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NBA Odds, Prediction, Preview for Raptors vs. Mavericks: Will Dallas Cover During Final NBA Playoff Push? (Friday, May 14)

NBA Odds, Prediction, Preview for Raptors vs. Mavericks: Will Dallas Cover During Final NBA Playoff Push? (Friday, May 14) article feature image

Jesse D. Garrabrant/NBAE via Getty Images. Pictured: Luka Doncic.

  • The Mavericks are heavy favorites over the Raptors on Friday night (9 p.m. ET, League Pass).
  • Dallas has its eyes on the No. 5 seed in the Western Conference, while Toronto has been eliminated from playoff contention and resting its key players of late.
  • Roberto Arguello breaks down the betting matchup below and whether they should back the Mavs as double-digit favorites.

Raptors vs. Mavericks Odds

Raptors Odds +13.5
Mavericks Odds -13.5
Moneyline +700 / -1200
Over/Under 219.5
Time Friday, 9 p.m. ET
TV League Pass
Odds as of Thursday and via BetMGM

The Dallas Mavericks host the Toronto Raptors on Friday night in the second and final meeting between these teams this season. The Raptors blew out the Mavericks 116-93 on Jan. 18, although this will be a very different matchup.

The Raptors have been eliminated from playoff contention, having lost five straight games and eight of their last nine. Conversely, the Mavericks have won eight of their last 10 games after blowing out the Pelicans 125-107 on Wednesday.

Let’s see where the betting value lies in this one.

Raptors Sitting…Everyone

If the Raptors win and cover as heavy road underdogs, they will need new faces to step up because they will likely be without four of their five leading scorers. OG Anunoby (calf/rest), Pascal Siakam (shoulder), Fred VanVleet (hip/rest) and Kyle Lowry (rest) all missed Thursday’s 114-102 loss to the Bulls and are doubtful to face the Mavericks. Yuta Watanabe (ankle) is also questionable to play.

With a handful of their best players likely out with injuries/rest, the Raptors must get quality performances from players like Stanley Johnson, Khem Birch and Malachi Flynn. Gary Trent Jr. had scored at least 18 points in two of the last three games for the Raptors, but he was a healthy scratch in Thursday’s win as the Raptors did not want to risk him to injury in a meaningless game for them. Chris Boucher, another promising young Raptor, was also a healthy scratch against the Bulls.

With Toronto’s top-six scorers for the Raptors all out Thursday, Johnson scored a season-high 43 points while shooting 6-of-13 from beyond the arc. The Raptors played just eight players, with Flynn scoring 16 points on 19 shots and Birch registering 14 points on 13 attempts.

Birch has been a great addition to the Raptors after being released by the Magic last month. He has scored in double figures in nine of the last 10 games. Flynn will need to be effective as a pick-and-roll initiator, as he was on Thursday when he led the team with seven assists. He will need to improve as a 3-point shooter, having gone just 2-of-10 against the Bulls.

Will Motivated Mavericks Show Up for Playoff Push?

J.J. Redick (heel) is the only noteworthy injury for the Mavericks. He is out for the rest of the regular season.

Luka Doncic continues to lead the Mavericks with his elite scoring and distribution. Doncic was 12-of-24 from the field and a strong 7-of-15 from 3-point range. He was shooting just 27.7% from beyond the arc in the Mavericks’ last seven games, so that aspect of the performance was hugely encouraging. He was 5-of-5 from 3-point land in the second quarter alone and finished the game with eight rebounds and eight assists, as well.

While the Mavericks have dealt with injuries for the whole year, they are as healthy as ever. Kristaps Porzingis, Jalen Brunson, Tim Hardaway Jr. and Max Kleber will all be available against Toronto.

Porzingis made his return to action on Wednesday and scored 19 points on 14 shots in his first game since April 29. In his absence, Hardaway was on fire as he connected on 51% (31-of-61) of his 3-point attempts since April 29. Hardaway has been hit or miss for the Mavericks this season, but he is peaking at the right time as they hope to win out and secure the fifth seed in the Western Conference, which would give them a relatively favorable matchup against the Nuggets in the first round.

Brunson, a contender for the Sixth Man of the Year Award, has been incredibly efficient this season. His 123.2 points per 100 shots rank in the 95th percentile among combo guards, according to Cleaning The Glass. Kleber has battled injuries this season, but he leads the Mavericks with 41% accuracy on 3-pointers this season while also being able to guard bigs on defense. He also helps shield Porzingis from some unfavorable defensive matchups.

With Porzingis and Kleber in and out of the lineup, big men Dwight Powell and Willie Cauley-Stein have been playing their best basketball down the stretch. After suffering an Achilles injury 15 months ago, Powell looks to finally be regaining the explosiveness that makes him dangerous as a rim roller and someone whom the Mavericks rely on to make teams pay for doubling Doncic.

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Raptors-Mavericks Pick

With the Raptors openly tanking, I will not be betting on them for the rest of the regular season, although they have also been abysmal against the spread throughout the season with a 30-38-1 mark.

The Mavericks are surging as Hardaway and bigs like Powell and Cauley-Stein are playing their best basketball while Porzingis and Kleber are also finally healthy. Expect Doncic to lead them to a comfortable home victory as the Raptors, who only played eight players on Thursday, play on the second leg of a back-to-back on Friday.

I like the value on the Mavericks for a small play at -13.5 (with value up to -15). While not yet on the board, I will be looking for a more favorable first-half line at -9.5 or better to avoid a backdoor cover in the second half. Dallas should overwhelm the inferior Raptors and take a commanding first-half lead.

Pick: Mavericks -13.5 (bet down to -15)

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