The New Orleans Pelicans (24-16) once again face the Dallas Mavericks (23-17) this Monday (1/15/24). Get Pelicans vs. Mavericks moneyline and spread odds, as well as predictions, starting lineups, injuries, and key matchups below.
New Orleans Pelicans vs. Dallas Mavericks Prediction
Before breaking down the matchup, injuries must be addressed. Dallas will be without Luka Doncic, Derrick Jones Jr, and Dante Exum. In other words, the Mavericks lack their best offensive weapon, a key 3&D wing, and their sixth man.
Although Lively has been impressive defensively, he and Powell have failed to protect the rim this season. This Dallas defense allows the third largest offensive rebound rate and the third largest field goal percentage within eight feet of the basket (via NBA.com).
That doesn’t bode well against a New Orleans offense that is built on attacking the rim. Zion Williamson and Jonas Valanciunas should feast inside the paint and constantly snag extra possessions via offensive rebounds. As a result, New Orleans’ shooters will see cleaner catch-and-shoot looks than usual. Considering the amount of three-point snipers on the roster (CJ McCollum, Trey Murphy III, Jordan Hawkins, etc.), the Pelicans are set to thrive offensively in this matchup. Plus, Derrick Jones Jr’s 7’0” wingspan and athleticism would have been an excellent option to throw at Brandon Ingram’s fadeaway jumpers. His absence definitely stings.
On the other end, Herb Jones and Dyson Daniels form a dangerous defensive duo that close driving lanes and force turnovers. They can share the Kyrie Irving assignment and at a minimum make him work hard for every shot. New Orleans’ weak rim protection isn’t immensely concerning here given Dallas’ lack of slashers too.
Additionally, this deep Pelicans squad ranks third in bench Net Rating. Given Dallas’ injuries, New Orleans likely dominates the bench battle and either extends a lead or slashes a deficit.
The biggest roadblock to New Orleans covering the spread is their putrid three-point defense. The Pelicans surrender the most open plus wide open three-point attempts per game, along with the third largest catch-and-shoot three-point frequency. Although Dallas does not have much self-creation in this contest, they still roster numerous excellent outside shooters. A heater from Kyrie Irving, Tim Hardaway Jr, or Grant Williams could make this game closer than expected.
Overall, look for New Orleans to comfortably secure the win behind their far healthier roster.
New Orleans Pelicans vs. Dallas Mavericks Prediction: Pelicans -3.5 & Moneyline
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New Orleans Pelicans vs. Dallas Mavericks Best Odds
New Orleans is surprisingly favored by only 3.5 points despite Dallas’ significant injuries. It’s not because of road woes; they are 11-7-1 against the spread on the road. Meanwhile, the Mavericks own a middling 10-11 record against the spread at home.
For Dallas’ +142 to be profitable in the long run, they need to win here at least 41 percent of the time.
New Orleans Pelicans Starting Lineup
Dallas Mavericks Starting Lineup
New Orleans Pelicans vs. Dallas Mavericks Injuries
Brandon Ingram, Zion Williamson, CJ McCollum, and Trey Murphy III all hold probable tags, although Matt Ryan remains out. On the other side, Dallas will miss Luka Doncic, Derrick Jones Jr, and Dante Exum. However, Dereck Lively II and Maxi Kleber are probable.
New Orleans Pelicans vs. Dallas Mavericks Key Matchups
Tim Hardaway Jr’s Offense
Over the past two games without Doncic, “THJ” has averaged 28 points on excellent 48/42/84 shooting splits. Dallas desperately needs his microwave scoring to keep pace, and Hardaway Jr has the chance to oblige versus New Orleans’ abysmal three-point defense. If he falters, then the Mavericks are likely doomed.
The Mavericks have successfully avoided sending teams to the charity stripe, as they rank seventh in opponent free throw attempt rate. It’s imperative that Dallas defends without fouling because a large amount of free throws would kick this Pelicans offense into overdrive. It will be a difficult task because New Orleans has the sixth largest free throw attempt rate. Zion Williamson is especially a dangerous threat to rack up attempts.