NBA Picks: Phoenix Suns vs. Dallas Mavericks

Phoenix Suns at Dallas Mavericks
Monday, 1/23/12, 8:30 PM EST, TV:  FSSW
Opening Point Spread:  Dallas -6.5
Current Betting Line:  Dallas -5.5
Opening Total:  181
Current Total:  183.5
Odds Courtesy of Bookmaker

The Dallas Mavericks have won six straight home games against the Phoenix Suns

Phoenix will close out a five-game road trip Monday night in traveling to Dallas and will be seeking revenge from an earlier 98-89 loss to the Mavericks on Jan. 4.  The Suns have won and covered their last two games, while both went “under” the posted total.  Center Marcin Gortat has been playing great basketball, recording his seventh consecutive double-double last time out versus the Knicks, scoring 24 points and grabbing 12 rebounds.  “We have to start winning,” commented Gortat after the game.  “We tripped up a couple times at home.”  Phoenix is 3-0 ATS off an upset win as an underdog.

The Suns are still being led offensively by the play of point guard Steve Nash, who is averaging 14.8 points and 10.0 assists per game.  He leads the league in assists and will look to help the team break a six-game losing streak in this particular series.  Phoenix has dropped 26 of the last 38 meetings.  It’s important to pay attention to the halftime score in this contest, with the Suns posting a 6-0 mark when leading at the break, while going a winless 0-9 when trailing.

Dallas returns home after splitting a four-game road trip and will look to get a stagnant offense going that failed to score more than 94 points over that span.  The Mavericks will be playing without star forward Dirk Nowitzki, who will sit for at least the next three games due to a sore right knee.  “We’ve gone through this last year when we lost him for nine games,” stated Mavericks point guard Jason Kidd.  “Everybody has to step up.”  Former Lakers forward Lamar Odom will be filling the role, coming off a season-high 16 points last time out versus New Orleans.  Dallas is 7-14 ATS after playing three consecutive road games.

The Mavericks played some very close games in their recent road trip, with all four being decided by a total of 10 points.  Dallas will be seeking its seventh straight home win over Phoenix.  There’s no question that defense is the name of the game around this squad, holding its last 14 opponents to under 100 points, which is a new franchise record.

Bettors will likely back the Mavericks due to their 11-2 ATS mark as a home favorite of 5 to 10.5 points, while the Suns are 2-6 ATS as a road underdog in the same point range.

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