Mavericks vs. Suns Odds & Pick: How We’ll Live Bet Sunday’s Matchup
Getty Images. Pictured (L-R): Luka Doncic of the Dallas Maverick, Devin Booker of the Phoenix Suns.
- The Sunday night NBA slate features a matchup between the Dallas Mavericks and Phoenix Suns.
- While there isn't a pregame pick with value, we outline which odds to live bet.
Mavericks vs. Suns Betting Odds
|Mavericks odds||-5.5 [BET NOW]|
|Suns odds||+5.5 [BET NOW]|
|Moneyline||-221/+175 [BET NOW]|
|Over/Under||237.5 [BET NOW]|
|Time||9 p.m. ET|
|TV||NBA League Pass|
The Phoenix Suns will “host” the Dallas Mavericks at 9 p.m. ET on Sunday to close out the first weekend of bubble basketball in Orlando.
The Suns and Mavericks split their first two matchups with the road team winning on each occasion. The Mavs won 120-113 on November 29, but the Suns bounced back to win 133-104 on January 28.
Each team will compete in its second game of the bubble on Sunday after the Mavericks fell in a 153-149 shootout Friday against the Rockets while the Suns outlasted a depleted Wizards team, 125-112.
This is the first of two scheduled bubble battles between these teams, as they will also meet in the final game of the regular season on August 13.
The Mavericks are currently 5.5-point favorites, and the total sits at 236.5.
Where is the betting value in the matchup? Let’s break it down.
Michael Kidd-Gilchrist (day-to-day) didn’t play in the first restart game against the Rockets because he arrived late to the bubble and wasn’t in game shape. His status for Sunday is unknown but shouldn’t affect the outcome of this game, as he’s averaging fewer than 10 minutes per game.
The following players are out and will not be participating in the bubble: Dwight Powell (Achilles), Jalen Brunson (shoulder), Willie Cauley-Stein (personal) and Courtney Lee (calf).
After Cauley-Stein opted out of the restart, the Mavericks signed Trey Burke, and he made his presence felt against the Rockets by scoring 31 points in 30 minutes. He shot 11-of-16 from the field, including 8-of-10 from downtown in his first game since February 3.
Burke’s addition makes the Dallas offense even more dynamic – and it was already the most highly-rated offense in NBA history with an Offensive Rating of 115.9.
The Dallas offense has been most lethal when the combination of Luka Doncic, Kristaps Porzingis and Dorian Finney-Smith is on the court (with Porzingis at the 5 and Finney-Smith at the 4). They have not only an absurd 122.2 Offensive Rating but also a +15.0 Net Rating as their efficient offense has limited easy transition chances for opponents.
The problem with this Mavericks team is that this historically great offense sputters in the final minutes of close games; their Offensive Rating dips from 115.9 to 92.9 in crunch time.
Further, free throw shooting has played an outsized role in their losses. On July 8, coach Rick Carlisle noted he was focused on improving in two key areas: defense and free throw shooting.
These both factored into the loss against the Rockets on Friday, as the Mavericks blew a 138-131 lead with under a minute to play. They missed two of their final three free throws in the last 97 seconds, while the Rockets scored on four of their final five possessions in that span.
This Mavericks team is extremely young: Doncic is still just 21 and Porzingis turns 25 on Sunday against the Suns. Their ability to close out wins will be paramount as they come down the stretch and hope to move out of the 7-seed to avoid a first-round matchup against the Clippers.
The Suns have just one player missing heading into Sunday — Kelly Oubre Jr. (knee), who remains out indefinitely. Aron Baynes is back off the injury report after being diagnosed with COVID-19 and quarantining. He was available and did not see action in Phoenix’s first game against Washington.
With Oubre out of the picture, the Suns added Cameron Payne to the roster. Payne, who was picked between teammates Devin Booker and Oubre in the first round of the 2015 draft, had previously spent time in the Chinese Basketball Association and the G League (Texas Legends) before getting a second chance in the NBA.
In his first NBA action of 2020, Payne impressed by scoring nine points (4-of-7 from the field) in 19 minutes while sporting the second-best plus-minus on the team (+21) behind only the sharpshooting Booker (+24) against the Wizards.
The third-best player in plus-minus Friday for the Suns was former first overall pick Deandre Ayton. While his offensive ability is well known, his underrated defensive versatility will be key in this matchup against one of the best pick-and-roll duos in the league in Doncic and Porzingis.
Mikal Bridges will also play a key role as the other half of this defensive pick-and-roll duo, as he will guard Doncic. More on this key matchup in a moment.
With Oubre (20.5% usage rate, 18.7 points and 34.5 minutes per game) out of the bubble, Bridges will also play a heightened role on offense — his eight shot attempts on Friday against the Wizards tied for third-most on the team.
Rookie Cameron Johnson, who was inserted into the starting lineup with Oubre out, also needs to make open shots on the perimeter. Bridges and Johnson, the only listed shooting guards or small forwards besides Booker, combined to shoot just 2-of-8 from 3 against the Wizards.
Against a Mavericks team that just allowed secondary shooters Danuel House and Ben McLemore to go 10-of-16 from downtown, Bridges and Johnson will need to get hot for the Suns to pull off an upset.
The difference between the Suns’ loss at home in November against the Mavericks and their win on the road in the January rematch was Bridges and Ayton’s effectiveness defensively (Ayton did not play in the first matchup).
Check out this thread by Seven Seconds or Less Podcast for an in-depth breakdown on the Suns’ blueprint for limiting quality looks for Doncic off the pick-and-roll.
Doncic wasn’t particularly effective in either game from the perimeter, as he shot 3-of-11 from 3 in the first matchup and 1-of-4 in their second.
However, his effectiveness in setting up his teammates was what was most impacted by Bridges’ pesky defense. Doncic had 11 assists to two turnovers in the first game and was limited to just two assists and four turnovers in the second meeting. Keep an eye on this matchup during Sunday’s game.
Betting Analysis & Pick
I like the Suns’ chances to keep this competitive and even pull off the upset in a close one because of their previous defensive performances against the Mavericks and Dallas’ propensity to blow late leads. The Mavs lead the NBA with 17 losses by five or fewer points.
While I like the value of the Suns at +185, live odds will be more favorable the second the Mavericks take a lead at any point in the game. This will be a game with multiple lead changes, which is a prime opportunity for live betting.
Make your first bet on the Mavericks when their odds dip below -150 after a Suns run. The value here is that the Mavericks won’t even need to take a lead before the Suns’ odds increase past +150 for an instant arbitrage opportunity.
Wait for the Mavericks to regain a lead before targeting the Suns at +300 or higher. If the defensive effectiveness of Bridges and Ayton on the pick-and-roll isn’t slowing down Doncic, hammer the Mavericks on the spread.
The Pick: Mavericks -150 or better live, Suns +300 or higher live (after betting on the Mavericks)