Mavericks vs. Nets NBA Odds & Picks: Dallas Defense Will Struggle (Feb. 27)
Brian Rothmuller/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images. Pictured: James Harden
- The Nets are a short favorite over the Mavericks on Saturday night in the NBA's primetime ABC game.
- This line has been bet up from -2 to -4, and Matt Moore is following the movement, and playing a few props as well.
- Get his full breakdown for Nets vs. Mavs below.
Mavericks vs. Nets Odds
|Moneyline||+130 / -155|
|Time||Saturday, 8:30 p.m. ET|
James Harden. Luka Doncic. One ball. Two free throw lines. No Kevin Durant. No mercy.
The Mavericks have somewhat righted their ship on the season by winning seven of their last 10 to pull back into contention for the play-in tournament. The Nets, meanwhile, are hotter than the sun as the very round earth rotates around it. The Nets have won eight in a row, led by James Harden and Kyrie Irving, with Kevin Durant still out.
The Nets’ win profile has been hilarious this year. They are a league-best 10-2 vs. teams at or over .500, and 9-2 (8-3 ATS) against teams with a 60% win percentage or better. But they are just 12-10 vs. teams under. 500, just barely sneaking by even against those poor teams during this win streak.
By comparison, the Jazz and Lakers have lost just three games to sub.-.500 teams.
The Mavericks, of course, enter the game 15-16. So if the Mavs win, the Nets will have lost to a team .500 or better, and if the Mavs lose, the Nets will have beaten a sub.-.500 team. It’s a paradox. Or a self-fulfilling prophecy. Or something.
Either way, expect points.
The Mavericks couldn’t play defense and score. So they stopped playing defense and now they can score. Simple enough.
- Mavericks in January: 7-9, 111.7 defensive rating, -2.8 net rating
- Mavericks in February: 7-4, 118.3 defensive rating, -0.2 net rating
Go figure. Even more interesting?
- Mavericks with Kristaps Porzingis: 7-9 straight up, 6-11 ATS
- Mavericks without Kristaps Porzingis: 7-7 straight up, 7-7 ATS
Porzingis is expected to play, according to Rick Carlisle at Friday’s press conference.
There’s been weirdness with Porzingis, with Porzingis saying Friday he wanted to play but that the training staff said his back was tight; it’s rare for a training staff to outright overrule a player without a major injury. There are also rampant trade rumors reported by multiple outlets for the 7-foot supposed unicorn.
Meanwhile, there’s been weirdness with the Mavericks during this stretch. The team has basically broken even with Doncic on the court over the last 10 games; they have a raw plus-minus of -1 with Doncic on-court in that stretch. The starters have struggled, but Jalen Brunson and Dwight Powell have shined off the bench.
The Mavericks have become more dependent on Doncic. He leads the league in usage. That means his props are out of this world, leading to the fact that he’s hit his over on points just 4 of 11 times in February, and his assists prop over going 5-6 in that span.
What’s odd is that Doncic is shooting red hot in this stretch at 46% from 3 over the last 10 games. He’s averaging 3.6 makes per game in the last 10, and his prop for this one is 2.5 +100 at PointsBet.
No Kevin Durant, who continues to miss time with the hamstring injury. Jeff Green has been upgraded to questionable with a shoulder injury.
The Nets have been trucking teams, lead by their offense, to no one’s surprise. During the eight-game winning streak, the Nets have a net rating north of 125 when James Harden and Kyrie Irving are on the floor. The defense is mediocre, but not awful with them on the floor. The bench units, however, get thumped on defense but can produce enough offense to hang.
The Nets have been dominant, even without Durant available.
The Mavs have been better record-wise than they were in January, but the process is limited. Trying to win a shootout with the Nets? Best of luck.
The Mavericks have allowed the opponent team total over in 21 out of 31 games. The Nets have hit the over on their team total in 20 out of the 34 games. The Mavericks’ second unit will struggle vs. Brooklyn’s on defense especially, boosting the over.
I like the Nets to -4.5, the Nets’ team total over, and Brooklyn ML 1H. You should also grab Luka Doncic’s 3-point makes at anything sub 4.5 at decent juice.
Pick: Nets -2 | Nets over team total | Luka Doncic Over 2.5 3-pointers (+100 at PointsBet)