Dallas Mavericks vs New Orleans Pelicans Preview (3/8/23): Prediction, Starting Lineups, Odds

Two teams in desperate need of a win go head-to-head when the Dallas Mavericks travel to New Orleans for a date with the Pelicans. For all information on this matchup, including betting picks and predictions, injury news, and projected starting lineups, take a look below!

Dallas Mavericks Vs. New Orleans Pelicans Betting Odds

New Orleans is a two-point home dog against an equally-struggling Dallas Mavericks squad. Zion Williamson, EJ Liddell, Jose Alvarado, and Larry Nance Jr will be sidelined for the Pels, while Dallas has JaVale McGee and Maxi Kleber listed as questionable.

Dallas Mavericks Vs. New Orleans Pelicans Prediction

Over the past few seasons, with Luka Doncic at the offensive helm, Dallas has typically resorted to a surgical half-court offense catered to his elite playmaking ability. The Mavericks thrive on Doncic isolations in their heliocentric offense.

Further, taking the shot clock down to the final seconds does not bother them at all, as that tends to be when most of their looks come offensively. This means that the Mavs don’t play a super up-tempo brand of basketball.

However, Dallas has been playing a bit faster, especially in its past three games, boasting a pace of 102.03, which is significantly higher than its season average of 96.85.

Perhaps, with Irving in the lineup, the Mavs believe they can simply out-shoot teams; they did in two of their past three games, with the only blemish being a narrow loss to Kevin Durant, Devin Booker, and the Phoenix Suns.

Even though Dallas has been poor on the defensive end virtually all season long, there is one positive: it has held opponents to a lower-30s percentage from behind the arc in recent games (33% since February 8th.) Luckily for the Mavs, this is an area that New Orleans has been really struggling in the past few weeks (30% in its past seven games.)

The Pelicans will have to rely on interior and mid-range scoring to keep up with Dallas. Unfortunately, New Orleans is in the bottom ten in the NBA in its percent shooting in the mid-range. This spot favors the Mavericks, as they have too much offensive firepower and New Orleans is going to struggle to keep up.

Betting Trends

  • Dallas is 12-19 ATS on the road in 2022-23
  • New Orleans is 17-14 ATS at home in 2022-23
  • The combined over record of these two teams is 70-60 in 2022-23

Key Matchups

The key matchup in this game belongs to the porous Mavericks defense and the horrendous Pelicans offense. One of these two has to be better than the other; see which team has the advantage in this battle!

Mavericks Defense vs. Pelicans Offense

Bringing in Kyrie Irving as help for Luka Doncic meant giving him another weapon on the offensive end. What so many overlooked were the potential implications on the other end, as now they would have two guards who play average defense, at best (Doncic has the 14th-worst individual defensive rating out of guards who have played at least 55 games.)

Since acquiring Irving, Dallas has boasted a highly efficient attack, ranking third in offensive rating during that period. However, the Mavs’ defense has been the sixth-worst in defensive rating, allowing opponents to shoot over 52% from the field. Needless to say, that is an awful mark for a defense from any team, let alone a playoff-contending one.

Still, it is even more difficult to put faith in a Pelicans offense that has shot 31% from deep in their past seven games. In those seven games, they were only able to come away with one win, eclipsing 110 points just once. Even though Dallas has been bad on defense, it has been able to limit opposing teams’ three-point shooters (33% since acquiring Irving), meaning that threes will be even harder to come by for the Pels than usual.

Losing Jose Alvarado and Larry Nance Jr to injuries to go along with Zion Williamson may not seem like a lot, but New Orleans’ depth is in serious trouble right now. Slight advantage: Mavericks’ Defense.

Dallas Mavericks Starting Lineup

PG: Luka Doncic
SG: Kyrie Irving
SF: Josh Green
PF: Reggie Bullock
C: Dwight Powell

New Orleans Pelicans Starting Lineups

PG: CJ McCollum
SG: Josh Richardson
SF: Herb Jones
PF: Brandon Ingram
C: Jonas Valanciunas

Key Injuries

Dallas Mavericks Injuries: JaVale McGee (D), Maxi Kleber (Q)

New Orleans Pelicans Injuries: Zion Williamson (Out), E.J. Liddell (Out), Josh Richardson (Q), Jose Alvarado (Out), Larry Nance Jr (Out)

Drew is one of the NBA Lead Writers at Lineups.com, specializing in betting content such as game predictions and player props. With a deep knowledge of players and prospects, Drew has an extensive edge in covering everything NBA.

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