Mavericks vs. Pacers Odds, Pick, Prediction: Plug Your Nose & Back Indiana
Cole Burston/Getty Images. Pictured: Luka Doncic
- The Pacers are favored at home on Friday night against the Mavericks.
- Indiana's metrics indicate it should have a better record, while Dallas is on the opposite end of that spectrum.
- Matt Moore breaks down the matchup and delivers his betting pick below.
Mavericks vs. Pacers Odds
|Time||7 p.m. ET|
|TV||NBA League Pass|
But the headline? Rick Carlisle welcomes his old team to Indy. So who will get “revenge?”
How about a better question: How do we profit off it?
Mavericks Playing Even Worse Than You Might Think
The Mavericks are without Sterling Brown (foot) and Willie Cauley-Stein.
Dallas’ win profile is alarmingly consistent. The Mavs are 3-10 against teams .500 and better and 9-2 vs. teams under .500. They are 6-6 at home, 6-6 on the road.
They have a -0.8 net rating, basically even. Their adjusted numbers for schedule are worse, 21st overall, 21st in offense, 17th in defense.
The Mavericks seem to follow up every low point with a win that’s just good enough to get the scent off. They followed up a collapse vs. the Nets with an impressive win vs. Memphis.
However, the Mavericks’ profile is of a team underperforming relative to the record.
They are 18th in halfcourt offense, 24th in halfcourt defense. Dallas has the 11th-worst net rating in their wins, and the 13th-worst net rating in losses. They win small, relative to league average, and they lose big, relative to league average.
Luka Doncic has struggled, relative to his standards this season. His scoring per game and per possession have dropped. His field goal and 3-point percentage are down.
Even more curious?
The Mavericks have been outscored by 5.2 points per 100 possessions with Doncic on the floor. They’ve lost the Doncic minutes. That’s pretty wild for a player who was the MVP favorite entering the season.
Dallas’ big issue offensively is that they’re consistently generating slightly worse shots than in the years prior under Carlisle, and shooting worse on the good shots they’re creating. Their efficiency on open shots is poor, but their overall shot profile is inefficient. For example, Dallas is 30th in rim rate per DunksAndThrees.com.
Against the Pacers, Dallas will need its 3-point shooting to boost their offense. The Pacers are a low 3-point shooting team, 18th in percentage in shots from 3, while Dallas is sixth.
Now, Dallas is also 24th in 3-point percentage. They need their shooters to shoot closer to career averages and further from the dumpster.
Reggie Bullock had a breakout game vs. Memphis, maybe that opens things up.
But the overall matchup says that the Pacers should have an easy time scoring on Dallas and Dallas will make it harder on themselves than they need to. If Doncic has the type of game he’s capable of and the Mavericks hit some shots, that’s the model.
Are the Pacers Unlucky, or Can They Only Blame Themselves?
Let me sum this up: the Pacers have a positive net rating, an average offense and an above-average defense. They should be around .500, maybe a game or two above.
They are 3-12 in games within five points in the final five minutes. They have had a lead of between 6 and 10 points in 21 of their 27 games, and lost 10 of them.
I wouldn’t say the Pacers are unlucky. They are just constantly in a maelstrom of unfortunate events in part created by their own doing. They don’t hold leads, they fall apart, they underperform. The Pacers are 6-9 straight up as a favorite. They lose when they should win and at 7-4 as an underdog, they win when they should lose.
Indiana’s started shooting fewer threes and attacking the rim more. With Myles Turner and Domantas Sabonis, they have one of the best inside-outside frontcourts in the league.
However, the misfortune has stressed them. The league is under the assumption that trades are on the way for the Pacers. Sabonis has been interested in a change of scenery for over a year, according to two sources. Turner has made comments about wanting a bigger role.
Can a team under this kind of pressure survive the stress of a season?
The Pacers have won two in a row since the report surfaced they were looking to make trades.
But just know, this is a team that seems primed to be changed dramatically in the coming weeks.
Given that the Pacers lose the games they should win and they are favored in this spot, Dallas seems like a quality play based on the win profile.
But can you trust a nonsensical trend? The team with the worse net rating, the worse offense, the worse defense?
Not only that, but the matchup favors Indiana. The Mavericks’ offensive struggles are real, and their defense may be more concerning. Dallas is 24th defending the pick and roll, while the Pacers are the eighth-best team scoring out of it.
The big edge for the Mavericks is in 3-point shooting. The Pacers surrender a high amount and struggle defending spot-ups. If the Mavericks hit their 3’s, they can stay in or win this game.
But ultimately, I have the Pacers as a 4.5- point favorite based on the transition and halfcourt matchup.
The total has moved up from 210.5 at open to 213.5. Given Dallas’ shooting troubles and Indiana favoring more 2-pointers, I don’t think there’s value on the total. I have this projected at 212.2.
Dallas is 10-14 ATS on the season, 4-6 ATS as an underdog. I’m willing to get hurt again by the Pacers.
Pick: Indiana -1.5, good to -3.