NBA Playoffs Odds & Western Conference Finals Preview: Our Best Bets for Warriors vs. Mavericks
Via Ron Jenkins/Getty Images. Pictured: Luka Doncic #77 of the Dallas Mavericks goes to the basket against Stephen Curry #30 of the Golden State Warriors.
- The Warriors are favorites over the Mavericks in the Western Conference Finals.
- Our Action Network NBA analysts have you covered with best bets from a variety of angles for this series.
- Check out their analysis and picks below.
With Game 1 of the Western Conference Finals set for Wednesday night, our Action Network NBA analysts have six best bets for the series.
They have bets on five different markets, including total games, the series spread, player props, the outright series winner and series MVP.
Check out their analysis and picks below.
NBA Series Odds & Picks
Over 5.5 Series Games
Joe Dellera: This series should be extremely interesting considering neither team has a player taller than six-foot-10 who plays meaningful minutes, and they both rely so heavily on their 3-point shooting.
While the Warriors have the Splash Bros at the Poole Party, the Mavericks have Luka Doncic and a litany of 3-and-D wings. The Mavericks have taken 46.3% of their shots from 3-point range compared to the Warriors’ 41.4% in the playoffs and they’ve outperformed the Warriors as well, draining 39.2% compared to the Warriors’ 38% from deep.
Both of these marks are excellent and would have been at the very top in the league for the entire season. This could lead to wild swings and unpredictability on a nightly basis simply due to shooting variance.
This series pits two teams who are evenly matched against each other that rely on similar shot profiles to succeed. Considering the Mavericks have adjusted from their regular season numbers shooting the 3, Jason Kidd can make adequate adjustments for the Mavericks to push this series beyond five games.
On the flip side, Steve Kerr has now seen an entire seven-game series of footage against the former title favorite Phoenix Suns, from which he can draw conclusions and game plans which should give the Warriors an initial edge in this series.
On the season, the Mavericks have taken three of four games from the Warriors, but Draymond Green only played in one game, and Klay Thompson only played in two. So while the Mavericks have shown they can compete and defeat the Warriors, the NBA Playoffs are a different animal.
I think this will be a long and tough series, so I’ll take Over 5.5 Games and look to take the Mavericks on the series spread following Game 1 where I expect Golden State to emerge victorious due to their significant rest advantage.
Warriors -1.5 Series Spread
Austin Wang: The Mavericks continue their remarkable season – and like many, I am still wondering how they’ve pulled it off. There was so much front office turmoil in the offseason, and they saw a huge turnover in their coaching staff and roster.
They had a 17-18 record going into 2022, but they reeled off a huge run and finished 52-30. This huge turnaround is thanks to their commitment to defense, solid play from their role players and of course, the play of Luka Doncic.
Much respect to the Mavericks, but I think their fairytale run stops here. I see some interesting value in the Warriors -1.5 games to win the series at plus-money (+110 at DraftKings).
The Warriors are unstoppable at home. They are 37-10 at home this season and have won eight straight at home, including all their playoff home games. Despite the Game 7 blowout on the road against the Suns, the Mavericks haven’t fared too well in their away splits throughout the season.
They are sixth in Net Rating (+6.5) at home but only 13th in Net Rating (+0.5) on the road. I think there is an excellent chance that the Warriors protect their homecourt.
Therefore, the Mavericks must win out at home and force this series to seven games for this bet not to hit. I don’t think that will happen. With the Warriors’ experience, championship pedigree and ability to defend the 3-point line, I think they will steal at least one in Dallas and finish this series in five or six games.
Warriors -1.5 Series Spread
Matt Moore: The Mavericks are definitely the darling pick right now. The Warriors struggled with a young Grizzlies team, even without Ja Morant at the end, while the Mavericks took down the mighty Suns.
I have watched the four Mavs wins each about three times, going possession by possession. The Mavericks are really good, and they’ve earned their way into the conference finals. They could have folded down 2-0 or down 3-2 to the Suns.
I just can’t say that I watched that series and thought it was more about Dallas than Phoenix. The Suns imploded, in an absolutely unfathomable way — just bad decisions, not working for shots, and sloppy passes. The Suns had a 58.7 Offensive Rating in the first half of a home Game 7. We’re never going to see that again. Ever.
That doesn’t take away from what the Mavericks did, but I also can’t come to the conclusion that the Mavericks are better or have a tactical advantage in this series. They will make this close, it’s not a good matchup for the Warriors, but I also wouldn’t say it’s a bad matchup either, despite the season series results without Green available for the Warriors.
Doncic will shine. If you really believe the Warriors are washed, then you need to bet the Mavericks because you’re getting great value on them.
But Mavericks +1.5 on the series spread line (to go to seven games or win) is -145 at FanDuel. The overall series line says that the Warriors’ implied odds are roughly 69% or better, but that the Mavericks’ odds of making it to seven or winning are 59%.
The books don’t want Warriors money. That’s apparent, and obvious for a lot of reasons. Having talked to multiple bookmakers, they’re leveraged on Warriors title futures. They want Dallas money.
Teams that go to a Game 7 in the previous series are 32-49 straight up in Game 1 of the following series, so the odds say that the Warriors win Game 1. Teams that win Game 1 have gone on to win the conference finals 80% of the time.
Warriors -1.5 is +105 at BetRivers. That’s the best value on the board. I can see the Mavericks winning this series; there’s maybe even some slight EV on their number to win it. But if you’re going to bet them to win this series, just bet on Luka Doncic to win Finals MVP and go the full way.
For me, I think Golden State is better than what they’ve shown. They handled an undermanned Nuggets team in five games, and the Memphis matchup was one I thought was worst for them all season. I think Memphis was better than Dallas. The matchup isn’t great for the Warriors, but it’s not bad enough to move me towards the Mavericks.
Warriors in 6, Warriors -1.5 at 105 is my best bet, with a lean towards the overs and Luka Doncic scoring overs.
Luka Doncic PTS, AST, REB & 3-Point Average Parlay
Brandon Anderson: Luka Doncic is about to have a monster series. This is true of every playoff series featuring Doncic, but it should be especially true since the Warriors have no great matchup for him, with injuries to Andre Iguodala, Gary Payton II, and Otto Porter Jr. looming large.
Doncic is averaging 31.5 points, 10.1 rebounds, and 6.6 assists per game in these playoffs, and remember, that’s despite seeing limited minutes in his return from a calf injury. He’s an absolute monster, a nightly threat for a triple-double. That’s not new either. In the final 25 regular season games after the Mavs traded Kristaps Porzingis, Doncic was averaging about 32 points, eight assists, and almost 10 boards a game.
Doncic is a strong bet to lead the series in scoring, especially since Steph Curry has struggled against Dallas this season with 20 PPG on 39% shooting. Draymond Green will be a threat on rebounds and assists, but Doncic should have the edge on both.
FanDuel makes Luka a favorite in all three individual categories at -390, -240, and -175, implying around a +180 hit rate on all three, so the book itself is telling us the +185 to lead all three is a good number (the line was even better when I grabbed it at +210). I’d put Doncic around 90%, 70%, and 60% respectively, giving us something like 38% and an implied +165.
The real value comes by sprinkling the higher line with the 3s. That one’s tougher with, you know, the Splash Brothers. Doncic is averaging around 10 3-point attempts per game since the Porzingis trade in the playoffs, but that’s right about where Curry and Thompson are too — and they’re better shooters.
However, the Warriors defense switches which could leave Doncic settling for 3s, while Dallas’s defense has been great at limiting 3-point attempts. Even if you give those three even odds at most 3s per game, that leaves Doncic around +700 here versus the +950 we can play.
I’ll play most of my bet on the +185, sprinkle a little on the +950 as an escalator, and hope for another huge Luka Magic series.
Mavericks Win Series
Raheem Palmer: In the 1972 Academy Award winning crime film, The Godfather, the Corleone Family received a traditional Sicilian Mafia message: a fish wrapped in a bulletproof vest, meaning “Luca Brasi sleeps with the fishes.”
While Brasi was ultimately murdered in a meeting with Virgil Sollozzo and Bruno Tattaglia, he had the reputation as feared enforcer and a savage killer who could handle anyone. Through four playoff series, we’ve seen the Mavericks guard Luka Doncic amass a killer reputation of his own..
The narrative surrounding these Warriors teams continues to be that they have an edge based on their previous championship experience. However, outside of Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson, Draymond Green, Kevon Looney and Andre Iguodala (mostly inactive), this is essentially a brand-new team, full of younger players.
While the emergence of Jordan Poole has turned the splash brothers into the splash family, we can expect Doncic to hunt both Curry and Poole in switches and force them to work on the defensive end of the floor.
Unlike the Grizzlies, the Mavericks have a top tier offense as they have the best offense out of the remaining postseason teams. They’re scoring a whopping 116.4 points per 100 possessions in the postseason and are first in half court points per 100 possessions (103.1).
Believe it or not, I actually trust the Mavericks’ shooting over the Warriors at this point as they’re launching a league-high 46.3% of their attempts from behind the arc while shooting 39.2%, third behind the Nets and Timberwolves in the postseason.
The Warriors haven’t been great at defending the 3-point line, allowing the 11th-highest frequency of 3-point attempts and percentage (36.6%). I still don’t truly trust their defense, especially after they got beat by 39 points in Game 5 against the Grizzlies.
One of the biggest issues surrounding this Warriors team is that they’re turnover prone. They were 18th among playoff and play-in teams in turnover rate (16.1%) and 13th among the 16 playoff teams in turnovers per game (15.8). In the first half of their Western Conference semifinals matchup against the Grizzlies, the Warriors averaged a whopping 11.8 turnovers, putting them behind the eight ball to start nearly every game.
The Suns weren’t known for turning the ball over, but the Mavericks forced Devin Booker and Chris Paul into 49 combined turnovers during their series. Those extra possessions could loom large should the Warriors continue to play sloppy basketball.
The Mavericks have a dominant offense, but they advanced to the Western Conference Finals based on their defense, and with the way the Warriors turn the ball over, I believe they’re more than capable. The Mavericks have an offense which can scare anyone, and thus they’re live to advance to the NBA Finals.
Unlike Luca Brasi, Doncic won’t be the one sleeping with the fishes. Take the Mavericks +190 to win the series in what should be a long six or seven-game series.
Spencer Dinwiddie Series MVP
Brandon Anderson: Let’s get this part out of the way early – this is just a tiny little sprinkle, but at 140-1 odds, it’s a sprinkle I have to make.
This is a tricky matchup for the Warriors. The Mavericks have shown an ability to learn and adjust their defense as the series goes on, and the Warriors have a propensity to get overconfident and give games away. The Mavericks have enough scoring options and take enough 3-pointers to be a real threat in this series if the Warriors play sloppy, turn it over, and leave the door cracked.
If Dallas does find a way to win the series, Luka Doncic would be an overwhelming favorite to win the new WCF MVP award. But Doncic can’t do this on his own, and I think Spencer Dinwiddie will be the second-leading Dallas scorer this series. He scored 17 and 24 off the bench in two games against the Warriors after arriving in Dallas, posting a +31 in his minutes.
If the Mavs push this series deep, Dallas’s bench could be a swing factor. Golden State is missing key rotation players, and Jordan Poole will be a target for the Mavs – and Dinwiddie – to hunt. He scored 30 points in that Game 7 win and has hit five 3s in back-to-back games. I don’t love the other series prices available, so I’ll take a little nibble on this longshot WCF MVP.
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