NBA Odds & Picks for Mavericks vs. Hawks: Here’s Why There is Value on the Total
Glenn James/NBAE via Getty Images. Pictured: Luka Doncic.
- Dallas has lost six straight games ahead of its visit to Atlanta to face the Hawks.
- The Mavs have relied too much on Luka Doncic this season and cannot create offense when he's off the floor.
- Joe Dellera sees value on the game total because of that, as he explains below.
Mavericks vs. Hawks Odds
|Moneyline||-125 / +105|
|Time||7:30 p.m. ET|
|TV||NBA League Pass|
|Odds as of Tuesday night and via FanDuel.|
The Hawks take on a Mavericks team that is seemingly in a free fall after losing six games in a row.
Will Dallas right the ship in Atlanta or will it drop its seventh straight game? Let’s find the betting value.
The Mavericks cannot buy a win, as evidence of losing a heartbreaker to the Suns courtesy of a last-second Devin Booker 3-pointer. Dallas has run into a bit of bad luck when it had to play the absolutely scorching-hot Jazz in a two game mini-series before dropping two straight to Phoenix.
One of the Mavericks’ biggest issues is that when Luka Doncic is off the court, they are abysmal. In all minutes this year without Doncic on the floor, the Mavericks are -6.5 points per 100 possessions. They just are not an offensive force this year and cannot get anything started without their star.
Additionally, the Mavericks were excellent last season from 3 point range, and they could afford to stand around while Doncic created good looks for them. With the departure of Seth Curry, though, Dallas lost one of its most efficient scorers.
The Mavericks’ eFG% is just 53.3%, 19th in the league, and they are dead last in 3-point percentage (32.8%).
In today’s NBA, this is not a recipe for success.
The Hawks will miss De’Andre Hunter as he continues to deal with knee discomfort, while Onyeka Okongwu is listed as questionable. When Hunter missed Monday’s game against the Lakers, Cam Reddish slid into the starting lineup.
Atlanta has done an excellent job of keeping their opponents to 2-point attempts, which has done wonders for their defense. The Hawks entered Tuesday’s games with the ninth-best defense in Defensive Rating, which is in stark contrast to being third worst last season. It’s been quite the mental exercise to think of the Hawks as a strong defensive team, but we have to adjust.
The Hawks’ defense revolves around limiting 3-point shots, and this is largely why they have the third-lowest eFG% allowed. While the Hawks keep their opponents off of the 3-point line (11th-fewest attempts) they further succeed at limiting their makes. The Hawks limit their opponents to just 32.1% shooting from 3-point range, per NBA Advanced Stats.
We just saw the Hawks limit the Lakers, who are the seventh-best team in Offensive Rating, to just 107 points two nights ago. Now, the Hawks take on the Mavericks, owners of the 21st-ranked Offensive Rating, per NBA Advanced Stats.
One of the Hawks’ greatest strengths is getting to the free throw line, reaching the charity stripe at the highest frequency in the league, per Cleaning the Glass. Considering the Mavericks give up free throws at the fourth-highest rate, we should see this continue. That will allow Atlanta to control the rhythm and flow of this game and get easy points at the line.
The Mavericks will eventually find a win and stop this losing streak, but I lean Atlanta to cover here, if not win outright.
However, I’m looking at the total for value.
My colleague Raheem Palmer summed up the Mavericks fairly well:
This Mavericks team is basically a European version of the Harden Rockets. A heavy usage star player surrounded by a bunch of players who can't create their own shot and shoot a ton of 3's, who also can't close games.
— raheem palmer (@djrtodaizza) February 2, 2021
The problem? The Mavericks are not a good 3-point shooting team. If you can’t hit from beyond the arc, it allows teams to collapse on you in the paint and Luka driving to the rim is not nearly as effective if the options he has to kick the ball outside and drain a 3-pointer aren’t reliable options. The Hawks have done an excellent job controlling the perimeter, and the Mavericks are not the team I expect to stop that.
Pick: Under 225