NBA Odds, Betting Picks & Predictions: Mavericks vs. Suns Preview (Thursday, Aug. 13)
Photo by Ashley Landis – Pool/Getty Images. Pictured: Devin Booker #1 of the Phoenix Suns drives to the basket
- The Suns are favored over the Mavericks in NBA bubble action on Thursday. Dallas is already locked into the No. 7 seed in the West and has nothing to play for.
- Phoenix hasn't lost yet in the bubble, and needs a loss by either Memphis or Portland to reach the play-in game.
- See how Brandon Anderson is betting Suns vs. Mavs below.
Mavericks vs. Suns Betting Odds & Picks
|Mavericks odds||+6.5 [BET NOW]|
|Suns odds||-6.5 [BET NOW]|
|Moneyline||+240/-295 [BET NOW]|
|Over/Under||237.5 [BET NOW]|
|Time||4 p.m. ET|
It’s been a whirlwind two weeks in the NBA bubble, but the undefeated Phoenix Suns have arguably been the story of the entire bubble. The young Suns have come together in real-time, and now they’re one win away from finishing the bubble a perfect 8-0.
Phoenix isn’t particularly happy with the Mavericks, who couldn’t quite put away Damian Lillard and the Portland Trail Blazers on Tuesday, leaving the Suns not in control of their fate. The good news for Phoenix is that loss locked Dallas into the 7-seed and left it nothing to play for.
The Suns are in a must-win position with everything to play for. They’ve gotta have this one.
The Mavericks have nothing to play for here. They’re the 7-seed and will be the underdogs in an opening round series against either the Los Angeles Clippers or the Denver Nuggets. This game means little to Dallas other than staying healthy for the games that really matter.
Kristaps Porzingis and Seth Curry are listed as questionable, and considering the lack of stakes for Dallas, it will be a surprise if they play. Dorian Finney-Smith and Maxi Kleber are on the injury report too, listed as probable. Expect those two to play along with Luka Doncic, but it would be a surprise if any of their minutes extend too far into the second half.
Dallas is already a little thin with Dwight Powell, Jalen Brunson and Willie Cauley-Stein out, so that second-half lineup could get ugly. Expect a whole lot of Trey Burke and Boban Marjanovic. There’s no reason to think Dallas cares about this game.
As for the Suns? They’ll certainly care. Phoenix must win this game to make the West play-in, and it needs a loss from either Memphis or Portland too. The Grizzlies play at the same time while the Blazers play later, so there’s no fear of Phoenix being eliminated before it plays. It’s been a long time for this franchise. It wants this one bad.
Devin Booker will be a strong candidate for Bubble MVP, and Deandre Ayton has taken a serious step forward as a sophomore, especially on defense. Mikal Bridges has been one of the bubble breakout players with his long-armed defense and basketball IQ and Cam Johnson has locked up the other forward position and is showing off his shooting.
The Suns have been one of the best offenses in the bubble and the Mavs have struggled on defense. This would be a serious mismatch even if Dallas was trying. Phoenix has four bubble wins by 13+ points and this has all the makings of a fifth.
Betting Analysis & Pick
There’s a very solid chance the Suns win this game, finish 8-0 and miss the West play-in anyway. All it would take is wins by Portland and Memphis, and that would be a real bummer because Phoenix is most definitely playing better ball than either of those teams.
It is obviously better than Memphis right now, but the Suns look enough better than the Blazers to think they could have a real chance to win multiple play-in games against them too. Portland has been terrible on defense and continues to barely eke out wins. Phoenix is blowing most of its opponents out, with league-average defense (much better than the Blazers) and good offense. The Suns, right now, are legitimately good.
If you find somewhere to bet on Phoenix actually winning the 8-seed for the playoffs before this tips off, that’s my favorite play here. That almost certainly means the Suns winning three games — this one, then two more against likely Memphis or Portland — and it also means one of those two must lose today.
That’s four results that seemingly have to go your way. But Phoenix would be the best team in its remaining games, and this thing really opens up if Portland loses (unlikely, but not impossible). That could leave the Suns playing Memphis or San Antonio, maybe even needing only one more win.
All the contingencies here give Phoenix more paths than you think. It does not control its destiny today, but if any one bounce goes its way, this thing opens up in a hurry. The folks at FiveThirtyEight.com give Phoenix a 12% chance of making the playoffs. My model puts that number closer to 21%, around +475 odds.
If you can find that number at +1000 or above, possibly way above if the markets are overconfident or if the Suns fall behind early in this one, jump on the long odds and see what happens. Phoenix is playing the best basketball of these 8-seed hopefuls right now. If it gets a chance, watch out.
If you’re just playing this game, the pick should be obvious by now. Dallas doesn’t need this one and shouldn’t be playing hard in the second half. Phoenix needs it and will get it and should cover the -6.5 even if it comes late.
I’ll lay the points and I’ll also keep an eye on the live line. The Suns have had some slow starts in the bubble and I’ll be excited to live bet them in any advantageous position heading into the second half, knowing Dallas should call off the dogs.