Mavericks vs. Cavaliers Odds, Preview, Prediction: Dallas to Overcome Lack of Stakes (March 30)

Mavericks vs. Cavaliers Odds, Preview, Prediction: Dallas to Overcome Lack of Stakes (March 30) article feature image

Tom Pennington/Getty Images. Pictured: Dorian Finney-Smith #10 of the Dallas Mavericks, Luka Doncic #77 of the Dallas Mavericks.

Mavericks vs. Cavaliers Odds

Mavericks Odds-3.5
Cavaliers Odds+3.5
Time7 p.m. ET
TVNBA League Pass
Odds via BetMGM. Get up-to-the-minute NBA odds here.

The Mavericks are fresh off a convincing home win over the Lakers and will take the floor again in Dallas against the Cavaliers, who enter with many injury concerns.

Though Cleveland has more to play for here, will it prevail over a stronger Dallas side? Let's take a look at the numbers.

Dallas Mavericks

The Mavericks enter the second night of a back-to-back after shellacking the Lakers, 128-110, at home in Dallas. They managed to create an 18-point lead in the first quarter, which means Luka Doncic didn't need to play more than 30 minutes and Jason Kidd was able to manage just about every player's minutes. It's fair to expect the Mavericks to be well-rested here.

With that said, there's not a ton for Dallas to play for in this spot. It is squarely in the playoffs, sitting in fourth place in the West with six games to go. Dallas is a game out of third place and two games clear of Utah and Denver, which sit fifth and sixth with identical 45-31 records.

The Mavericks could collapse and sink into the play-in tournament, but it would seem unlikely given the two-game cushion working in chorus with a fairly easy schedule which features Washington, Detroit, Portland and San Antonio.

There is no injury report out yet, so it's hard to say how Dallas will play this one. It's possible Kidd elects to rest at least one key member of the team, especially with the way Cleveland is playing at the moment.

I should note here that the Mavericks are 5-6 against the spread on the second night of back-to-backs, which throws cold water on their 4-1 run ATS over the last five.

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Cleveland Cavaliers

Well, the three big powers in the East have really taken control of this conference, which has left the Cavaliers out of the top six and into the play-in tournament. There is much to play for here on Cleveland's side, with just one game separating it from the sixth spot, currently occupied by Toronto. Unfortunately, motivation may not be enough to secure a win here.

The Cavaliers will still be missing some of the usual crew like Jarrett Allen, Collin Sexton and Rajon Rondo, but Evan Mobley is a new add to the list. The rookie — who has turned into a defensive anchor — was injured in Monday's win over the Magic.

This is rather significant in theory, though looking at the On/Off splits we can learn that the Cavaliers seem to be just the same with him (+1.3 Net Rating) as they are without him (+3.3 Net Rating) on the floor.

Regardless, it's been a tough stretch for the Cavaliers, who have taken it on the chin since the All-Star break. They have lost 9-of-15 games and have gone 0-5 against the spread in the last week and a half.

The good news is that Cleveland is 8-4-1 ATS as a home underdog, but the bad news is that it is 6-9-1 ATS with the rest advantage this season. It makes sense to see the market high on the Cavaliers, but it's pretty hard to get excited about betting on this team at the moment.

Mavericks-Cavaliers Pick

It's hard to read this one given the Mavericks technically have something to play for but probably don't need to push their stars too hard. With that being said, Dallas resting Luka Doncic and company for a good chunk of the second half on Tuesday bodes well for it against Cleveland.

As I noted above, I think I understand the sentiment behind backing Cleveland in what is almost a must-win game if it wants to avoid the play-in tournament. I am bearish on the Cavaliers, though, without a lot of their best players on the floor and especially without Mobley, who can guard so many positions. 

Pick: Mavericks -3.5 (-110)

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