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by - 12/17/2010 7:32 PM Share

Tip-off: Friday, 9:30 p.m. EDT

Line: Dallas -7, Total: 210.5

The Phoenix Suns lead the league with 109 PPG, however as many readers know the basketball team is sitting dead last with 110 PPG allowed. Dallas marks the first stop of a difficult three-game Western Conference road trip. Phoenix has been struggling games away from home this season, winning only 5-of-12 (5-6-1 ATS), but had two big wins in Utah and L.A. (Lakers). After losing three in a row (SU and ATS), Phoenix got a much-needed win over Minnesota, 128-122, Wednesday night.

Jason Richardson (19 PPG) led the game with 29 points, and Steve Nash (18.1 PPG, 10.6 APG) finished with a season-high 19 assists and added 11 points. Nevertheless, the win was against the second-worst defensive team in the NBA (109.8 PPG). The Suns have to do a better job for points against the Mavericks, who have held opponents to 92.7 PPG in the American Airlines Center this season. Nash has played some of his best ball in his 26 career games against Dallas, scoring 16.2 PPG and dishing 9.3 APG.

The Dallas Mavericks will end their six-game homestead against Phoenix, after bouncing back from its only loss in 13 games (Milwaukee, Dec. 13) to win 103-98 over Portland Wednesday night. The Mavs continue struggling to cover the spread at home (favored by an average of 7 points per game), after failing to cover the 7-point spread over the Blazers to make them 6-8-2 ATS. Caron Butler led the Mavericks with 23 points, followed by Dirk Nowitzki with 21. Dallas shot 54.1% from the floor and made 20-of-21 free throws.

Both NBA teams are shooting 48.0 FG Pct, however, the Suns are averaging more than 10 points more per contest (109.0). The Mavs should tighten their defense if they want to win, but the Suns' will likely make it a close game with their fast-paced, high-scoring offense. Phoenix has lost their last five trips to the AAC (1-3-1 ATS), but is 17-15 ATS (13-20 SU) in Dallas since 1996.

Oddsmakers pick Phoenix to cover the basketball point spread:

DALLAS is 7-20 ATS (25.9%, -15.0 Units) in home games after having won 4 or 5 of their last 6 games over the last 2 seasons. The average score was DALLAS 99.3, OPPONENT 97.9 - (Rating = 2*).

DALLAS is 6-21 ATS (22.2%, -17.1 Units) in home games versus poor defensive teams - shooting pct defense of >=46% over the last 2 seasons. The average score was DALLAS 101.8, OPPONENT 99.3 - (Rating = 2*).

In games played in Dallas since 1996, 18-of-33 games have gone Over the total, and this NBA betting trend supports that:

PHOENIX is 7-0 OVER (+7.0 Units) in road games vs. good free throw shooting teams - making >=76% of their attempts this season. The average score was PHOENIX 113.6, OPPONENT 119.4 - (Rating = 1*).

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