Mavericks vs. Trail Blazers NBA Odds & Picks: Live Bet Friday Night’s Western Conference Clash (March 19)
Glenn James/NBAE via Getty Images. Pictured: Luka Doncic #77 of the Dallas Mavericks, Damian Lillard #0 of the Portland Trail Blazers.
- The Dallas Mavericks will head to Portland to face the Trail Blazers Friday in the lone game on NBA TV tonight.
- Not even March Madness could overshadow an matchup exciting matchup between Luka Doncic and Damian Lillard as both teams are fighting to keep pace in the Western Conference.
- Brandon Anderson details why he expects some wild swings in this matchup and why a live bet could provide the most value.
Mavericks vs. Trail Blazers Odds
|Trail Blazers Odds||+4|
|Moneyline||-174 / +146|
|Time||10 p.m. ET|
You must be a diehard fan.
While everyone else is watching March Madness all day Friday, here you are ready to bet on another NBA game. And who can blame you?
Luka Doncic and Damian Lillard mean this will be a show worth watching, and a product far more polished and incredible than anything a bunch of 19-year-olds can put out there.
Luka and Dame both continue to have stealth MVP campaigns with precious little help around them. Doncic just dropped 42 points and nine assists in a 16-point win over the Clippers, and Lillard put up 50 points and 10 assists, shooting a perfect 18-of-18 from the line in a miracle comeback win over the Pelicans.
Just another Tuesday night in the NBA for these two.
Doncic and Lillard are keeping their teams afloat, but their teammates are starting to get healthy. Will the Mavericks inch even closer to the Blazers, or will Portland get another win?
The Mavericks finally look like the Mavericks again, at least a little.
Dallas is 21-18 now and finally playing like the clear playoff team everyone assumed the Mavs to be. Dallas has won six of its last eight after another big win over the Clippers, and the Mavericks have now won 12 of their last 16. The defense has improved to at least not tragic, and the offense is finally putting up top 10 numbers again.
It would be easy to put the turnaround all on the shoulders of Doncic, but he was already playing well prior to this stretch. The difference lately has been the help he’s getting from teammates..
Kristaps Porzingis finally looks healthy for the first time since the playoffs. The week off during the All-Star break made a big difference. Porzingis is averaging 21.5 points and 10.0 rebounds per game since the break and hitting 59% of his shots.
He’s also blocked six shots in the last three games, another sign that his athleticism is returning to its peak. Josh Richardson has been playing much better too.
Unfortunately, the team is still pretty thin from there. James Johnson and Dorian Finney-Smith may still be out, and the bench scored just 11 points even in that big Clippers win.
The overall team profile is still pretty middling. The Mavs aren’t very good inside the arc, have a low team assist rate and they don’t rebound well, or force turnovers. Dallas does draw plenty of free throws, and it takes a ton of 3-pointers, top five in the league, but ranks bottom 10 in 3-point percentage.
That’s a big part of why the Mavericks remain so unpredictable. They don’t have a ton of go-to strengths, so there’s a ton of variance. When the Mavericks get to the line a ton and hit shots behind the arc, they looks great. When they go cold again, things gets ugly. Sometimes, it really is a make-or-miss league.
Portland Trail Blazers
The Blazers continue to punch above their weight class, thanks largely to continued Lillard’s heroics. He put up 50 points in a crazy comeback, and we all just shrugged it off like it was nothing because, well, it was nothing for Lillard. He does this every week at this point.
Lillard is having his best season ever, and that sentence has been true five straight seasons at this point. He somehow gets better and better, and boy have the Blazers needed him because they’ve been playing shorthanded for most of the year without C.J. McCollum and Jusuf Nurkic.
McCollum is back, but it’s clear that it’s going to take some time for him to get back to the way he was playing to start the season. For 13 games, McCollum was off to his best start ever and on pace for a clear All-Star berth, which would have been his first.
It’s clear that his return resets the entire hierarchy for the Trail Blazers. McCollum’s presence takes so much pressure off of Lillard, and it stabilizes the bench unit putting everyone in a more comfortable roles.
Like Dallas, the Blazers’ team profile is pretty middling. They’ve won four games over expectations — again, thanks Dame’s heroics — and are relying on a strong Offensive Rating (116.0, sixth in the NBA) to offset a dismal defense.
Portland ranks near the top of the NBA in 3-point attempts and makes, and that tends to dictate the offense. The Blazers rank dead last in team assists per game, don’t get to the line much, and don’t score well inside the arc. And the defense certainly isn’t good, at much of anything really.
If all of that sounds familiar, it’s because it’s awfully close to the Mavericks’ team profile. This is a decently above average team with a bad defense and one transcendent star, and the team comes and goes with its 3-point success or failure, depending on the night.
Mavericks-Trail Blazers Pick
All that 3-point variance makes both of these teams really unpredictable, and that means it’s tough to pick a side.
Grab the over and the teams could go cold and leave us wanting. Play the under and we might feel foolish when both teams rain 3-pointers all night and put up 130 apiece. Take one side and the other one goes ballistic from deep. Sure, all of that can happen with any NBA team, but with these two, it happens on the regular.
I’m staying away from picking any angle before the game and looking to live bet instead. And I’ll live bet either team as an underdog. I’m going to wait for either team to be down double digits sometime in the second quarter or even early second half, and then I’ll fire on the trailing team’s moneyline.
Both of these teams bleed points, and both can score in a hurry when the shots start to fall. A 10- or 15-point lead can evaporate in a hurry — the two teams have combined for four wins when trailing by 10 or more at the half — and a moneyline with some real plus juice on it is probably a better in-game bet than guessing before the game which team will hit its shots.
I’ll play a live dog and take my chances at another comeback, or meltdown, depending on which team you’re rooting for.
Pick: Live bet either team down 10+ in the second quarter or early third
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