Dallas Mavericks vs Utah Jazz 12/25/21: Starting Lineups, Matchup Preview, Betting Odds, Live Stream
Dallas Mavericks vs. Utah Jazz Matchup Preview (12/25/21)
For the last Christmas Day game, the Utah Jazz will host the Dallas Mavericks in a battle between two Western Conference teams. Once again, Dallas could be without Luka Doncic, which will catapult Jalen Brunson back into the starting lineup. When he starts, Brunson has been phenomenal for the Mavs, averaging roughly 20 points, seven assists, and five rebounds. Additionally, the Mavs will need a massive performance from Kristaps Porzingis, who has been inconsistent in December. Porzingis will need to score a lot more than 13 points, which he has put up against the Oklahoma City Thunder and the Minnesota Timberwolves in just the last week if Dallas wants to come away with a win. On the other hand, the Jazz were on an absolute roll until they dropped a couple of home games in the past few days. Still, the Jazz will get back on track in no time, and it could happen against a Mavs team without their best player.
Dallas Mavericks vs. Utah Jazz Betting Odds
Short of Luka Doncic being available for this game, I do not see how the Mavericks get a road win against one of the best teams in basketball. Utah has dropped two straight at home in its past two games, but the Jazz will certainly not allow their losing streak at home to balloon to three games. The spread should be pretty wide, considering the Jazz should be completely healthy. At the same time, the Mavs have several players who will most likely be unavailable, including Luka Doncic, Reggie Bullock, Trey Burke, Tim Hardaway Jr, Maxi Kleber, and Willie Cauley-Stein. Kristaps Porzingis is listed as day-to-day but will most likely play. I could see the spread around eight or nine points on the low side. If it is less than that, I will go with the Jazz ATS, as long as everyone is healthy and plays. If the spread lands at double-digits, I will probably stay away.
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Time: 10:30 PM ET
Arena: Vivint Arena – Salt Lake City, UT
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Dallas Mavericks Starting Lineup
Dallas Mavericks Analysis
The Dallas Mavericks have only won three of its past nine games, but they have been keeping all of their games relatively close. Four of those six games have been margins of less than ten points. Jalen Brunson has been keeping this team afloat when Doncic is out with injury, and it looks like he won’t be available for this game either. Additionally, Tim Hardaway Jr, Trey Burke, Willie Cauley-Stein, Maxi Kleber, and Reggie Bullock are all out for this game as well, forcing Dallas to dig deep into its depth chart for minutes. It is hard to imagine a situation where the Mavericks come away with a win with such a limited roster. Not to mention, the Jazz have looked like one of the two or three best teams in the NBA recently, short of those two home losses. Dallas will need Brunson and Porzingis to play like bonafide All-Stars for this game to even be close.
Utah Jazz Starting Lineup
Utah Jazz Analysis
Utah is one of the few teams in the NBA that has somehow avoided COVID during this month’s outbreak. The Jazz only have two players who will be out for the foreseeable future, including Malik Fitts and Udoka Azubuike, and neither of them sees the floor. Utah should maximize on this unfortunate series of events in the NBA and rattle off several straight wins considering many of the best teams in the league won’t have their best players. Still, Utah has struggled in its past two games at home, dropping bouts to the Washington Wizards and San Antonio Spurs. Neither game was a blowout, but it is still concerning to see the Jazz lose back-to-back games against mediocre teams. Regardless, the status quo does not change; they will be heavily favored against the Mavericks, who should be without Luka Doncic again. The Jazz rank first in points per game, offensive efficiency, and eFG% (effective field goal percentage), and third in 3P% (three-point percentage), so don’t be surprised when they bounce back on Christmas Day in a big way.
Dallas Mavericks vs. Utah Jazz Daily Fantasy Picks
It is so frustrating to watch how the Dallas Mavericks manage Jalen Brunson on a game-by-game basis. They start Brunson when Luka Doncic is injured, and he looks incredible, putting up big numbers and leading the Mavs’ otherwise struggling offense. I will die on the hill of starting both Brunson and Doncic in the backcourt, but unfortunately am not with the Dallas Mavericks organization. On the season, Brunson averages around 15 points, five assists, and four rebounds on 50% from the field and 33% from behind the arc. While he could be a bit more effective from behind the arc, he still is a valuable and integral piece of this Mavericks team. When Brunson starts for the Mavs, his averages jump substantially to 20.1 points, 7.2 assists, and 5.3 rebounds. These averages are on an All-Star level, but the Mavs insist on not starting him when Luka is healthy; perhaps, it is time to change things. However, whenever Doncic is injured, Brunson is a must-start in DFS.
It has been truly a team effort from the Utah Jazz this season on the offensive end. Utah ranks first in points per game, eFG% (effective field goal percentage), and offensive efficiency through the first one-third of the NBA season. Donovan Mitchell is the leader of the Utah Jazz and is their primary scorer. Mitchell scores a lot but does not score as much as he could if he were playing on a different team because the Jazz move the ball so well that no single player shoots too much. Mitchell has been especially on fire over Utah’s past nine games, averaging 30.1 points, 4.9 assists, and 1.6 steals per game on 53% from the field, 40% from three, and 90% from the free-throw line. Short of a few massive playoff performances, Mitchell may be shooting the best of his career. If there was ever a time to put him in your DFS lineup, regardless of his salary, it would be now.