Dallas Mavericks guard Jalen Brunson
Dallas Mavericks guard Jalen Brunson (13) drives past Phoenix Suns forward Cameron Johnson (23) during the first half of an NBA basketball game Friday, Nov. 19, 2021, in Phoenix. (AP Photo/Rick Scuteri)


Patrick Werkmeister

Now that every team is about 40 games into the 2022 NBA campaign, each conference has taken shape as the season creeps towards All-Star break. For this Western Conference matchup, Luka Doncic and the Dallas Mavericks host Devin Booker and the Phoenix Suns. Last game out, the Suns secured an easy road victory over the San Antonio Spurs whereas Dallas got the home W against the Toronto Raptors. Both of these teams are led by their own superstar and that’s why they’re near the top of the conference. However, in the dog days of the NBA, players and teams alike can lose their rhythm due to the grind of an 82-game season. With this in mind, here are the best bets and player props for this NBA Thursday contest.


Mavericks (+3)
Although the Mavericks will play this one in front of their home crowd, the Suns are three-point road favorites. Their floor general running the show, Luka Doncic, had a brilliant outing vs Toronto where he dropped 41 points with 14 rebounds. Last time these two met in November, the Mavs were on the losing end where the final score was 112-104. However, Dallas is currently on a four-game winning streak and are 6-3-1 ATS in their last nine games played. Similarly, Phoenix is also on a four-game winning streak and is 6-2 ATS in their previous eight games. Even six months after their Finals appearance, they still approach every regular season game like a win or go home Game 7. However, with Mavs big man Kristaps Porzingis back in the lineup, Dallas is fully prepared to make a serious run at the one seed in the conference as long as they stay healthy. On the other hand, the Suns will be without their big man Deandre Ayton who averages a 17-point double-double per game. One team’s streak will come to an end tonight, so expect a competitive match regardless of the outcome. The Mavs have the individual matchups they want against this seemingly unstoppable Phoenix squad where they are healthy and will be playing in front of a packed home crowd. I like the Mavericks in this big game at home to win outright over the Suns.  

Luka Doncic Over 26.5 Points
After getting back on track and dropping a 41-burger on nearly 60% shooting, Luka Doncic is seemingly in peak form now that the regular season is well under way. Doncic is averaging 25 points and nearly 9 rebounds and assists per game but his relatively low scoring average can be attributed to a slow start to the regular season. Luka has been the alpha in Dallas ever since he got drafted and will just absolutely take over games where he can’t be stopped. Without their man in the middle Deandre Ayton, Phoenix should have a hard time stopping Luka from going to the basket and getting his shots. However, the Nets have allowed the 5th lowest points per game in the NBA, so he’ll have to push the pace in this one to get his daily dose of baskets. This prop has amazing value given his ridiculous numbers last time out. While he has a low of 16 points this season, I’m going to ride the hot hand and take him to once again produce at an efficient rate. Take Luka to score more than his total points prop with ease.

Chris Paul Over 9.5 Assists
After dropping 12 dimes in their win against the Spurs, Chris Paul always knows how to make a good shot into a great shot by dishing to wide open teammates. CP3 is averaging exactly 10 assists per game and is defying the laws of time with his consistent outstanding play. Paul has been the primary point man all season and that has allowed him to have plenty of assist opportunities. When the Suns met the Mavs in their back-to-back series in November, Paul had 14 assists in each contest. This prop has amazing value given his ridiculous numbers last time out. While he has a low of 6 assists all year, I’m going to ride with the passing hand of CP3 and take him to once again produce at an efficient rate. Take him to have more than his total assists prop.

Same Game Parlay:

Mikal Bridges Over 10.5 Pts, Luka Doncic Over 26.5 Pts, Chris Paul Over 9.5 Assists and Mavericks to win by 1-10 Pts.

SGP Odds +4078

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