Dallas Mavericks @ Phoenix Suns
Have no hesitation in backing Pheonix at home. The Suns ride into this game on a four-game winning streak, coinciding with the return of Chris Paul and Cam Johnson to their starting lineup. Although this sample size is small, only the Kings boast a better Net Rating over this span, and there is no reason to anticipate a sudden drop in efficiency out of Phoenix. Conversely, the Mavs are reeling. Luka Doncic and company have lost eight of eleven outright and ATS, as Dallas has plummeted to 26th in Net Rating since New Year’s Day.
It’s as easy as this: the gap between these two teams is not so large, but the Suns are playing better right now and have the advantage of playing in front of a raucous home crowd. In addition, this is a great situation to back PHX (or fade DAL) from a trends perspective:
- The Suns are 18-7 SU and 15-10 ATS at Home
- The Mavericks are 8-15 SU and 7-16 ATS on the Road
Dallas has been overvalued all season, and the market has yet to catch up to how efficiently Phoenix has played this past week.
Bet: Suns +1.5 (-110)
Cleveland Cavaliers @ Houston Rockets
The (likely) absence of Donovan Mitchell is worrisome for the Cavs, but they’re still more than capable of thwarting the lowly Rockets. Houston rates near the basement in the NBA in every advanced stat (538, Net Rating, Adjusted Net Rating, Hollinger Stats, etc.) and will have the disadvantage of playing the tail-end of a back-to-back following a contentious bout with the Wizards. The Rockets are playing their worst basketball right now, posting a 2-18 record (4-16 ATS) over their past 20 games.
More on the Cavs: it’s never easy with your best player not in the lineup, but they have the depth to make up for it. Cleveland still employs several high-quality players and should have the advantage regardless of the five on the court. Admittedly, Cleveland has not been great on the road this season (9-15 SU, 8-15-1 ATS), but this is an opportune time to back them to buck this trend.
Bet: Cavaliers -8 (-110)