NBA Playoff Preview -- Mavs-Suns Game 7: Can Doncic Help Dallas Pull the Upset?

  • In Charles Jay
  • Sun, May 15th, 2022 2:02:19 pm
  • By Charles Jay - Exclusive to OSGA


The Dallas Mavericks go into Game 7 of the Western Conference playoffs with a chance to upset the Phoenix Suns, but they'll have to do it in the desert.


The Dallas Mavericks have proven to have quite a bit more resistance than the Phoenix Suns (and maybe some BetOnline customers) might have expected. It helps when you have the best player on the floor, so that is what makes Game 7 of the Western Conference finals hard to predict.

The Suns could have closed out things in Game 6, but Dallas dealt a surprising knockout blow with a 113-86 win. Luka Doncic had 33 points and eleven rebounds. If you remember, it took him a bit to get started in the playoffs with an injury. Now he is the guy who the Suns have to worry about, because if they do not stop him to at least some extent, they can not compete with the Mavs with threes.

Dallas has an edge of 270 to 192 in terms of points achieved through triples, and that is, in large part, due to the fact that the Suns do not depend on shooting from long range.

In fact, they have made more two-pointers than any team in the NBA. And that is simply the way they have to approach things.

At the same time, it wouldn't hurt if they could include the element of outside shooting that Devin Booker provides. Booker had no three-pointers in Game 6.

Okay, let's take a look at the NBA playoff odds at BetOnline on this game, which begins at 8 PM ET at the Footprint Center in Phoenix:

Phoenix Suns -6.5
Dallas Mavericks +6.5

Over 204.5 Points -110
Under 204.5 Points -110

Dallas had come into this series having lost nine straight games against Phoenix. But when you have Doncic, anything is possible. The Mavericks are actually hanging in there despite taking fewer three-pointers per game (29) than they did during the regular season (37.2). But if you have Doncic playing "hero ball," you don't need for that to happen too much. The superstar is averaging 32.2 points, 9.8 rebounds and 7.4 assists per game.

When you are outscoring the other side by 13 points in triples per contest (as Dallas is), the opponent has to make that up somehow.

The Suns look to make that up with defense. Are they better in that regard? Yes, Phoenix has been a team that consists of stoppers, including Mikal Bridges, who is one of the league's new defensive aces. Chris Paul may have slowed a little, but he still knows how to guard, and since he is shooting 56% for the series, he has hardly been a liability in that area.

Let's see what kind of role Jalen Brunson can play in this game. Brunson, if you recall, was absolutely on fire in the series against Utah, averaging 27.8 points per game, as Doncic had to sit three of the six games. He has topped 20 points a couple of times against Phoenix, and the argument can be made that if you are talking about a backcourt duo, he and Doncic are more dangerous than Paul and Booker.

Phoenix has won all three home games in this series, two of which coming by margins of 20 points or more. So yes, a blowout is possible. But again, we emphasize that Dallas has the best player on the floor, and it' remotely close late, he could make the difference between a cover and a non-cover.


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