Mavericks 2019-20 Season Win Total: Are Expectations Too High in Dallas?

Mavericks 2019-20 Season Win Total: Are Expectations Too High in Dallas? article feature image
Credit:

Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Dallas Mavericks forward Luka Doncic (77) at American Airlines Center.

  • Prior to the 2019-20 NBA season, Matt Moore (@HPBasketball) analyzes each team's win total odds.
  • Below, Matt provides a case for the over and under + gives his confidence rating for the Dallas Mavericks' win total this year.

Check out this post for updated season win total odds and this post for my other 29 season win total picks.

All odds as of Thursday. Check out PointsBet, where Action Network users get an exclusive 200% deposit match (deposit $50, bet with $150).

Dallas Mavericks Win Total

The Case for the Over (40.5, PointsBet)

Top-level talent. Luka Doncic and Kristaps Porzingis, if healthy, form an incredible combination of shooting, skill and athleticism. That combination may be enough to separate them out enough to reach .500.

Doncic is a willing passer, if a largely inaccurate one, particularly on kick-outs to the corner. His combination on pocket passes with Porzingis could be a consistent bread-and-butter type play that keeps their offense humming to remain in games.

They have guards like Jalen Brunson and Seth Curry to pop off screens for jumpers — a staple for the Mavericks offense over the last few years. Dwight Powell and Dorian Finney-Smith give them athletic finishers.

Rick Carlisle hasn’t surged the last few years, but he’s valuable enough to lean towards the positive end of the curve, player by player.

Delon Wright is crucial. He’s 6-5, which means Dallas actually won’t be undersized at the guard spot for the first time in forever.

Dallas was 18th in Defensive Rating last season, which isn’t good but also not horrible; getting to 40-plus means you need high-octane offense and an above-average defense. Last year’s signals tend to point to this.

The Case for the Under (42.5, Westgate)

OK, Doncic is great, Porzingis is talented and has huge games early in the season, so if healthy he might finally make a real leap.

But riddle me this: Who is their third-best player?

Powell?

Curry?

Wright?

Tim Hardaway Jr.?

You get my drift here. The key issue with Dallas is not that their players are bad — it’s that every player is forced to play a role higher than what they would in an optimal situation.

Powell should be your fourth- or fifth-best player. THJ should be fifth or sixth. Curry should be seventh or eighth. Unless Wright makes a massive jump — a dicey proposition for a point guard under 28 being coached by point guard torturer Rick Carlisle — they have a roster of guys trying to punch above their weight.

That 18th-ranked defense? It fell to 23rd after the Mavs traded all the veteran talent at the deadline. The offense dropped down to 20th. I do not believe Porzingis (or Curry) can raise the bar for this team enough.

You still have players who lack experience in winning situations, playing a West schedule. The season starts soft in October/November but gets brutal from December through January, when the season gets difficult with injuries and the grind and as the good teams often recover from slow starts.

In that span, the Mavericks play 30 games, with six back-to-backs and 10 rest-disadvantage games.

The Verdict

  • The pick: Under 42.5
  • Confidence: 8 out of 10

I really like this under. This roster is not filled with absolute, no-question NBA guys, and everyone’s punching above their weight. I don’t have a lot of faith in Porzingis as a high-impact player, and this puts an unreasonable amount of pressure on Doncic, as great as he is.

Delon Wright and Maxi Kleber making a leap could mess all this up, but .500 in the West means you need to have really good players 1-6, and Dallas isn’t there yet.