Pending on how you define success after the trade for Kyrie Irving, you are either very happy or still suspect. Since the addition of Irving, the Mavericks are 2-2 but he has shown to have an immediate impact while on the court. His scoring has not slowed down whatsoever, dropping 36 points in his last game out in a loss to the Timberwolves. Luka has seemingly managed to sustain his high rate of scoring as well, scoring 33 in their last contest. Can they get back on track with a win over the Nuggets?
Dallas Mavericks vs Denver Nuggets Betting Odds
Oddsmakers don’t think so as they opened the Mavericks as a +6.5 underdog on the road. Bettors have had higher expectations for their chances of success, backing Dallas down to +4.5 as of writing. This line movement also stems from the idea that Jamal Murray and Aaron Gordon may not suit up, leaving two key players out of the Nuggets lineup. Gordon especially, leaving a void in the interior to help fellow big man Nikola Jokic.
As for the total, points are expected to be scored at a moderate pace as oddsmakers opened the total at 228.5. Bettors were quick to hammer the over, taking the total up to as high as 234 as of writing. This comes as no surprise as the Mavericks offense has not skipped a beat with their drastic identity change, showing that Kyrie and Luka are forming a lethal scoring duo. The Nuggets will also benefit on the scoring front, having a massive advantage in the interior.
Dallas Mavericks vs Denver Nuggets Prediction
The Pick: Wait on Nuggets spread
Even though the Mavericks have rolled on the offensive end, they still have too many gaps as a whole unit to make me think they can beat the Nuggets. I would have backed them if I got the early line of +6 or higher, but I sadly missed out. Instead, I will wait to see how low this number can get before backing the Nuggets in what would be an overreaction. This is also heavily stemmed towards the Nuggets injury report as ill await confirmation on who can give it a go.
The Nuggets are number one in the Western Conference for a reason and that is because they play a complete game on both ends of the court. Especially on the offensive end, running as one of the most efficient perimeter units as well abusing the interior. This all possible from the elite production of reigning MVP Nikola Jokic, possessing an incredible vision to hit open shooters while also being a dominant scorer on the inside.
While the Mavericks still pose as an elite scoring unit off the backs of Irving and Doncic, they still have too many holes to stay competitive over the course of the game. Their scoring production takes a massive drop off after their elite stars, as well as lacking an interior scoring presence. The Nuggets excel at guarding the perimeter, forcing the Mavs duo to drive at a heavier rate which will result in a date with Jokic in the paint.
- Mavericks are 5-1 ATS in the last six matchups in Denver
- Mavericks are 4-1 ATS in the last five meetings overall
Who will step up as a secondary scorer should Murray and Gordon not be able to suit up?
Nuggets secondary scoring vs Mavericks defense
As previously mentioned, a reason I have had to pause on pulling the trigger on a Nuggets bet is the injury status of Jamal Murray and Aaron Gordon. Both pose as efficient scorers, averaging a combined 37.5 points per game as the second and third go to option.
Lucky for the Nuggets, Jokic is arguably the greatest passing big man of all time and can give an instant boost to anyone on the court. His ability to find his shooters in open gaps is bar none, keeping the Nuggets scoring production humming when surrounded by scorers.
They also still have Michael Porter Jr slotted to play in this one, massively stepping up in his own right as an on ball playmaker. This eases the load of Jokic, giving the offense more room to work with.
Wait to see how low this spread can get before backing the Nuggets.
Dallas Mavericks Starting Lineup
Denver Nuggets Starting Lineups
Dallas Mavericks Injuries: Christian Wood (Q), Tim Hardaway Jr (Q), Reggie Bullock (Q)
Denver Nuggets Injuries: Jamal Murray (Q), Aaron Gordon (Q), Reggie Jackson (Q)