowed and fourth in efficiency. Phoenix is also a strong rebounding team where they rank eighth in rebound differential and seventh in rebound rate.
The Suns’ are well-positioned to cover tonight because they have Devin Booker. Booker remains one of the most underrated superstars in the league despite being far and away Phoenix’s best player this season. He averages 29.1 PPG but has really taken a step forward in other facets of the game.
Booker is a solid rebounder, averaging 5.0 RPG, and is a great passer, averaging 6.0 APG. He’s been remarkably efficient for a guard despite being the main perimeter scorer for one of the league’s top teams. Booker shoots 49% from the field and 39% from beyond the arc in addition to 87% from the free throw line (on 6.7 attempts per game).
After collapsing in the Western Conference Semifinals last year, Booker will undoubtedly be on his A-game as he gets another crack at Luka and the Mavs.
If Phoenix is going to cover tonight, it’ll take more than a big game from Booker. The Suns need to exploit Dallas’ biggest weakness: rebounding. Luckily for Phoenix backers, the Suns have one of the best big men in the league: Deandre Ayton. Ayton averages 17 PPG and 9.7 RPG. After missing some time early on, he’s been downright dominant lately.
Over his last six games, Ayton has averaged 22.8 points and 12.5 rebounds. He’s scored at least 25 points in four of those games and has hit double-digit rebounds in five of them. Dallas is weak down low – paving the way for a huge Ayton performance, something to monitor when making Suns-Mavericks prediction.
Why The Mavericks Could Cover The Spread
Dallas has been one of the most peculiar teams in the league this season. Despite possessing the leading individual scorer in the league, the Mavericks rank just 21st in scoring but are eighth in offensive efficiency.
Their hallmark has been their stingy defense which ranks fourth in points allowed and ninth in efficiency. Dallas’ kryptonite has been their ability to rebound the basketball. The Mavericks are dead last in rebound differential and 28th in rebound rate.
The story of Dallas’ season has been the play and usage of star Luka Doncic. Doncic has historically gotten off to slow starts in his short NBA career but this year has been a different story. Doncic leads the NBA in scoring with 33.4 PPG. He’s been incredibly efficient despite a sky-high usage rate. Doncic shoots 51% from the field but has been a major contributor in non-scoring ways as well.
Luka leads the team in both rebounding (8.6 RPG) and assists (8.6 APG). He seems to have Phoenix’s number after last year’s playoffs and will undoubtedly be looking to upstage opposing guard Devin Booker once again tonight.
Luka’s production is a given at this point but if Dallas wants to win, they’re going to need someone else to step up and help him shoulder the offensive load. In recent games, that player has been guard Tim Hardaway Jr. He averages just 12.4 PPG for the season and has shot an abysmal 36% from the field thus far.
That being said, he’s really heated up lately. Over his last three games, Hardaway Jr. is averaging 25.3 PPG on 51% shooting – something to keep in mind when making a Suns-Mavericks prediction.
Final Suns-Mavericks Prediction & Pick
Phoenix is playing as well as anyone in the league right now. They’ll surely be looking to prove something after their playoff collapse to Dallas last season and I like them as road underdogs despite being a much better team than the Mavericks.
Final Suns-Mavericks Prediction & Pick: Phoenix Suns +3 (-110)