Before placing your NBA pick here, understand that both the Mavericks & Suns are gunning for a playoff spot, but it's Dallas that's in the most favorable position of the two.
Despite being the road team in this spot, the Mavericks are favored by 3.5 points at a lot of the top NBA betting sites we've examined. If you want to make sure you get the best bang for your buck, keep your browser locked to SBRodds.com for the up-to-the-minute line movement throughout the day.
We can expect an up-tempo game tonight in Phoenix, with NBA odds makers listing a total of 206. The Mavericks and Suns are ranked third and fourth respectively in average points scored per game on the season, so no shock at the high O/U.
Don't look now but the Suns have been on a good run, having won three straight games heading into tonight. They've beaten the Knicks, Pelicans and Rockets on their way to a 37-33 overall record this season, which has them on the outside looking in in the Western Conference playoff race.
Phoenix is going to have to keep these winning ways going for the remainder of the season if they want any chance whatsoever of making the postseason. The Suns are 2.5 games back of the Thunder for the last seed right now, so they still have hope, but getting wins over teams like Dallas, here tonight, is a necessity. The schedule isn't going to be kind to close out the regular season, so some hard-fought victories over tough competition would go a long way for Phoenix.
The recent play of Eric Bledsoe has to give Suns fans a lot of reason for optimism though. He outplayed James Harden in yesterday's win over Houston, scoring a game-high 34 points, and Bledsoe will look to terrorize the Mavericks again tonight. Getting some help from the likes of the Morris brothers would be a big help, and the recent return of Alex Len is a boost too. Brandon Knight remains out and appears to be doubtful to play tonight.
The Mavericks were searching for their fourth consecutive win Friday at home against Memphis, but they fell short in a 112-101 loss.
It was a very shaky defensive showing from Dallas, who had a lot of trouble stopping Zach Randolph (21/5/4) from enforcing his will in the paint. Meanwhile, the Mavericks did get a balanced scoring effort, with six different players logging at least 10 points each, but they were sloppy with the ball (17 turnovers) and really let their foot off the gas in the third quarter, allowing Memphis to score 39 points in the period.
It's going to be a dogfight to close out the season, and Dallas is right in the thick of things in the playoff race. They're in seventh place right now (neck and neck with San Antonio) but do have a sizable 4.5-game cushion on eighth-seeded Oklahoma City. Let's see if the Mavericks can make a run to close things out.
There's no doubt the Suns have been playing great basketball lately, and we were very impressed indeed with that road win in Houston. However, we look for the Mavericks to win and cover the spread with our NBA picks today.
Dallas lost the other day, but it was against a top-notch Memphis team, and the Mavericks had been looking excellent prior, picking up a couple nice wins over the Clippers and Thunder.
But the main reason we like Rick Carlisle's team is that we simply feel they have the more talented rotation. The Mavericks have a lot more experience, balance and depth, and those three factors should be the catalyst for a fourth victory in five games for the visitors. We like Dallas to cover by winning by four or more this evening.
NBA Pick: Dallas Mavericks -4.5 at Pinnacle Sports