Spurs vs. Mavericks NBA Odds & Picks: Edge Goes to Dallas in Sunday’s Divisional Matchup (April 11)
Glenn James/NBAE via Getty Images. Pictured: Luka Doncic #77 of the Dallas Mavericks.
- If the Spurs hope to stay in the postseason race, they'll need Derrick White and Lonnie Walker IV to make shots from beyond the arc while their bench steps up.
- The Mavericks have gotten elite play from Luka Doncic lately, who has gotten better as the season has progressed and improved his 3-point shooting each.
- Roberto Arguello previews their Sunday night matchup and makes his prediction below.
Spurs vs. Mavericks Odds
|Moneyline||+210 / -255|
|Time||8 p.m. ET|
|TV||NBA League Pass|
|Odds as of Sunday and via PointsBet.|
The Dallas Mavericks host the San Antonio Spurs on Sunday in the third meeting between these in-state rivals this season. The Mavericks won both previous matchups, putting some distance between themselves and the rest of the play-in field.
These Texas teams come into this game on opposite trajectories. The Spurs have lost a season-high five consecutive games after Friday’s tough 121-119 defeat against the Nuggets, where they missed three point-blank shots at the buzzer that would have forced overtime against Denver.
In a matchup with playoff implications, let’s take a look at both teams and break down where we might find betting value in this game.
San Antonio Spurs
If the Spurs hope to stay in the postseason race, they’ll need Derrick White and Lonnie Walker IV to make shots from beyond the arc while their bench steps up.
Poor 3-point shooting on fewer attempts than their opponents has become a theme lately for the Spurs. Per Cleaning The Glass, the Spurs are attempting the third-fewest shots from beyond the arc this season (30.3% of attempts), while having the 19th-most accurate 3-point shooting (connecting on 36.2% of 3s).
While Dejounte Murray and White are known primarily for their standout defense on and off the ball at this point, the Spurs need their guards to take another step forward offensively.
Despite Friday’s stinging loss, Spurs fans should be encouraged that White shot 3 for 7 from deep and scored 25 points after going 3 for 23 from behind the arc over the previous three games. Walker also made his return after missing about three weeks, and his shooting will be a big boost for the Spurs.
San Antonio will also need its bench to play better than it has over the span of its past 12 games. After Wednesday’s game against the Nuggets, Gregg Popovich noted, “Second team’s got to play better. You just look at the plus/minus from the last few games — first team is doing pretty well, but off the bench, we’ve been just destroyed and it happened again tonight.”
The Spurs haven’t had their bench outscore their opponent’s bench since a March 31 game against Kings, where they held a 41-34 edge. Coincidentally, that’s also the last time the Spurs won a game.
Some of that could be attributed to the sudden cold streak Patty Mills has been on. The Spurs’ bench leader was shooting 39.6% on 3-pointers through March, but has made just 27.6% of his threes in April and connected on just 31.7% of all his shots from the field.
With the Spurs moving Jakob Poeltl into the starting lineup and buying out LaMarcus Aldridge, the bench is thinner than it was at the beginning of the season. That said, they will need Mills, Walker and Rudy Gay to make shots against the Mavericks when the second unit gets minutes.
The Mavericks have gotten elite play from Luka Doncic lately, who has gotten better as the season has progressed and improved his 3-point shooting each.
Doncic shot 9.5% on 3-pointers in December; 33% in January; 43.5% in February; and, 40.7% since March 1. Doncic’s 119.1 points per 100 shots rank in the 69th-percentile among wings, while his 42.6% assist rate ranks in the 100th percentile.
3rd best net rating
5th best defense
6th best offense
Dallas has been rolling the last 15 games https://t.co/J6m66ZiwDz
— All Things Mavs (@All_Things_Mavs) April 9, 2021
Although the Mavericks rank 19th with a 113.1 Defensive Rating this season, (excluding garbage time, per Cleaning The Glass), they have been better lately and rank fifth with a Defensive Rating of 109.2 since the beginning of March.
During that span, the Mavericks have the sixth-best point differential (+7.2), and they rank second in the NBA with a +4.8 spread differential. If the Mavericks can continue to step up and play high-level defense, they should win and cover against the Spurs.
On the injury front, Willie Cauley-Stein (COVID-19 protocol) is probable and Maxi Kleber (leg) is listed as questionable. JJ Redick (heel) and Tyrell Terry (personal) remain sidelined and won’t play.
While the Mavericks’ offense and defense each rank among the top nine units in offensive and defensive efficiency since the beginning of March, the Spurs’ offense and defense each rank 20th or lower in offensive and defensive efficiency.
The Spurs started the season relatively well, but have struggled lately, as their 3-point shooters have gone cold and limited depth has been exposed.
The Mavericks have the most explosive scorers in this matchup, with both Doncic and Kristaps Porzingis. They also have another quality scorer in Jalen Brunson, who has been incredibly efficient. Brunson’s 128.4 points per 100 shots rank in the 99th percentile among combo guards.
That all said, expect San Antonio to be competitive, but ultimately, Dallas’ offense that Doncic has firing on all cylinders will pull away in the second half.
Back the Mavericks at -6, with value down to -7 in this contest.
Pick: Mavericks -6 (bet down to -7)