Mavericks vs Bucks Prediction, Picks | Best Bet for Saturday
Luka Doncic #77 of the Dallas Mavericks plays defense on Giannis Antetokounmpo #34 of the Milwaukee Bucks during the game on December 9, 2022 at the American Airlines Center in Dallas, Texas. (Photo by Glenn James/NBAE via Getty Images)
Mavericks vs. Bucks Prediction, Picks for Saturday, Nov. 18
Here's everything you need to know about Mavericks vs. Bucks on Saturday, Nov. 18 — our expert prediction and betting picks for today.
The Milwaukee Bucks host Luka Doncic and the Dallas Mavericks on Saturday night. Can the Bucks handle business for the second night in a row, or will the Mavericks pull off a road victory?
Let's get to our Mavericks vs. Bucks prediction and pick.
Mavericks vs Bucks Prediction
The Mavericks come into this game fresh, having last played on Wednesday. While it is a getaway game, it's the front end of a back-to-back before the Mavericks make a quick pitstop at home then travel to Los Angeles for games against the Lakers and the Clippers.
The Mavericks have been tremendous this season. They are 9-3 with the second-best Adjusted Offensive Rating in the league, per Dunks and Threes. Dallas has also played at the sixth-fastest Pace (101.6) in the league, a big swing from playing at the third-slowest Pace last season (96.3).
One of the most significant differences from this season to last is that Dallas' passing is much more deliberate. The Mavericks have a significantly better supporting cast as they've surrounded Doncic and Kyrie Irving with shooters. Dallas' one issue is that its eFG% (58.9%) far outpaces its expected eFG% (54.4%), per Cleaning the Glass.
Dallas is second in the league in 3-point frequency and is making 40.7% of those attempts, the second-best mark in the league. The encouraging part is that their personnel is designed to do exactly this. Doncic, Grant Williams, Tim Hardaway, Josh Green and Irving are all excellent shooters, so there is reason to believe this team could continue to shred defenses.
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The Bucks dispatched the Hornets last night in their In-Season Tournament Game, but are now on the second game of a back-to-back set. The Bucks had to travel overnight from Charlotte to Milwaukee to host this game, but it's important to note that none of the starters played more than 33 minutes in that game. Khris Middleton has yet to play in a back-t0-back and Damian Lillard has missed one set. Considering the starters were on limited minutes, I'd anticipate most to play, besides Middleton.
Since the Bucks moved Jrue Holiday this offseason, their defense has been a sieve. The Bucks have an Adjusted Defensive Rating of 113.0, which is 17th in the league. That's a far cry (relatively) from their 111.5 Adjusted Defensive Rating (4th) last season, per Dunks and Threes. Milwaukee has struggled tremendously against perimeter scoring threats, but has still maintained a relative strength at the Rim, per Cleaning the Glass. As a result, the Bucks have surrendered some monster games to guards, including Jalen Brunson, Cam Thomas, LaMelo Ball, Tyler Herro, Cade Cunningham, Tyrese Maxey and Tyrese Haliburton. This could be a monster game for Irving and It like him to go over 25.5 points.
Mavericks vs Bucks Picks, Odds
The Bucks are returning home while the Mavericks are looking to head home. However, Dallas has been a better team this season.
Additionally, there's a distinct possibility that Giannis Antetokounmpo (calf) may sit after playing Friday, but missing the game prior. Antetokounmpo's absence would significant impact the Bucks, especially their already porous defense. The spread would also move from Mavericks +2.5 to potentially having Dallas favored.
The Mavericks should look to finish their road trip on the right foot, and with their shot profile, I expect them to take advantage of the Bucks' defense.