Suns vs Mavericks Game 4 Picks and Predictions: CP3 and Co. Bounce Back against Dallas

The Suns played sloppy in Game 3, but the defending Western Conference champs are too resilient to let that affect them on Sunday. We like Phoenix to bounce back and win with the total going Over. Find out more in our Suns vs. Mavs betting picks.

Douglas Farmer - Betting Analyst at Covers
Douglas Farmer • Betting Analyst
May 8, 2022 • 12:31 ET • 4 min read
Chris Paul Phoenix Suns NBA
Photo By - USA TODAY Sports

Dallas refuses to go quietly into the light of the offseason, and its impressive Game 3 win has thrown this series back into doubt.

The Suns are still favored, both in the series and on the road, but should anyone be bold enough to bet against Luka at home?

Here are our free NBA picks and predictions for the Suns vs the Mavericks on May 8.

Suns vs Mavericks odds

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

After Dallas won Game 3 late on Friday, books could not decide who to favor in an opening line. Some opened with a Phoenix edge of -1.5, some opened with the Mavericks at -1, and most settled on a pick’em. Long before Saturday’s sunrise, those numbers coalesced into favoring the Suns by 1.5.

The total saw far less uncertainty, opening at 214.5 and quickly ticking upward to 215.0.

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 5/07/2022 at 1:00 p.m. ET.
Click on each prediction to jump to the full analysis.

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Suns vs Mavericks game info

Location: American Airlines Arena, Dallas, TX
Date: Sunday, May 8, 2022
Tip-off: 3:30 p.m. ET

Suns vs Mavericks series odds

Suns: -525
Mavericks: +400

Suns vs Mavericks betting preview

Key injuries

Suns: Torrey Craig SF (Questionable), Dario Šaric SF (Out).
Mavericks: Tim Hardaway Jr. SG (Out).
Find our latest NBA injury reports.

Betting trend to know

Since the All-Star Break, the Suns have lost two consecutive games only twice. They have also gone 4-0 ATS in their last four games following a straight-up 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

Seemingly every usual playoff narrative can be applied to this series. Most applicably, “The series doesn’t start until someone wins on the road.”

Dallas’s Game 3 victory thus means this series has not yet started. But the home team down 2-0 wins Game 3 more often than not. It is one of the most reliable trends in betting on playoff basketball. That then flips in Game 4 after the higher seed is brought back to reality. The back-and-forth here can continue for a long while.

As decisively as Phoenix won the first two games of this series, the Mavericks pulling out Game 3 threw the entire process back into doubt. What is not in doubt is the old axiom, “No team is as good or as bad as its last game.” For the first time in these playoffs, the Suns shot worse than 50 percent from the field, going 34-of-76 for 44.7 percent. They turned the ball over 17 times, including seven from Chris Paul. Meanwhile, they forced only eight turnovers, tied for their lowest of this postseason.

Assume none of those outliers become trends. It is not like the pace was all that much slower in Game 3, even if that would be the Mavericks’ preference, the slowest team in the league this season by far.

Dallas, in fact, took 11 more shots in Game 3 than it did in Game 2, a result of drawing half as many fouls and thus having fewer field goal attempts turn into free throw attempts. If — rather, when — Phoenix shoots better than 50 percent again this weekend, that will help set up its half-court defense, which will lead to more forced turnovers and more points in transition or secondary transition.

Those latter moments evade much notice, as they look like typical half-court offense, but all too often, the Mavericks had not firmly established their defense off a turnover before Paul initiated the Suns’ deadly pick-and-roll.

No team is as bad as its last game. Phoenix is better than it showed Friday and that should be enough to garner a win.

Prediction: Suns -1 (-110 at FanDuel)

Over/Under analysis

Game 3’s final score plummeted because the Suns missed so many shots, the Mavericks missed a few extra threes, and a few fouls were called, no matter what you may have seen from Luka Doncic’s frequent griping. Betting on the Under again would be hoping at least two of those three occur again.

Trends suggest that would be a foolish hope. Phoenix hit 48.5% of its field goals this season, 49.2% of them after the All-Star Break, and is converting at a 52.6 percent clip thus far in the playoffs.

Dallas only shot 13-for-39 from 3-point range last time out and should be more efficient in Game 4 on Sunday. 

Another game of only 33 combined fouls is also rather unlikely, especially considering Games 1 and 2 combined for 97 fouls. One of those three may continue, but as long as two do not, the Under will be an aggressive ask.

Prediction: Over 214.5 (-110 at BetMGM)

Best bet

This is a bet protecting against Luka Magic. The Slovenian superstar could take over any fourth quarter without warning and usurp any handicap in doing so. No matter how much logic supports betting the Suns to win, Luka looms, especially at home.

But Phoenix should come out strong in this Game 4. The Suns can take complete control of this series, and they know it. While the Mavericks have taken a halftime lead in each of the last two games — two points in Game 2, seven in Game 3 — the Suns had enjoyed a halftime lead in six of their previous seven games.

Only in Game 6 against New Orleans did Phoenix not reach the break ahead; that game was tied. In those six games, the Suns’ average halftime lead was 10.5 points. It might not be so large in Dallas, but it should be a lead, nonetheless.

Phoenix knows it can put the Mavericks against the wall with a Game 4 win. Betting on a fast Suns start will then also allow fans of basketball to simply enjoy whatever Luka conjures late.

Pick: Suns First Half -0.5 (-104 at FanDuel)

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 $61.49 on a $10 bet?

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

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