Jazz vs. Mavericks NBA Odds & Picks: Utah Will Continue to be a Juggernaut Against the Spread (April 5)
Alex Goodlett/Getty Images. Pictured: Donovan Mitchell of the Jazz.
- With both teams on recent hot streaks, could this be a Western Conference Finals preview?
- Utah and Dallas play similar styles of offensive basketball, in that they both love to shoot from deep.
- Phillip Kall explains why he thinks the Jazz will do it a little better on Monday.
Jazz vs. Mavericks Odds
|Moneyline||-250 / +195|
|Time||Monday, 7 p.m. ET|
|TV||NBA League Pass|
|Odds as of Sunday and via BetMGM|
As winners of six of its past eight, Dallas is doing everything it can to lock down a playoff spot. One caveat to their impressive run of late is the level of competition in the games they won. Of the six teams they beat, only Portland currently holds a winning record. Pulling the upset and beating the Jazz would add a healthy dose of legitimacy to this current run.
The Jazz have been on a run of their own, winners of nine straight. Ironically, the Jazz’s run is similar to the Mavs’ in that all victories came against opponents without winning records except for a win over Brooklyn, which played without James Harden, Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant.
Beating a team to prove their worth is not necessary for the Jazz, as they sit atop the West, but crushing a potential playoff opponent could give a big psychological edge in a few months though.
Let’s dig deeper to see who continues their hot streak.
As the playoffs approach, Utah is doing everything it can to secure home-court advantage throughout. This has led to some narrow victories against lackluster opponents, but at the end of the day, a win is a win.
What has made the Jazz so dominant has been their ability to play elite on both sides of the court. Offensively, the Jazz rank first in Offensive Rating at 118.4, per Basketball Reference. Defensively, they rank fourth in Defensive Rating at 108.2. Finally, combining these two numbers, Utah ranks first in Net Rating at +10.2. This Net Rating is so outstanding that they sit a full three points ahead of the second-place Suns.
To play so well, Utah devised a scheme that fits their team composition perfectly. On offense, they focus on attacking from beyond the 3-point line as they shoot the most threes per game. On defense, they do just the opposite, allowing the fewest attempts from deep but most from 2-point range. This defensive style works especially well for them thanks to Rudy Gobert’s shot-blocking prowess.
Against Dallas, Utah will need its offense to show it is worthy of its number one ranking. In the Mavs’ past eight, Dallas allowed a field goal percentage of just 42.5% and a 3-point percentage of 30.2%. After their slew of sub-.500 opponents, this will be Utah’s most difficult opponent in over one month.
During their eight-game run, Dallas has played at a level among the NBA’s elite. Per NBA.com, they rank seventh in Offensive Rating, third in Defensive Rating and second in Net Rating at that time. This all needs to be taken with a grain of salt as their opponents have mostly been subpar, but those numbers are still stellar.
Making this run different from streaks early in the year has been the defensive component. For the year, Dallas ranks 19th with a Defensive Rating of 112.4. However, they took a page out of Utah’s book and started attacking the 3-point line. This moved their opponents’ 3-point percentage from the season-long average of 36.3% down to 30.2% in their past eight.
Offensively, while they have played well, their 3-point shooting remains inconsistent. In their run, the Mavs have only two games where they shot above league average from behind the arc. This is only a cause for concern since, despite these troubles, Dallas shoots the fifth-most threes per game.
Against Utah, having one of their good shooting nights will be crucial if they hope to win. In games they have lost, the Jazz allow a 45.1% 3-point percentage. However, in games they win, the Jazz allow a 29.6% 3-point percentage. A bad night shooting for Dallas, would mean this game may be over quickly.
Utah has executed their defensive gameplan perfectly during their run, limiting most teams to shoot below 30% made from deep. With the Mavs loving to shoot, even when the shots do not fall, Dallas might be in trouble if they do not look to score elsewhere.
On the other end of the court, Dallas’ defense has made its name by stopping opposing shooters recently. This newfound level of elite defense will be put to the test against what is possibly the best shooting attack in the NBA.
While the Mavs’ recent run of success brings hope for what might come, it is hard to side with them here. They play a style very similar to the Jazz, where winning the game from behind the arc is nearly everything.
Dallas has shown the philosophy is a good one and helped them in recent games, but Utah has mastered it throughout the year. Utah also built its roster around this game plan, creating a deep array of elite three-and-D players.
Back Utah to continue its against the spread dominance.
Pick: Jazz -5.5 to -6.5