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Suns vs. Mavericks Odds, Pick, Prediction: Phoenix Has Strong Record as Road Favorite (January 20)

Suns vs. Mavericks Odds, Pick, Prediction: Phoenix Has Strong Record as Road Favorite (January 20) article feature image

Michael Gonzales/NBAE via Getty Images. Pictured: Chris Paul.

  • The Suns are road favorites tonight against the red-hot Mavericks.
  • Phoenix sits atop the Western Conference, although Dallas appears to be a legitimate challenger.
  • Joe Dellera breaks down this enticing matchup and makes his betting pick below.

Suns vs. Mavericks Odds

Suns Odds-2.5
Mavericks Odds+2.5
Time7:30 p.m. ET
Odds via BetMGM. Get up-to-the-minute NBA odds here.

The Western Conference-leading Phoenix Suns visit the surging Dallas Mavericks, who just played the Toronto Raptors on Wednesday night.

Will the Suns' rest come into play against a Mavericks team that has been red hot of late?

Let's break it down.

No Ayton, No Problem for Phoenix

The Phoenix Suns will be without Deandre Ayton for Thursday night's showdown, but they've managed without him due to their depth at Center between JaVale McGee, Jalen Smith and even … Bismack Biyombo.

Maybe it's perception, but the Suns are doing this quietly. They are 34-9, with a 2.5-game lead on the Warriors in the West. Phoenix is six games ahead of the Bulls, who are in first place in the Eastern Conference.

The Suns are the best team in the league in terms of record and they have the second-best Adjusted Net Rating in the NBA (+7.3). They have the fifth-best Adjusted Offensive Rating (112.7) and the third-best Adjusted Defensive Rating (105.4). Phoenix performs well on both sides of the floor, and it can hang with any team late in games with elite shotmakers like Chris Paul and Devin Booker.

Not only are the Suns able to score effectively in the half-court, but they can also score in transition. They do not push the pace much, but they score 129.9 points per 100 transition plays., third-best in the NBA, and even if you can slow Phoenix down, they score 97.8 points per 100 plays in the half-court, fourth-best in the NBA. On the opposite side of the floor, the Suns allow just 88.6 points per 100 half-court plays (second) and 120.0 in transition (12th), per Cleaning the Glass.

Dallas' Defense Remains Elite

The Mavericks are playing in the second game of a back-to-back and their third game in four days. They are at a clear disadvantage here and although Kristaps Porzingis has played in back-to-back sets, this would be his first since returning from the league's health and safety protocols. That's something to monitor considering his injury history and the game last night.

The Mavericks have been exceptional of late. At the time of this writing, they have a +13.1 point differential over the last two weeks with the league's best defense, allowing just 101.3 points per 100 possessions, per Cleaning the Glass.

Dallas' offense has improved of late due to Jalen Brunson joining the starting lineup alongside Luka Doncic. Brunson helps Doncic facilitate and play without the ball, and it keeps the offense from becoming stagnant.

Since Dec. 1, Dallas has the fourth-best half-court offense at 98.3 points per 100 plays, but the Mavs have struggled in transition, scoring just 115.0 per 100, per Cleaning the Glass.

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Suns-Mavericks Pick

This matchup puts two red-hot teams against each other. I think there's value on one side: the Suns.

Phoenix can attack and defend every style of play, while the Mavericks have pigeon-holed their offensive attack into the half-court. Phoenix has an edge due to its versatility.

I also think there's additional value here due to the rest and the possibility that Porzingis sits. Regardless, I like the line as it is for the Suns. Moreover, this is a spot the Suns have excelled in — they're 11-6 against the spread and 15-2 straight-up as a road favorite.

I'll lay the points and expect the Suns to remain hotter than the Mavs. As of Wednesday night, you can still find -1.5 so be sure to get the best number.

Pick: Suns -1.5

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