NBA Best Bets for Sunday: Mavericks vs. Suns odds, picks, predictions, props & DFS lineup

The NBA has arguably been more entertaining over the past two weeks than it has been all season, with history being made left and right and countless close games turning into instant classics. We have another loaded 10-game slate on the docket for Sunday, and it all starts with a marquee game between the Mavericks and Suns in Dallas (1 p.m. ET, ABC). We have all the BetMGM betting odds, stats, and trends to get you ready for this pivotal Western Conference tilt, as well as our predictions, top player props, and favorite DFS picks.<

Two teams already considered contenders in the west, Dallas and Phoenix got exponentially better after deals with the Brooklyn Nets around the trade deadline last month. First the Mavs acquired polarizing star point guard Kyrie Irving, a champion and one of the best pure scorers, passers, and ball-handlers in the NBA when he’s happy, healthy, and motivated. Then the Suns (finally) landed Kevin Durant, one of the 21st century’s preeminent offensive stars, a four-time scoring champ, and two-time champion. Needless to say, both squads saw their NBA title futures odds skyrocket.

The Mavs have taken some time to get going with their new shiny toy in town. They have gone 4-5 with Irving playing, with defensive consistency presenting itself as their biggest hurdle since dealing away perimeter clampster Dorian Finney-Smith. Dallas’s bench also seems to be up and down from a perimeter scoring standpoint, with backup big Christian Wood the lone consistent scoring threat on the second unit. But we saw Thursday night how potent a combo Irving and MVP candidate Luka Doncic can be: they combined for 82 points on 63.6 percent shooting — and 61.9 percent from deep — in a 133-126 win over the 76ers.

The Suns, who have gone 14-5 since Jan. 19, have won each of their first two games with KD active. The combined winning margin: 35. He seems to fit seamlessly alongside longtime friend and point god Chris Paul as well as perennial scoring machine Devin Booker and interior stud DeAndre Ayton. But the x-factors in Monty Williams’ Suns unit might be the role players — Phoenix has enjoyed a breakout campaign from electric three-and-D swingman Josh Okogie, and it regularly benefits from the veteran intelligence of Torrey Craig. The Suns also brought in sharpshooting vet Terrence Ross at the deadline, and have marksmen Damion Lee, Landry Shamet, and Cam Payne ready to rock at the drop of a hat.

In the parity-driven, competitive-as-ever west, every game matters for every squad. One game ahead of Golden State for the No. 4 seed, Phoenix is clinging to a home-court opening-round playoff matchup but likely has its sights set on embattled No. 2 seed Memphis and Mike Brown’s Cinderella Kings at No. 3. The Mavs, meanwhile, are trying desperately to avoid the play-in tournament, holding the No. 6 seed over the Clippers by a half-game with six total teams within three games behind them.

Who prevails in this pivotal Sunday matinee game? Let’s dive into the odds for Mavericks vs. Suns, and discuss some trends, our best bets and predictions, our favorite player props, and the DFS lineup du jour.

Mavericks vs. Suns odds, picks, predictions

Odds courtesy of BetMGM

  • Spread: Suns -0.5 (-110) | Mavericks +0.5 (-110)
  • Total: Over 234.5 (-115) | Under 234.5 (-105)
  • Moneyline: Nuggets -110 | Grizzlies +110

With DeAndre Ayton questionable with a knee injury, oddsmakers have listed this one as a virtual pick’em despite Phoenix enjoying a better stretch (7-3 over its past 10 games) and Dallas enjoying home court (the Mavs are 21-12 at American Airlines Center this season). Still, a bit of recency bias could be influencing the line here.

Phoenix has gone 0-5 against the spread in its last five games against Dallas, but the addition of KD should help buck that trend. The Mavs have struggled to defend — especially the forward position — since dealing away Dorian Finney-Smith in the Kyrie Irving deal. That spells trouble for a squad that will need to contain Durant and a blazing-hot Josh Okogie, the latter of whom drained five treys and scored 21 points in a 21-point win over Chicago on Friday.

It helps that Dallas takes relatively good care of the basketball, averaging the second-fewest turnovers per game in the Association (12.3). It also doesn’t hurt that the Mavs not only shoot well from distance, averaging 15.3 made triples per game (3rd-most) — but they also surrender the fewest treys per game (10.9 per). And getting three-and-D stud Maxi Kleber back from injury recently makes Dallas even better on the defensive end. Kleber, however, has been deemed a game-time decision by Mavs coach Jason Kidd, who said the veteran is experiencing soreness in his surgically-repaired hamstring.

Dallas fans have plenty of reason for longterm optimism, but in the short-term the Suns have far too many scoring weapons and too lethal a pace-and-space system for the Mavs to outscore them across four quarters. CP3 remains one of the best playmakers and offensive creators in hoops, and now he has knock-down shooters around him at all times as well as timely bucket-getters in KD and Book. Phoenix is exactly the type of team Dallas probably wants to avoid in the postseason.

Even if Ayton sits, Jock Landale has shown great chemistry with Durant over the past two games and he’s a +22 over Phoenix’s past four. Bismack Biyombo has also stepped up whenever Monty Williams has called his number this season. The Mavericks don’t have explosiveness out of the center position, anyway — Dwight Powell and Christian Wood possess some strengths, but they won’t take over many games against strong defensive squads. Former Sun JaVale McGee never materialized as a Maverick this season, and ultimately got shipped away for nothing.

We understand your ambivalence with backing a Suns squad that has gone 14-19 on the road and may or may not have its starting center and former No. 1 pick. But KD pushes this team from very good to great, and Okogie’s emergence has helped make this one of the more complete starting guard/forward rotations in pro hoops. Dallas seems to still be figuring things out, likely due in large part to Jason Kidd being far less effective a head coach as reigning Coach of the Year Williams. We’re leaning Phoenix, and think you should, too.

Best Bet: Suns -110 (moneyline)

Mavericks vs. Suns: Best player prop bets

Devin Booker OVER 26.5 points (-110)

Kevin Durant Devin Booker 022023

(NBAE via Getty Images)

So far, KD has made it abundantly clear that he recognizes this as Book’s squad. In fact, on a number of possessions we have seen the former MVP stand on the opposite side of the floor as a spacer while Booker works in isolation. Talk about an embarrassment of riches when you can use one of the best scorers in NBA history as a decoy to take pressure off your main scoring threat. Doncic and Irving will be running in circles trying to contain Book while also not leaving Phoenix’s other deadly spot-up shooters wide open. We have Book hitting 30 this afternoon.

Josh Green OVER 10.5 points (+100)

Jason Kidd Josh Green 120722

(NBAE via Getty Images)

Green has enjoyed a strong campaign — and he had a 10-game stretch from late January to mid-February in which he averaged 15.4 points per game. The common denominator during that timeframe: Kleber was still out with his hamstring injury. With Kleber unlikely to play today with hamstring tightness, expect Green to get more shots up than he’s seen over the past few games. He’s a 55-percent shooter, so all he needs is a bit more offensive usage. The Suns will likely play tight D on Doncic and Irving, forcing other Mavs to be aggressive. Green never has any issues getting aggressive when he’s called upon. Fire this one up and enjoy the plus odds.

Mavericks vs. Suns: DFS lineup

Lineup assembled in DraftKings Showdown Mode. Six spots, $50,000 limit.

Position Player FPPG Salary
Captain (1.5x FPTS) Devin Booker (PHO) 43.8 $15,300
Utility Luka Doncic (DAL) 61.3 $13,200
Utility Kevin Durant (PHO) 49.6 $11,400
Utility Reggie Bullock (DAL) 16.2 $4,400
Utility Josh Green (DAL) 16.9 $3,800
Utility Davis Bertans (DAL) 6.9 $1,200

Book remains the man in Phoenix, and we expect him to have the best statistical afternoon in this one. By picking him as captain at a more affordable salary than Doncic, Durant, and Irving, we can now afford Doncic and KD as utility players. And with Kleber expected to sit with his hamstring acting up, that means extra opportunities for perimeter shooters Bullock and Bertans as well as slashing threat Green.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *