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Mavericks vs. Knicks NBA Odds & Picks: Back the Under With Slow Paces of Dallas and New York (April 2)

Mavericks vs. Knicks NBA Odds & Picks: Back the Under With Slow Paces of Dallas and New York (April 2) article feature image

Scott Cunningham/NBAE via Getty Images. Pictured: Luka Doncic #77 of the Dallas Mavericks.

  • Led by Luka Doncic, Kristaps Porzingis and Tim Hardaway Jr., the Mavericks' offense has thrived since the All-Star break.
  • New York has struggled some since the break, but still have one of the league's best defenses.
  • Matt Trebby explains why you should be targeting the total on Friday night.

Mavericks vs. Knicks Odds

Mavericks Odds -5.5
Knicks Odds +5.5
Moneyline -220 / +175
Over/Under 213.5
Time Friday, 7:30 p.m. ET
Odds as of Thursday and via PointsBet

Two teams fighting for playoff positions that have had success in different ways this season meet at Madison Square Garden on Friday night.

The Mavericks’ offensive efficiency is to behold, while the Knicks’ defensive intensity greatly frustrates opponents. Both are in the playoffs as of right now, and it’s not unthinkable for New York to host a playoff series this postseason.
Dallas is playing very well since the All-Star break, but offenses generally don’t thrive against the Knicks.

Let’s find the betting value.

Dallas Mavericks

The Mavericks have thrived since the All-Star break, although they have just a 7-5 record to show for it. Their 6.9 Net Rating since the break is fourth in the NBA, according to NBA Advanced Stats, and their 118.3 Offensive Rating is second to only Portland in that span.

Dallas isn’t having another sensational offensive stretch, like it did all of last season, by playing at a fast pace, though. It ranks 28th in pace, according to NBA Advanced Stats, and relies on Luka Doncic to create the best possible shot for the offense.

The efficient offensive performances have been thanks to the Mavs’ three-headed monster of Doncic (29 points per game on 52.5% shooting since the break), Kristaps Porzingis (20.8 points, 49.7%) and Tim Hardaway Jr. (17.2 points, 48.4%) leading the way, with all three shooting more than 40.3% from 3-point range on at least 6.2 attempts per game since the break.

As a team, Dallas is shooting 39.6% from 3-point range since the break, which ranks third behind just the Bucks and Clippers in the NBA.

The Mavericks are 16th in the NBA in Defensive Rating since the All-Star break, so that’s still a work in progress, although much better than earlier this season.

New York Knicks

After beating the Wizards twice and Bucks (without Giannis Antetokounmpo and three other starters), the Knicks have lost two straight to the Heat and Timberwolves, also going down against the spread. New York has gone under the final game total in each of its last four games.

It was presumed by many that the Knicks would start to fade as the season progresses, and while they’re 5-6 since the All-Star break, their underlying numbers indicate they’re staying competitive.

New York has continued its stellar defense since the break, with a 107.4 Defensive Rating that ranks fourth in the NBA during that time. A struggling offense has the Knicks’ Net Rating at -0.2 in 11 second-half games, according to NBA Advanced Stats, during which New York is 5-6.

A big part of the Knicks’ offensive issues can be attributed to Julius Randle’s recent inefficiency. New York’s All-Star forward has played in 10 of 11 games since the break and is shooting just 42.7% from the field compared to 48.3% in his first 37 appearances, according to Basketball-Reference. His Offensive Rating since the break is 105, compared to 114 before.

The Knicks are 18-30 to the under this season, although that rate is more level at home at 10-13. New York knows how it’s going to win games under Tom Thibodeau, and it entered play on Thursday night just one game behind the Charlotte Hornets for the No. 4 seed in the Eastern Conference.

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Mavericks-Knicks Pick

In seven of these teams’ last eight combined games, their totals have gone to the under. Part of that has to do with sportsbooks’ assumption that a better Mavericks offense automatically means more points. Their slow pace keeps games from being very high-scoring.

Dallas’ last four game totals have all been over 220, though, and their last three games have all gone over this 213.5 number.

Those matchups weren’t against the Knicks, though. This is a matchup between the NBA’s Nos. 25 and 28 paces since the All-Star break. While Dallas is playing better offensively than any of the Knicks’ recent opponents, I see value on the under here. Expect a slow-paced, tight affair between two teams trying to position themselves well for the playoffs.

Pick: Under 213.5

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