Trail Blazers vs. Mavericks NBA Odds & Picks: How to Bet Two Red-Hot Offensive Teams (Sunday, Feb. 14)
Sam Forencich/NBAE via Getty Images. Pictured: Damian Lillard.
- Two teams led by offensive superstars face off on Sunday when the Mavericks host the Trail Blazers.
- Portland enters this game with a few key players injured, while Dallas has found its footing of late.
- Matt Moore lays out two ways to bet the over in this Western Conference matchup.
Trail Blazers vs. Mavericks Odds
|Trail Blazers Odds||+5.5|
|Moneyline||+170 / -200|
|Time||7:30 p.m. ET|
The Portland Trail Blazers are supremely banged-up, not that it’s stopped them lately. They’re missing CJ McCollum, Jusuf Nurkic, Zach Collins, and now Rodney Hood is questionable with an ankle injury.
Despite all that, the Blazers have won three in a row, five of six, and seven of their last nine, including two over the Philadelphia 76ers, of all teams. Portland, as always, just kind of finds a way to hang in the playoff race.
The Mavericks have basically morphed back into last year’s team and it’s helped, a little. They’ve won four in a row, and five of their last six, with the over hitting in all six games.
Portland Trail Blazers
Injuries have forced Portland to change its defensive scheme, from putting two on the ball on the perimeter to more of drop coverage with Enes Kanter. It hasn’t helped. The Blazers are third-worst in the league in defensive rating.
Put simply, they just keep out-scoring teams, with the sixth-best offense, league-wide.
Portland struggles with the pick and roll, allowing the sixth-most points in the league to spot-up shooters. The Mavericks started off the year slow in that area but have moved up to 15th league-wide.
Kanter has played admirably so far this year with Nurkic out, but Kristaps Porzingis provides a tough matchup with his ability to space the floor. The same goes for Maxi Kleber, who should have opportunities in pick and pop situations with Kanter dropping deep under the screen to contain Luka Doncic.
However, the Mavericks have even worse problems defensively (after a stronger defensive start to the season) than the Blazers, and Damian Lillard should go bonkers against this team. This is very much a Spider-Man-pointing meme game between two great offenses who can’t stop anyone, even with all the personnel out for Portland.
Dallas tried to be more balanced to start the year and was frustrated and unhappy. The defense was better, but the offense was miserable. Now, the Mavs have gone back to all scoring, all the time. Over their last six games, they have the second-worst defensive rating league-wide.
All those problems with spot-up defense and pick and roll I talked about with the Blazers? Same here, only worse.
The Mavericks are 29th in spot-up defense per Synergy Sports, 29th vs. pick-and-roll ball-handlers and 27th in transition defense.
They can’t stop anyone, and no one can stop them. They have a blistering 124 offensive rating over their last six games.
Here’s a fun coaching matchup trend for you: Rick Carlisle is 25-9-2 (74%!) ATS in his career vs. Terry Stotts, including 6-1-1 ATS with Luka Doncic.
Trail Blazers-Mavericks Pick
I’m not fading Portland. I’m just not going to lose any more money to this zombie team that refuses to die under any circumstances. I can’t bet on Portland, not against what is a better team that has found its footing in the Mavericks.
So I’m going with the total.
I’m nervous because while 66% of the tickets in our system are on the over, 74% of the money is on the under. I’m also ignoring a trend that if in the previous game a team made over 20 3-pointers (Mavericks), the under has hit consistently since 2013.
But I’m going to bravely move on with the over. This season in games with a total north of 230, the over is 90-52 (63%). The over is 6-2 in Mavericks-Blazers games in the Doncic era.
I lean towards Dallas -5 based on Carlisle’s success and where the two teams are at; if you acknowledge that the Sixers are a better team than Portland and remove those games, the Blazers’ winning streak isn’t as impressive. But the line has already moved as of this writing from an open of -3.5 and I don’t want to bet the spread vs. two great offensive teams, with Dame able to pull the Blazers back at any moment.
I will, however, take the first quarter over, as well. The over is 16-8 in Portland first quarters this season, and 14-3 in Mavericks first quarters. With a total of 59.5 at FanDuel, that’s my best bet.
Pick: Over 235.5, over 59.5 Q1