Mavericks vs. Suns Odds
|Time||10 p.m. ET|
|Odds via FanDuel. Get up-to-the-minute NBA odds here.|
The Mavericks‘ slide has continued over the last couple of games, but they have an opportunity to find life again in Phoenix.
The Suns have found their groove with four straight victories and are on a roll against the spread. Should they be feared on Thursday night?
Let’s break down this game in our Mavericks vs. Suns preview and predictions.
The Mavericks have lost eight of their last 11 games and have covered the spread in just three of their last 13. As is life in the NBA, this team was the hottest team in the league just a month ago but now can’t buy a good result.
As if life weren’t bad enough, Dallas is dealing with a very damning injury to Christian Wood, who broke his thumb roughly a week ago. He’s missed the last three contests, and while Dallas did notch one win against Miami, it has looked rather unassuming in the games since.
With Wood on the floor, the Mavericks have been 1.8 points better on offense per 100 possessions, but his impact seems greater than that. After all, he’s part of Dallas’ best regular three-man combination, alongside Luka Dončić and Josh Green. In 170 minutes together, they’re +26.2 per 100 possessions. Wood’s had similar success alongside other regulars in the rotation thanks to his shot-making ability and contributions around the rim.
The last time these two teams met (Dec. 5), Wood was +13 in 27 minutes with 18 points and nine boards in what was a massive win for the Mavericks. He had 25 on opening night in a two-point loss to the Suns.
The last time the Suns played the Mavericks, they felt shortchanged in a lopsided loss without Chris Paul leading them. Now, they’ve got Paul back, although they’re still without Devin Booker.
In fact, they’re also without Cameron Payne and Landry Shamet, but they’ve found a way to deal with all these absences. Phoenix is 6-2 against the spread in its last eight and has won four straight games. That includes victories over Brooklyn and Memphis.
The Suns have the best defense in the league over the last four games, allowing just 102.9 points per 100 possessions, which has helped make up for a continued lack of production on the offensive end.
Not to single anyone out here, but Deandre Ayton may be the man dictating how things go on that end. The big man has been in the middle of a down year defensively, allowing a 49.2% defended field goal percentage as the closest defender to grade out as a below-average center. In the past four games, he’s been at 42.1% — one of the best marks in the NBA.
The sample size is small, but perhaps the Suns’ defensive anchor has figured something out.
I’ve been mighty impressed with the Suns lately, and I think with their strong defense returning and Ayton playing better on that end, they can absolutely win this game against a wounded Mavericks team.
Dallas is simply not the same offensively sans Wood. Without him, there should be almost no way to score inside against Ayton.
The Suns haven’t been great to bet on this season, but they’re 12-7 against the spread as home favorites and 15-10 ATS in general at home. This is a good spot.
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