The Phoenix Suns and the Dallas Mavericks were arguably the two most exciting and intriguing young teams in the NBA bubble last season, so it’s no surprise to see this matchup headlining the second day of NBA action in the West Coast primetime slot. While there are countless burgeoning youngsters we could discuss on these squads, most notably possible 2021 MVP candidates Luka Doncic of the Mavs and Devin Booker of the Suns, it’s Booker’s new veteran teammate that we’re going to be hanging our betting hats on for this matchup.
Free Picks: Phoenix Suns vs. Dallas Mavericks
Chris Paul Wastes No Time Settling In With Suns
These teams are rather similar when you size them up. They’ve both in the Southwest, they’ve both got a solid and energetic core of young players, and they’re led by burgeoning MVP candidates. No wonder the oddsmakers made this one a pick’em. They did however give the Suns the slight edge, and it’s not because of Booker or young big man DeAndre Ayton, it’s because of the Point God, Chris Paul.
It’s always tough to wager on the first few games of a season because there’s not much stats and data you can look back on to help you get an idea of what’s going to happen in the future. We do know a few things though. One of these is that all 30 NBA teams just went through the shortest offseason in league history. That means limited time to work with the team, integrate it, and build chemistry. It means less time to get your mind and body into game shape. Simply said, Paul is probably one of the best guys to have at the head of your young team right now.
Paul is getting up there, he turns 36 next May, but if last year’s display with what was expected to be a lottery Thunder team is any indication, the Wake Forest product has a lot left in those legs. While his passing took a bit of a dip last year to 6.7 a game because of his more central scoring role, Paul had never averaged less than 7.8 in a season before that.
Because of that low average last season, Paul’s assists prop is sitting at just 6.5 for Wednesday’s season opener. Sharing the backcourt with one of the best scorers and spot-up shooters in the game in Booker while also playing off of one of the best post-up and pick-and-roll big men in Ayton should make hitting the OVER on Paul’s assist prop a walk in the park. The -152 odds on 22Bet are higher than we usually like to wager on, but when something’s a lock, it’s a lock.
Knowing Paul and the type of demeanor he has, the young Suns have more-than-likely already been whipped into shape. Meanwhile the Mavericks wait with baited breath for the return of big man Kristaps Porzingis, who is very unlikely to suit up against the Suns. More team continuity, an experienced leader, and a roster that is overall more talented make the Suns moneyline (-118, 22Bet) a great value play if you didn’t fancy the modest odds offered by Paul’s assist prop.
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The Los Angeles Clippers will renew hostilities with the Dallas Mavericks, who they dispatched in the first round of last season’s playoffs.
The Denver Nuggets and the league’s presumptive NBA MVP will look to get off to a strong start against the Portland Trail Blazers in Game 1.
The Golden State Warriors will host the Memphis Grizzlies in the final play-in game, which will determine the Western Conference’s eighth seed.
The Washington Wizards will host the Indiana Pacers on Thursday night with the No. 8 seed in the Eastern Conference on the line.
Alex is an alumnus of Ryerson University's RTA Sport Media program, a contributing NHL, NBA, and MLB writer in the BetPicks.ca team. He has been writing on sports, betting, and fantasy contests for several years, including pitstops as an NFL Editor for theScore and as one of the lead NBA news writers for fantasy sports site FantasyPros. As a lifelong athlete, bettor, and sports fan, Alex is uniquely qualified to help you reach the sports betting success that you've always dreamed of and your wife never believed you could achieve.