Mavericks vs. Raptors NBA Odds & Picks: How to Back Toronto on Monday (Jan. 18)

Mavericks vs. Raptors NBA Odds & Picks: How to Back Toronto on Monday (Jan. 18) article feature image
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Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images. Pictured: Kyle Lowry

  • The Raptors are favored over the short-handed Mavericks on Monday, with Dallas on the second leg of a back-to-back.
  • Toronto has been dominant in first quarters this season, going 8-4 ATS, and Matt Moore is going back to the well on Monday night:

Mavericks vs. Raptors Odds

Mavericks Odds +3.5
Raptors Odds -3.5
Moneyline +130 / -155
Over/Under 219
Time | TV 7:30 p.m. ET League Pass
Odds as of Sunday evening and via DraftKings.

Dallas Mavericks

The Mavericks got worked by the Bulls on Sunday despite a monster line from Luka Doncic, who acknowledged he played selfishly in dropping a 36-point, 16-rebound, 15-assist performance on 13-of-30 shooting.

Notably, the Mavericks were without Tim Hardaway Jr., Josh Richardson, Jaylen Brunson, and Dorrian Finney-Smith. Rick Carlisle said he expects Brunson back, and Hardaway has been upgraded to questionable. There’s no update on Richardson or DFS.

You’re going to want to wait on those updates before betting. Both Brunson and THJ are positive in on-vs.-off-court net rating differential.

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Either way, this matchup isn’t ideal. The Raptors for years were a chameleon defensively, but now they mostly run drop and switch vs. pick and rolls. Unfortunately, those are the second- and third-worst schemes for Dallas to attack; the Mavs average below 1.0 points per action against those schemes, which is poor.

Defensively, the Mavericks have been really good, but alongside the rest disadvantage, the Raptors have bigs like Chris Boucher to mimic what Lauri Markkanen did Sunday.

The Raptors give up the third-most corner threes of any team in the league … but Dallas shoots the third-worst percentage on those shots.

Toronto Raptors

Alex Len is out with contact tracing.

Toronto’s offense has been getting better, but the defense continues to struggle. They’re averaging a 113 defensive rating over the last five games, but a 117 offensive rating.

As I mentioned above, they’re a much more milquetoast defensive unit this year, but that actually works to their favor in this matchup, with Dallas struggling more vs. commonplace schemes.

Here’s a weird trend with the Raptors. They start either Len or Aron Baynes, and get destroyed in second quarters. Baynes is -25 in net rating in second quarters, Len is -35 (!).

But Chris Boucher comes in and stomps. He’s +19 in the first quarter, and +0.4 on a team where almost no one is in the plus in the second.

Then Boucher starts the third quarter, and yet, they are -8.9 for the season in net rating in third quarters. It’s weird.

But in this matchup, Boucher should do damage like Markkanen did, and Baynes should help offset the work Willie Cauley-Stein (best net rating on the team).

Mavericks-Raptors Pick

I like the matchup for Toronto here. I’ll be playing Raptors 1Q (Toronto is 8-4 ATS 1Q), and have won 9 of 12 first quarters.

Dallas is 3-13 straight up on back to backs as a dog in the Luka era. They are 8-7-1 ATS in those games, but their average margin is -6.4, inside the line.

The Raptors have underperformed this year, Dallas has been up and down. I like the spot for the Raptors.

The Pick: Raptors -4, Raptors 1Q

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Player Prop to Watch

Luka Doncic under 30.5 points (-110)

30.5 points is a steep ask, even for Luka. Doncic has gone over that number in only five of his 11 games so far this season, and he needed five threes in two of them and double-digit free throws in two others. He also won’t be facing the Bulls on Monday night.

The Raptors offer a much steeper challenge defensively, and Doncic won’t get many easy looks. He’s also playing the second night of a back-to-back, which could eat into his minutes a bit, especially if this game isn’t close late.

We’re projecting Doncic at 27.7 points, closer to his season average. It probably won’t be comfortable, but as long as Luka doesn’t get hot behind the arc or line up for an endless array of freebies, I like our chances. FanDuel has this line at -110 and I’ll play to -125. – Brandon Anderson

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