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NBA betting market report: Daily picks, advice for Thursday 1/20

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Welcome to the daily NBA betting market report, your source for analysis on the betting lines for the day in professional hoops. For updates throughout the day follow me on Twitter, or check out The Edge daily at 4 p.m. ET / 1 p.m. PT.

All game lines via VSiN NBA Odds page.

Market Report for Thursday, January 20th

*Indicates team is on the second leg of a back-to-back

**Lines are opening numbers

Phoenix Suns (-2.5, 213.5) at *Dallas Mavericks

In the win over Toronto last night the Mavericks’ defensive prowess was on display yet again. They held the Raptors to 98 points and 1.032 points per possession, making it the 10th time in 11 contests Dallas has held an opponent to under 1.1 points per possession. The victory makes it 4-0 SU/3-1 ATS in the last four games for the Mavericks, and 10-1 SU/8-3 ATS over the last 11 games. Tonight, that defense gets a massive test against Phoenix which is on its own 7-1 SU/6-1-1 ATS run. Deandre Ayton will be sidelined once again for the Suns as he recovers from an ankle sprain he suffered in the win over Detroit. A player of Ayton’s calibur will always be missed, but the Suns have tremendous depth behind him that will help soften the blow. When JaVale McGee is on the floor Phoenix has a better defensive rating (104.6), and they are + 16.9 in the minutes with Jalen Smith at center this season. The Suns’ defense matching up with the Mavericks’ offense is going to be fascinating. Phoenix is great at running opponents off the 3-point line. They rank seventh in opponent frequency of 3-point attempts (35.1%) and third opponent 3-point shooting percentage (33.7%). Dallas is a perimeter-oriented offense. During this 11-game run they’ve attempted 38.3% of their attempts from beyond the arc, and while they’ve struggled on above-the-break attempts, (31.2%) they have obliterated teams from the corners (42.7%) which is an area that the Suns defend extremely well (33.9%). Then there is the matter of Dallas’ dominant defense. They also limit opponent attempts from deep, forcing teams into low-percentage mid-range shots where they have held opponents to just 35.2% shooting. However, the Suns happen to be the best mid-range team in the NBA, leading the league in frequency of attempts (41.6%) while hitting the second-best rate of shots (46.2%). Either way you cut it, this is a fascinating matchup of strength on strength. The betting market initially moved to Suns -3.5 from the overnight line, but there has been buyback early on the Mavericks, so we are back to the opening number. The total is the real mover here, as we are up to as high as 217 at Circa.

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