Mavericks vs. Celtics NBA Odds & Picks: Grab Dallas as Road Dogs While You Can (March 31)

Mavericks vs. Celtics NBA Odds & Picks: Grab Dallas as Road Dogs While You Can (March 31) article feature image
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Glenn James/NBAE via Getty Images. Pictured: Luka Doncic.

  • The Dallas Mavericks face off with the Boston Celtics Wednesday in a rematch of their instant classic from February.
  • In a matchup with two teams looking to keep pace in their respective conferences, oddsmakers have this spread hovering at Celtics -1.
  • Matthew Trebby previews the matchup, including his favorite bet.

Mavericks vs. Celtics Odds

Mavericks Odds -1
Celtics Odds +1
Moneyline -110 / -110
Over/Under 224.5
Time Wednesday, 7:30 p.m. ET
TV ESPN
Odds as of Tuesday and via PointsBet

Two teams looking to hold onto their playoff spots battle on national television Wednesday night, as the Dallas Mavericks travel to Boston to take on the Celtics.

Neither team has been particularly outstanding since the All-Star break, although Dallas’ numbers indicate better luck is coming its way. Given Boston’s record since play resumed, this might be a great place for the Mavs to start racking up the wins.

Let’s dig into where the betting value lies in this marquee matchup.

Dallas Mavericks

The Mavericks might just be 6-5 since the All-Star break, but underlying numbers would indicated they’re been one of the NBA’s best teams during that span. Dallas’ 118.9 Offensive Rating leads the NBA over this recent stretch, and its 7.0 Net Rating ranks fourth, according to NBA Advanced Stats.

The Mavericks also lead the NBA since the break in Effective Field Goal Percentage (57.9%) and True Shooting Percentage (60.3%). The offense is clicking at the right time and has the Mavs looking the unit that set all-time records last season.

Those efficiency numbers are a product of their emerging trio: Luka Doncic, Kristaps Porzingis and Tim Hardaway Jr. Doncic is shooting 50.6% from the field since the All-Star break, Porzingis is hitting 50.7% of his shots and Hardaway is knocking down shots at a 49.7% clip. (All are shooting at least 39.8% from 3-point range, with Hardaway leading the way at 43.4%.)

Doncic is naturally the star of the show putting up 28.1 points, 9.1 assists and 7.0 rebounds per game in the second part of the season. He’s shooting the best field goal and 3-point percentages of his career, as well.

Dallas lost two straight against the Pacers and Pelicans before bouncing back on Monday against the Thunder. A strong second half of the season has the Mavericks as the seven seed in the Western Conference, ahead of Memphis in ninth by 1.5 games.


Boston Celtics

Jaylen Brown is listed as questionable due to a left hip contusion and both he and Jayson Tatum have kept Boston afloat this season; the hope is that the rest of the team starts picking up some of the slack soon. Boston had covered in three straight games (winning outright twice) before a six-point loss to the Pelicans on Monday night.

The biggest move the Celtics made at the deadline involved a deal with the Orlando Magic, just not the one we were expecting. Instead of getting the big kahuna in Aaron Gordon, they landed Evan Fournier.

Despite shooting 0-for-10 from the field and 0-for-5 from beyond the arc in his Celtics debut Monday night, Fournier should provide Boston with a needed perimeter option offensively down the stretch, something it has lacked most of the season. (It didn’t help that Kemba Walker and Smart combined to shoot 14-of-33 from the field and 2-of-15 from deep.)

Boston has a positive Net Rating since the All-Star break at 1.0, per NBA Advanced Stats, but it hasn’t translated to wins quite yet. The Celtics are 4-7 and fading down the Eastern Conference standings.

Entering Wednesday night, the Celtics are seventh in the East, just one game ahead of ninth-place Indiana and three games ahead of Chicago in 10th. Fortunately for Boston, neither of those teams are playing particularly well at the moment either.

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Mavericks-Celtics Pick

The biggest wild card is Brown’s status. If he’s healthy, expect Boston to throw him and Marcus Smart at Doncic, although Dallas will no doubt pick-and-roll its stars way into mismatches throughout.

Regardless of whether Brown plays, Dallas is playing better ball at the moment and is the play here in what is essentially a pick’em. The total was not posted as of late Tuesday night, but no need to worry about that.

The Mavericks are healthy, efficient and red hot offensively. They have given bettors much more reason to trust them of late than the Celtics, who might be missing one of their two most important players and have been very uninspiring in March.

This spread opened with Boston as one-point favorites before and has fluctuated back and forth. You can still grab the Mavs as dogs at some books and I would bet them to cover up to -2.5. Try to get the low number as soon as you can in case Brown is out and it goes up much further.

Pick: Mavericks -1

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