NBA Picks: Mavericks Are Valuable Road Dog vs. Suns Tonight

Joe Gavazzi

Tuesday, December 23, 2014 6:50 PM GMT

At 9:05 ET, the Dallas Mavericks visit the Phoenix Suns in a Western Conference clash that features contender vs. pretender. Check inside this article for my NBA pick on this game.

Dallas Mavericks vs. Phoenix Suns (-1-) 9:05 ET
The NBA betting odds market opened the Dallas Mavericks at +1 dogs for tonight's game against the Phoenix Suns in a Western Conference clash that features contender vs. pretender.  Even with their improved perimeter play, the Suns are simply not good enough to challenge in the West.  With the addition of PG Rondo, the Mavs become an NBA title contender. 

At 20-9 SU, that record is only good enough for 5th place in the rugged 5th place in the rugged Western Conference for the Dallas Mavericks.  Phoenix, at 15-14 SU, is in the same place they were last season (on the outside, looking in at the list of playoff invitations). When these two teams met earlier in the season, Phoenix won 118-106 as a 5 point road dog at Dallas.  In that game, the Suns shot an amazing 56% from the floor, connecting on 13 of 26 from behind the arc.  Now, the venue changes to Phoenix with the Mavericks holding the revenge motive. 

The addition of Isaiah Thomas to the Phoenix backcourt, along with Dragic and Bledsoe, has made Phoenix a dangerous perimeter team.  The Suns return home from a 3-0 SU ATS trip to the East.  But in their previous 3 home games, they went 0-3 SU ATS.  All these results have been against teams from the weaker Eastern Conference.  Though the Suns average an impressive 104 PPG, they are allowing 103 PPG.  They are the only winning team in the NBA with a losing home record. 

Enter the Dallas Mavericks who are a team in transition with the addition of PG Rondo.  He is expected to be the missing link that will propel Dallas to the NBA title.  With Rondo in the lineup, the Mavs have a win, no cover, vs. the Spurs and a 105-102 home loss to Atlanta, where they trailed by 20+ before a 39-23 4th quarter made the game competitive.  Rondo is a valuable contributor with 13 points and 11 assists.  Now, the Mavs go on the road, where they are 10-4 SU, winning 6/7 recently.  They are also 9-5 ATS away, increasing their long-term road dog log to 39-20 ATS as a result of going 5-1 ATS as pick or road dog this year.  The Mavs have won 6/8 at this site from Phoenix. 

I see great value in this underdog price for the Mavericks.  The situation and the technicals agree, and that;s why we are making it our NBA pick.  With the revenge motive favoring the Mavs for that distorted earlier win, the motive of being off a loss and the strong road history of the Mavericks, all strongly imply this will be a comfortable Mavs’ victory. 

Free NBA pick: Take Dallas Mavericks