A playoff series doesn’t start until one team wins on the road. If that is true, the Dallas-Phoenix series may not get started until Game 7.
The scene shift back to American Airlines Center tonight for Game 6 between the Mavericks and Suns. Each team has won all its home games, and Dallas needs to make sure that trend holds to avoid having their season end.
This series has lacked for drama, with an average margin of victory of 13.2 points. Two of the closest games were in Dallas, where the Mavericks won by nine and ten points. Can the Mavericks earn another victory and give us a winner-take-all Game 7 on Sunday in Phoenix?
Here are my two picks for today’s Suns-Mavericks Game 6 matchup.
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Mavericks vs. Suns Betting Odds
*Lines accurate at the time of publication.
Mavericks vs. Suns Thursday Night Picks
Mavericks +2 (-110, DraftKings)
The Mavericks small-ball lineup has befuddled Phoenix at home, and I expect that to happen again tonight.
After losing the first two games of the series with Luka Doncic scoring 35 and 45 points, Dallas committed to getting more production from their supporting cast. Guard Jalen Brunson has produced 18 or more points in each of the last three games, after totaling just 22 total points in the first two losses.
Forward Dorian Finney-Smith has been on fire from 3P range, and was hitting at over a 50% rate from deep in the two home games. He connected on 12 of 23 (52.2%) shots from beyond the arc.
Dallas has also found a way to limit Phoenix’s Chris Paul. In the two games at Dallas, the Mavericks held Paul to just 8.5 points and 5.5 assists per game. Paul, who averaged 22.3 points and 11.3 assists per game in the opening round, is producing just 14.2 points and 6.4 assists per contest against the Mavericks.
The Mavericks elite 3P defense has returned, challening the Suns to win lower possession, higher variance game.
I’m betting Dallas forces a Game 7 back in Phoenix, and will grab the two-point underdog tonight.
Risk: 1.10 units on DraftKings to win 1 unit. (Bet up to -120)
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Luka Doncic Over 9.5 Rebounds (-120, DraftKings)
The Mavericks have no answer for Phoenix center Deandre Ayton, and Doncic has tried to mitigate their interior struggles with more rebounding.
Doncic is averaging 9.6 rebounds per game in this series, but has been much more active on the boards the last three games. After losing the first two games while carrying a 40 PPG average, Doncic has posted 10.3 rebounds per game in the last three contests, including two games of 11 rebounds or more.
Doncic hasn’t broken 30 points in the last three games, but his contributions have equated to better overall performances from his team.
I expect vintage Doncic as the Mavericks try to avoid elimination, which could mean a triple-double. Give me Doncic over 9.5 rebounds at reasonable juice on DraftKings.
Risk: 1.20 units on DraftKings to win 1 unit. (Bet up to -125)
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