Suns vs. Mavericks Odds
|Time||9:30 p.m. ET|
|Odds via BetMGM. Get up-to-the-minute NBA odds here.|
Let’s dive into the numbers and go over what we know.
Suns Offense Is Unstoppable in Round 2
Through two games, it’s pretty clear this Mavericks defense can’t stop the Suns when they have the ball in their hands. Phoenix posted an Offensive Rating of 130.1 in Game 1 and 134.4 in Game 2, scoring at will in the fourth quarter of both games.
While the story of Game 1 was of dominance through three quarters in a wire-to-wire win, Game 2 showcased the Suns’ ability to pull away in winning time. Chris Paul had 14 in the fourth and Devin Booker nine points, besting Luka Doncic’s nine on the other side of things. Phoenix out-scored Dallas 40-26 and out-rebounded it by two.
This followed a similar pattern to the lone regular-season game between these two, which took place in Dallas. Neither team was able to reach 30% shooting from behind the arc, and the Mavericks actually managed to win the battle on the glass, but in the fourth quarter it was the Suns who turned it on. They finished the period with a +16 scoring differential and a +5 differential on the glass.
It’s worth noting here that the Suns shot 39.3% from 3-point range in Game 1 and 52% in Game 2, but will likely see some regression in Dallas. On the road this season they shot 35.4% from deep compared to 37.3% in Phoenix, and they knocked down just 26% in the three road games they played in the Pelicans series.
The Mavericks Have Few Good Answers
On top of maintaining their level on offense, the Mavericks will likely need to get a little lucky in Game 3 in order to have any sort of chance here. For the past two years in the playoffs, 3-point shooting has dictated whether or not the Mavericks would win games, however they’ve shot 41% or better in back-to-back games and never really had much of a shot in either one of them.
One other scary thing for Dallas is that it is getting destroyed on the boards by a Suns team that really wasn’t all that great at rebounding the ball this season. The Mavericks were out-rebounded by 15 in Game 1 and nine in Game 2, which is pretty brutal.
If you want to be an optimist, you can certainly make the argument that things are trending in the right direction, however the small lineup that Jason Kidd favors with Maxi Kleber at the five isn’t going to swing that category in Dallas’ favor.
The question becomes then, what can the Mavericks do differently to win? Playing better on the defensive end would certainly help, but the Suns were the most efficient offense in the NBA this season by a wide margin, and the Mavericks had the 14th-ranked defense in the second half of the season.
In all honesty, a 130 Offensive Rating isn’t a totally inflated number and even with shooting regression, the Suns would still be capable of scoring 120 or more per 100 possessions.
The Mavericks will need to continue shooting well from behind the arc and will need to hope a road arena coupled with better closeouts can lead to some missed shots out there.
There really doesn’t seem to be one thing the Mavericks can simply do better to win. At this point, after watching these teams play two games in the playoffs, I think we can definitively say the Suns are a clear cut above.
A bet on Dallas here is one that hopes for a bit of luck. As long as the Suns avoid their worst offensive game of the playoffs — which would be a shock considering the Mavericks’ defensive drop off — they will win this game. On top of that, if the Mavericks start missing shots, this one will be over quickly.
I’d back the efficient offense here and the team which will continue to win the rebounding battle by a hefty margin. It’s the smart thing to do.
Pick: Suns Moneyline (-110)