Betting tips for the surprising Phoenix Suns
The Phoenix Suns (33-39 SU, 36-35-1 ATS) probably came into the bubble with the attitude that since nobody really expected them to be there, they had nothing to lose.
And maybe that's why they haven't lost at all.
After seven consecutive wins in the "seeding games," they can make themselves perfect in Orlando with a win over the Dallas Mavericks on Thursday afternoon (4:05 PM ET) at the AdventHealth Arena. BetAnySports customers can watch it on TNT.
The situation with the Suns is this: they are one of four teams within nine percentage points of each other. Only two of them will make it to the play-in series, which is a two-game set.
There can still be ties for these play-in spots. But each of the four teams - Phoenix, Portland, Memphis and San Antonio - would like to finish in the eighth spot, because that means they would have to win only one of the two games to advance.
The schedule appears to be set up to accommodate some drama. The Suns will be playing at the same time as the Grizzlies take on the Milwaukee Bucks. Memphis has been very accommodating, in the sense that they have lost six of their seven bubble games.
Phoenix is not in a "win and in" scenario, which means they could conceivably go undefeated in the seeding games and be left out in the cold.
Here is what has to happen for them:
* They have to win
* And either the Grizzlies or the Portland Trail Blazers (who play the Brooklyn Nets tonight) must lose.
Here are the NBA betting odds, as they have been posted at BetAnySports:
Phoenix Suns -9.5
Dallas Mavericks +9.5
Over 236 points -110
Under 236 points -110
Devin Booker has been a big winner in the bubble, scoring 30 points or more in five of his last six games. And some of the metrics for this team have been sensational. Phoenix has shot 48.7% from the field and specifically 40% from three-point range during the seeding games, although they really aren't a team dependent on the long-range shot. They've hit a phenomenal 91.8% from the free throw line, far better than anyone else. And they've averaged 26.7 assists in the bubble. Overall they've had more assists than any team in the NBA, and that's a good sign.
Now consider that they have done all of this winning without backup big man Aron Baynes and forward Kelly Oubre (18.7 ppg). Both of those people could be available for the playoffs, if Phoenix gets there.
Okay, we didn't go to med school, and maybe you did, so you can navigate what "left patella tendinopathy" means. That's what small forward Cameron Johnson has, and it's what could slow him down. He's been valuable in Oubre's absence, averaging 13 points and six rebounds. He has also allowed the team to go a little "smaller" in its starting lineup, as Dario Saric, the 6-10 power forward, has been coming off the bench.
That's just another slick move by coach Monty Williams, who's been pushing all the right buttons.
Dallas (43-31 SU, 37-34-3 ATS) is going to the playoffs as they seventh seed, and will play the Los Angeles Clippers in the first round. They have kind of cruised their way through these seeding games, going 3-4. So we don't exactly see them putting the "pedal to the metal" in what amounts to a meaningful contest for them.
And with that kind of setup, the Suns might be able to play with house money just a little bit longer.
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