Warriors vs. Mavericks Odds & Picks: Can Golden State Keep Rolling Against Sub-.500 Teams?
Ezra Shaw/Getty Images. Pictured: Stephen Curry and Draymond Green
- The struggling Dallas Mavericks host the Golden State Warriors on Thursday night.
- Can Golden State continue its dominance against sub-.500 teams?
- Phillip Kall previews the matchup and shares his betting pick below.
Warriors vs. Mavericks Odds
|Moneyline||+135 / -160|
|Time||7:30 p.m. ET|
At 11-10, the Warriors’ record sitting as close as possible to .500 perfectly captures their play this year. Having a 7-1 record against teams currently .500 or worse certifies that their coaching and Steph Curry are too much for lesser teams to handle.
However, their record of 4-9 against teams over .500 shows Klay Thompson’s absence is too much to overcome in pivotal games. Lucky for them, the Mavericks fall into the under-.500 category.
Finally snapping its six-game losing streak, Dallas broke through and beat the Hawks, 122-116. Luka Doncic led the way, putting up 27 points and 14 assists. Despite walking away victorious, the Mavericks’ fatal flaw looked unresolved, as they shot 13-of-40 from behind the arc. Winning streaks will continue to evade them until they sort out their shooting woes.
Both teams have the talent and coaching to not only make the playoffs, but to make some noise in the first round. In order to do so, they each have glaring deficiencies they need to overcome. Let’s see who takes the first step in the right direction on Thursday night.
Golden State Warriors
The Warriors’ recent loss to the Celtics wasted a tremendous 38-point effort by Steph Curry. While Curry dominated, Golden State’s second-leading scorer, Andrew Wiggins, vanished when they needed him most. In the second half, Wiggins shot a miserable 3-of-10 from the field and missed all five attempts from 3-point range. As their No. 2 option, Wiggins needs to play better to improve their record against better opponents.
One reason Wiggins struggles were noticed was the absence of center James Wiseman. The rookie missed against the Celtics and will miss again against the Mavs due to a wrist injury. Without Wiseman, the Warriors’ second unit will miss its leader, as he averages 13.5 points on 50% shooting since being downgraded.
With Curry being the only reliable offensive threat for the Warriors, their defense accepted the challenge of keeping them in games. Currently ranked second in field goal percentage allowed, per basketball-reference, Golden State’s defense thrives at contesting shots.
Against Dallas, though, the Warriors will need to recreate that success without center Kevon Looney. Looney’s defensive prowess earned him the starting center role. With both of their centers out, the Warriors will likely turn to Eric Paschall and Draymond Green and rely on a small-ball style of play.
Fortunately, Dallas will likely be without Kristaps Porzingis. Missing their big man, the Mavs will find it much harder to take advantage of the undersized Warriors.
At 9-13, the Mavericks currently sit 13th in the West. To fight back into the playoff picture Dallas needs to improve its league-worst 32.8 3-point percentage.
Improving their shooting starts with Luka Doncic. Shooting only 29.3% from deep, Doncic’s 3-point percentage sits far below the league average of 36.8%. Amplifying his inefficiency is the volume with which he shoots as he attempts 7.0 3-point attempts per game.
In spite of the troubles from deep, Luka averages 27.3 points, 9.0 rebounds, and 9.4 assists per game. Such extraordinary numbers have led Luka to the third-best odds to win MVP, per DraftKings. Improving his shooting percentage from deep would go a long way towards getting the Mavs back to the playoffs and winning his first MVP award.
They did it to start the year, but the Mavericks will once again play without Porzingis. The major change from before and after Porzingis’ return was Dallas’ number of 3-point attempts per game. While he missed the start of the year, Dallas shot 38.9 3s per game. This plummeted to 33.4 since his return. If the Mavs revert to that style against the Warriors it will be a precarious move.
Golden State and Dallas each enter Thursday night with major offensive questions.
The Warriors need to find alternative scoring options to support Curry. Fortunately, on nights the offense has no one else, the defense has stepped up. Missing Wiseman and Looney will test the defense, as the Warriors’ backline will lack its shot-blockers.
Without Porzingis, Dallas lacks the ability to take advantage of the undersized Warriors, as its other top-five scorers are all guards. Playing through their guards will likely force the Mavs into a style they played early in the year when they relied on the 3-pointer.
With both teams playing shorthanded inside and neither offense showing consistency, I’m turning to the defenses as the tiebreaker. This gives Golden State the edge thanks to its wings’ size and athleticism. Also, believing in positive regression from 3-point range burned me in the past, and I don’t want to make the same mistake twice.
Back the Warriors to continue their dominance against sub-.500 teams.
Pick: Warriors +3.5