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Luka Doncic Injury: NBA Playoff Projections for Mavericks vs. Jazz Game 1

Luka Doncic Injury: NBA Playoff Projections for Mavericks vs. Jazz Game 1 article feature image
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Tim Heitman/Getty Images. Pictured: Luka Doncic #77 of the Dallas Mavericks.

The betting odds for Saturday’s playoff Game 1 between the Dallas Mavericks and Utah Jazz required a bit of an adjustment with the latest injury regarding Luka Doncic.

The Mavericks star was diagnosed with a calf injury Tuesday, with no timetable to return.

Utah moved from -3.5 to -4.5 at BetMGM thereafter. DraftKings, meanwhile, moved the Jazz off -3.5 to -4 around the same time, before jumping up the full point to -4.5.

BetMGM also tweaked the total, chopping the over/under from 215.5 to 214.5.

Doncic suffered the injury during Sunday’s regular-season finale against the San Antonio Spurs.

BREAKING: Luka Doncic hobbled his way to the locker room after suffering a calf strain in the last game of the season.

This is pretty much a meaningless, but Dallas believe it is now a significant injury, according to ESPN.

Get well soon, Luka! 🙏 pic.twitter.com/TPwkt96jF8

— NBA Buzz (@OfficialNBABuzz) April 11, 2022

Doncic clocked out of the regular season averaging 28.4 points, 9.1 rebounds and 8.7 assists per game.

His 5.9 Value Over Replacement Player (VORP) ranked fourth in the NBA, behind the league’s top-three MVP candidates in Nikola Jokic, Giannis Antetokounmpo and Joel Embiid.

Dallas had quietly been surging in the second half, both in the win-loss column and for bettors’ pockets.

The Mavericks closed the regular season as the third-best bet in basketball at 47-33-2 against the spread (58.8%). Only the Grizzlies and Thunder were better.

Utah becomes intriguing in the futures market with the Mavericks star sidelined for the time being. The Jazz’ consensus title price is +2200, but the best number available is +2500, at three different shops (you can check all the odds here).

The Mavericks and Jazz split the regular-season series 2-2, though Dallas covered all four games.

Saturday’s Game 1 tips off at 1 p.m. ET.

We’ve seen the betting market react, but how does our NBA expert Raheem Palmer adjust his projections? Let him tell us.

Palmer’s Power Ratings for Mavericks Without Luka Doncic 

The Mavericks are just 8-9 without Doncic this season, and there’s been a tremendous drop-off in the offense without his presence.

Given his combination of scoring and playmaking, the Mavericks are scoring 115.5 points per 100 possessions with him on the floor vs 111.1 with him off the floor (+4.4).

I spoke with Drew Dinsick (@whalecapper) who has Doncic’s presence on the floor as being worth 4.5 points in their first round matchup against the Utah Jazz and 3.5 points vs the average team.

Without Doncic, the Mavericks are one point worse than the average team. With my power ratings having the Mavericks as the eighth-best team in the league, this is a significant drop-off that puts them below average teams like the Charlotte Hornets and Los Angeles Clippers.

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