Suns vs Mavericks Game 3 Picks and Predictions: Dallas Covers Spread in Offensive Battle

To say Phoenix shot the lights out in the first two games would be an understatement. Will it be able to sustain its outrageous shooting numbers or will Dallas find the answer? Find out in our NBA betting picks and predictions for Suns vs. Mavericks.

Jason Logan: Senior Betting Analyst at Covers
Jason Logan • Senior Betting Analyst
May 6, 2022 • 18:35 ET • 4 min read

“You wanna play rough? OK, say hello to my little friend!”

That was the Phoenix Suns pulling a page from Scarface, en route to a 2-0 series lead over the Dallas Mavericks in their conference semifinal series. 

Phoenix weathered a more physical approach from the Mavs and got a big game from their “little friend” Chris Paul (28 points, eight assists) in the second game of the series, sending Dallas back home desperate for a win in Game 3 on Friday. Books have this spread hovering around a pick’em.

Here are our free NBA betting picks and predictions for Suns at Mavericks on May 6.

Suns vs Mavericks odds

This odds widget represents the best odds available for each betting market from regulated sportsbooks.

The Mavericks opened as 1-point home favorites with that line jumping to the pick’em and bouncing between -1 and +1 depending on the sportsbooks. The total hit the board at 219.5 points and has climbed slightly to 220.

Use the live odds widget above to track any future line movements right until tip-off and be sure to check out the full NBA odds before betting to ensure you get the best number.

Suns vs Mavericks predictions

Predictions made on 5/5/2022 at 2:30 p.m. ET.
Click on each prediction to jump to the full analysis.

Best NBA bonuses

If you're signing up for a new sportsbook for the NBA Playoffs, here are two of the best bonuses* available:

A) Luka Doncic and Devin Booker each Over 2.5 made threes BOOSTED to +165 at Caesars! Claim Now

B) Luka Doncic to score the first basket BOOSTED to +500 at Betway! Claim Now

*Eligible USA locations only

Suns vs Mavericks game info

Location: American Airlines Center, Dallas, TX
Date: Friday, May 6, 2022
Tip-off: 9:30 p.m. ET

Suns vs Mavericks series odds

Suns: -1,400
Mavericks: +800

Suns vs Mavericks betting preview

Key injuries

Suns: No injuries to report.
Mavericks: Tim Hardaway Jr. G (Out)
Find our latest NBA injury reports.

Betting trend to know

The Mavericks are 36-16 ATS in their last 52 games following a loss. Find more NBA betting trends for Suns vs. Mavericks.

Suns vs Mavericks picks and predictions

Our side and total predictions are based upon our analysis of the line and total in this game. Our best bet is our favorite pick across all markets.

Spread analysis

The Mavericks wanted to set a physical tone from the tip on Wednesday, but that approach backfired.

Dallas’ aggression got starters like Jalen Brunson, Dorian Finney-Smith, and Dwight Powell into foul trouble and that really messed with their rhythm the rest of the game. That trio scored a combined 15 points in Game 2 and left Luka Doncic to do it all, eventually wearing out in the fourth quarter as the Suns’ relentless attack landed knockout blows. 

Even with a 20-point difference in the final score, Dallas was very much in this game for three frames despite a terrible team effort and a red-hot shooting night for the Suns. With the series swinging back to Dallas, there are minor fixes for the Mavs that will keep them competitive Friday night.

First off, expect coach Jason Kidd to dial down the intensity, as his pleading for physical play didn’t work the way he wanted. Phoenix is too big and too tough to get thrown off track by a few extra bumps. While the Mavericks’ focus was toughening up on defense in Game 2, that strategy (which included starting Powell at center) came at the cost of the offense’s flow and spacing.

Kidd could lean into the small-ball attack in Game 3, which means starting Maxi Kleber at center. It’s debatable whether he or Powell is the better option against Suns center Deandre Ayton, but Kleber is the obvious choice in terms of offensive scheme.

Dallas’ deliberate pace with the basketball may be all the defense it needs if it’s going to keep up with Phoenix, which will have its offensive output dampened a bit by the swing in venue as well as natural regression from Game 2.

The Suns aren’t going to fire up another 64.5% shooting night Friday, most of which was padded by an 84% success rate in that squash of a fourth quarter. Phoenix also won’t put up as many points from the foul line, as the Mavs’ ill-placed aggression had the Suns in bonus for most of the first half.

Phoenix doesn’t have anyone who can defend Doncic, so he’s going to get as much as he wants and always has an answer for the Suns’ surges. I expect Dallas’ other starters to stay on the floor, pick up the slack, and put a bad Game 2 behind them, with Brunson and Finney-Smith playing at the levels they did in the Round 1 win over Utah.

I’d sure like some extra points with the Mavericks, but books have this spread pegged, so shop around for the best line on the home side or wait and see if public play piles on Phoenix after Game 2’s misleading result.

Prediction: Mavericks +1.5 (-118 at 888Sports)

Over/Under analysis

Outside of Luka and Reggie Bullock, who were a combined 18-for-31 (including 9-for-18 from beyond the arc), the rest of the Mavericks shot just 37.5% from the floor in Game 2. At this point in his playoff history, you can count on Doncic to keep doing those things, so any improved effort from the rest of Dallas’ scorers is a big boost to this attack.

With Kleber playing more key minutes, it injects the Dallas offense with better spacing as a big who can hit shots from outside. He can pull Ayton and the Suns' interior defenders away from the paint, which opens a lane for Brunson and Doncic to slice to the rim.

Phoenix’s offense was incredible in the opening two games at home, posting an offensive rating of 132.3 along with an effective field goal rate of 64.1% - two metrics that will be tough to sustain with the Suns hitting the road. But even with a regression to the norm, this Phoenix team packs a punch – especially when you have Jae Crowder and Devin Booker knocking down triples.

The first two games of this series have blown the totals out of the water, with Game 1 and Game 2 each going Over by 20.5 points. Bookies are making a minor tweak to the total for Game 3, upping the number to 220.5, which still feels low considering the firepower on the floor and potential for a 3-point storm from both teams.

Prediction: Over 219.5 (-110 at PointsBet)

Best bet

Dallas guard Spencer Dinwiddie has seen his minutes slimmed since Doncic returned to action midway through Round 1, but he’s still an offensive threat to hit big shots beyond the arc.

Dinwiddie has struggled to start this series, shooting a collective 6-for-18 from the field in the first two games, but is still 4-for-9 from distance. He finished Game 2 with 28 minutes and a 2-for-5 effort from outside and has made two or more 3-point buckets in five of his last six outings.

He thrived in the small-ball schemes that Dallas employed versus Utah, jacking up 34 shots from deep in that six-game series, and with Kidd possibly leaning into those plans more at home in Game 3, Dinwiddie is ready to catch and shoot when Doncic and Brunson dribble-kick to the wing.

His prop for 3-point makes on Friday is at a modest 1.5 which looks great considering he averages two triples per home game and boasts 35.7% perimeter shooting inside the American Airline Center.

Pick: Spencer Dinwiddie Over 1.5 made threes (-115 at Caesars)

NBA parlays

Did you know that if you parlayed today’s NBA Suns vs. Mavericks predictions and picks in a single-game parlay, you could win $55.94 on a $10 bet?

Use our NBA parlay calculator to create your own parlays and see their potential payouts.

Pages related to this topic

Popular Content

Legal Canadian sports betting

Best Canadian betting sites Ontario sports betting
Covers 25 Years Logo Established in 1995,
Covers is the world
leader in sports
betting information.
Covers is verified safe by: Evalon Logo GPWA Logo GDPR Logo GeoTrust Logo Evalon Logo