Cavaliers vs. Mavericks Odds & Preview: All Eyes on Mitchell, Doncic
Getty Images. Pictured (L-R): Luka Doncic of the Dallas Mavericks, Donovan Mitchell of the Cleveland Cavaliers.
- The Dallas Mavericks are short favorites at home against the Cleveland Cavaliers on Wednesday night.
- The Mavericks have been a quality team at home, while the Cavaliers have some improvements to make on the road.
- Joe Dellera breaks down the Cavaliers vs. Mavericks odds and gives his betting pick.
Cavaliers vs. Mavericks Odds
|Time||9 p.m. ET|
|TV||NBA League Pass|
|Odds via FanDuel. Get up-to-the-minute NBA odds here.|
The Cleveland Cavaliers take on the Dallas Mavericks on Wednesday night in a matchup between teams with dynamic point guards. Will it be Donovan Mitchell or Luka Doncic that comes away with a victory in this showdown?
Let's break down the Cavaliers vs. Mavericks odds and make a prediction.
Cavaliers Must Execute on the Road
The Cavaliers are relatively healthy at the moment. They are missing Dean Wade, but the primary rotation is intact. This is notable because the Cavaliers have struggled with consistency in their rotations due to a variety of injuries.
What has actually been surprising is that Mitchell, Darius Garland and Evan Mobley have negative point differentials on the season. Despite this, the Cavaliers are 17-11, but have struggled on the road, where they are just 5-9 this season. However, in those road games, the Cavaliers have had some relatively bad luck. They have the fourth-best point differential on the road and have 1.9 wins fewer than expected, per Cleaning the Glass.
The Cavaliers have a balanced offensive attack and the 12th-best Adjusted Offensive Rating, but despite the scoring prowess of both Mitchell and Garland, this is a team that wins games with defense. The Cavaliers have the best Adjusted Defensive Rating in the NBA (107.8). They have the sixth-best Allowed eFG% (52.8%) and are effective at funneling their opponents to shoot from long midrange and at the rim.
Normally, rim opportunities are something a defense would want to avoid giving up. However, with Jarrett Allen and Mobley roaming on the interior, this is an area Cleveland defends well.
Additionally, the defensive presence of Mobley and Allen on the interior allows the wings to patrol the perimeter and limit above the break 3s. Their one weakness is they struggle to rotate to defend the corner, a shot they not only allow with great frequency but with a high rate of efficiency — opponents shoot a league-best 43.2% from the corner against the Cavaliers.
Mavericks Need More From the Others
The Mavericks have two listed players on the injury report: Maxi Kleber (knee) is questionable while Josh Green (elbow) is out.
Dallas has played very well this season with the eighth-best Adjusted Net Rating, a league-average defense and the seventh-best Adjusted Offensive Rating. But at the end of the day, this is a team that lives and dies with Doncic. Doncic has been transcendent this season: He has an absurd 42.3% Usage Rate and is averaging 33.1 points, 8.5 rebounds and 8.0 assists per game.
The big thing for the Mavericks has been surviving the non-Doncic minutes. When Doncic is on the floor, the Mavericks have a +6.3 point differential. When he is off? A -6.0 point differential. The Mavericks have struggled all season navigating those minutes and it allows opponents to keep games close.
One of Doncic's strengths is that he is an elite floor general. I expect him to navigate his way through the Cavaliers defense and find the open man, which likely will be either Reggie Bullock or Dorian Finney-Smith in the corner. In the last matchup between these teams (March 30), Bullock was 3-of-7 from deep and Finney-Smith was 6-of-12 from beyond the arc while Doncic logged 13 assists.
Although the Cavaliers have struggled on the road this season, it has not been as stark as their road record implies. Meanwhile, the Mavericks have struggled in the minutes Doncic has been off the floor. I expect this to be a close game, especially considering that it should be played at a snail's Pace between the league's two slowest teams.
Additionally, the Cavaliers have been elite with both Mobley and Allen this season and have a record of 14-7 when both play compared to just 3-4 otherwise.
Although the Cavaliers have a weak spot from the corner, their defense is overall the best in the league. They can slow down this Dallas offense enough to cover the spread.
Considering Doncic recorded 10 and 13 assists against Cleveland last season, and has exceeded 8.5 assists in seven of his past 10 games, I like him to go over his assists prop of 8.5 (find the best odds here) and you should consider the 10+ assists prop (+175 FanDuel).
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