Sacramento Kings vs Dallas Mavericks Odds, Pick, Prediction | NBA Betting Preview (Tuesday, March 26)

Sacramento Kings vs Dallas Mavericks Odds, Pick, Prediction | NBA Betting Preview (Tuesday, March 26) article feature image

Harrison Barnes #40 of the Sacramento Kings handles the ball while being pressured by Luka Doncic #77 of the Dallas Mavericks in the first half at American Airlines Center on January 27, 2024 in Dallas, Texas. (Photo by Ron Jenkins/Getty Images)

Sacramento Kings vs Dallas Mavericks Odds

Tuesday, Mar. 26
10 p.m. ET
Mavericks Odds
-110o / -110u
Kings Odds
-110o / -110u
Odds via FanDuel. Get up-to-the-minute NBA odds here.

The DallasMavericks face the Sacramento Kings on Tuesday, Mar. 26 at 10 p.m. on TNT  — a look at our expert pick and betting prediction for tonight's game.

The Mavericks are at a critical juncture in their schedule as they head to Sacramento for back-to-back games against the Kings. Although both teams have identical records at 42-29, the Kings have the upper hand in the standings thanks to a head-to-head tiebreaker.

With two road wins in Dallas, Sacramento is currently the sixth seed, while the Mavericks are the seventh seed.

Neither team would want to finish lower than sixth in the conference and have to win their way into the playoffs through the play-in tournament. As a result, this matchup could have a postseason feel, making the total a very intriguing option for bettors on Tuesday night.

Pick: Under 236.5 or Better

Dallas Mavericks

Pick: Under 236.5 or Better

While I'm not the biggest Kyrie Irving fan, I've tolerated his shenanigans playing alongside Luka Doncic. The Mavericks aren't one of those superteams with at least three superstars in their starting lineup.

However, with Irving and Doncic, Dallas probably has two of the most unguardable players in the NBA.

Mavericks head coach Jason Kidd deserves a ton of credit for getting both players on the same page. Last year, Dallas was essentially a slow-plodding team with little movement, as the players on the court would stand around waiting for Doncic to make a play.

This season, Kidd implored his team to play with more urgency, as the NBA lists the Mavericks ninth in pace with 100.7 possessions per game after finishing 28th with 97.2 possessions per game the previous year.

The next step in the Mavericks' transformation has been on the defensive end of the court.

Dallas has a burgeoning young rim protector in Dereck Lively II and even strengthened its frontcourt by adding another center in Daniel Gafford and power forward P.J. Washington at the trade deadline.

Before the trades, the Mavericks ranked 22nd in defensive efficiency, but since then, they're up to 14th in the league.

This improvement in defense has also impacted their totals, as our Action Labs database shows the Mavericks have gone 12-7 to the under since the completion of those trades.

Sacramento Kings

Although the Kings didn't make any notable trades, I still saw an improvement in their defense following the deadline.

During that span, the Kings are 10th in defensive efficiency after ranking 18th for much of the first half of the season. On average, they're giving up 4.3 fewer points per 100 possessions than they allowed earlier in the campaign.

And if we stick to the same timeline we used for the Mavericks, the Kings' 12-8-1 mark to the under is almost identical.

But this recent run of games finishing under the total has been about more than just their defense.

I looked at Sacramento's last 10 games and found that its pace (97.8) is almost 2.5 fewer possessions than what we saw for much of the season (100.2).

The Kings also suffered a devastating injury recently. Starting shooting guard Kevin Huerter is done for the season following a dislocated shoulder and labral tear against the Grizzlies a week ago. Huerter (10.2 PPG) was one of six double-digit scorers on the Kings, but his replacement, Keon Ellis, averages only 4.2 points.

Yet, the Kings are 4-1 since Huerter's injury, so they'll likely have to rely on their defense a bit more the rest of the way.

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Mavericks vs Kings

Betting Pick & Prediction

Whenever I look at totals, I consider the teams' recent form in addition to my season-long projection. In this instance, there was quite a gulf between the numbers, prompting me to do more digging.

It's evident that both teams have undergone some level of transformation this season, which creates value in playing this game under the total.

This total opened at 237.5, and we've seen that number start to tick down.

At PointsBet, you can still play the under at 236.5, which offers some cushion with my projection of 234.5.

Pick: Under 236.5 or Better

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Nick Sterling
May 21, 2024 UTC