Going into our first possible elimination game for this series, we’ve seen a lot of different looks from both of these teams, and the series hasn’t yet had one consistent theme. The Suns have given us vintage Chris Paul games along with some of the worst games of his playoff career, along with relatively consistent quality games from Devin Booker.
For the Mavericks, despite going down 3-2 going into Game 6, Luka Doncic has, at worst, looked like the 2nd best player on the court consistently through 5 games – unfortunately, his supporting cast has been the story of their wins and losses, as is almost always the case with hugely heliocentric teams built around high-usage players like Doncic.
Suns vs. Mavericks Game 6 Betting Preview
Going into Game 6, the only consistent thing we can expect is inconsistency. The Mavericks in particular just haven’t shown in these playoffs that they can bring the same intensity and shot-making on a regular basis that is needed to continue advancing in the playoffs, but the Suns have also been plagued with uncharacteristic inconsistency, particularly from CP3 and Deandre Ayton – two of the three players that they most need to play at a high level every single game.
Can Someone Finally Win on the Road?
As we go back to Dallas for Game 6, it’s entirely possible that the trend of the previous 5 games will hold up, with the home team going a perfect 5-0 in this series thus far. That said, due to the talent advantage of the Suns, and the tandem of CP3 and Booker being able to split the load for the Suns that Doncic is carrying for the Mavs, I think this will be the first game of this series for the away team to win, and in doing so, the Suns will win this series.
Through 5 games so far, the average margin of victory for the Suns has been 19 points (57 points in total across 3 games) whereas the margin of victory for the Mavericks has been 9.5 points (19 points across 2 games). The Suns have proven in their wins and their losses that they’re the better team, but the better team doesn’t necessarily always win – hence their losses in Games 3 and 4.
But even in those losses, the Suns were the better rebounding team and the better shooting team. Their biggest failings in those games have been their turnovers – 34 in two games vs 19 for the Mavs. In Game 3 in particular, the turnovers were what killed the Suns, as they lost by 9 despite taking a full 14 shots less than the Mavericks. That massive disparity due to wasted possessions was their undoing in a winnable Game 3.
Superstar Matchup: Paul vs. Doncic
Another key item to note is CP3’s record in elimination games and closeouts. Over his career, Paul is 6-11 in elimination games, and 11-12 in closeout games. While there are obviously external factors to both his wins and losses, 17-23 is an unexpectedly poor record for a noted playoff performer like Paul.
With that being said, Paul is 4-1 in potential closeout games since coming to Phoenix, and much of that can likely be attributed to both the strength of his supporting cast, and in particular, Devin Booker. Across 5 potential closeout games in his career, Booker has averaged 29.4/7.6/3.4 on 47/43/91 shooting splits; he’s a bonafide closer and he’s proved it in his relatively brief playoff career.
Meanwhile, Luka Doncic is 0-2 in elimination games in his career, despite averaging an otherworldly 42/8/11.5 on 55/45/58 shooting splits (doesn’t quite look real that his field goal % is just shy of exceeding his free throw %).
Doncic is making a case as a modern great in elimination games – but the unfortunate reality for him is that his supporting cast just isn’t comparable to that of the Suns, and he’s been let down by his teammates in two elimination games thus far. In Game 6 of Suns/Mavericks, I expect this trend to continue, and while Doncic will almost definitely absolutely get his and will look like a superstar in doing so, the Suns will come out ahead and advance to the next round.
Which leads us to our two recommended bets for Game 6 of Suns/Mavericks. Considering the relatively even odds, we’ll strongly be recommended the Suns -2.5, available for +100 with BetMGM. The Suns should win this game, and they should do so by more than one possession.
Our other recommended bet is Luka Doncic over 51.5 Points + Rebounds + Assists, available for -105 with BetMGM. Doncic has averaged 61.5 PRA in his career thus far in elimination games, and is averaging 49 PRA in his 5 games thus far against the Suns. As he has shown that he elevates his averages in elimination games, I expect him to do so again, even in a loss, and hit o51.5 PRA in Game 6.
Suns vs. Mavericks Game 6 Betting Pick
My official pick for Game 6 of Suns/Mavericks is the Suns spread -2.5, available for +100 with BetMGM.