Monday NBA Odds, Picks, Predictions: Nuggets vs. Mavericks Betting Preview

Monday NBA Odds, Picks, Predictions: Nuggets vs. Mavericks Betting Preview article feature image
Credit:

Garrett Ellwood/NBAE via Getty Images. Pictured: Nikola Jokic #15 of the Denver Nuggets and Luka Doncic #77 of the Dallas Mavericks.

  • Updated Nuggets vs. Mavericks odds list Dallas a 5.5-point favorite, up one point from earlier in the day Monday. The total has also dropped a half point, depending on the book.
  • That's the angle we're playing in this game, as elite teams tend to show up on defense against other elite teams.
  • Get Austin Wang's full Nuggets vs. Mavericks preview and pick below.

Nuggets vs. Mavericks Odds

Nuggets Odds +5.5
Mavericks Odds -5.5
Over/Under 208.5
Time 8 p.m. ET
TV NBA TV
Odds via BetMGM. Get up-to-the-minute NBA odds here.

The Dallas Mavericks host the Denver Nuggets on Monday night in a battle of Western Conference teams. It is still early in the season, but the Nuggets are currently third in the West and the Mavericks are fourth in the conference standings. Both have been missing key players due to injury, so their respective records have been an impressive feat.

Neither team has been winning with style and grace, they have been doing it on the defensive end at a slow, grind-it-out pace. Will the Nuggets continue their winning streak in Dallas playing in the second game of a back-to-back, or can the Mavericks take advantage of the Nuggets’ injuries?

Let’s take a look at how both squads stack up and if there is value on either side.

Can Nikola Jokic Carry the Nuggets on Both Ends?

The Nuggets swept their most recent five-game homestand. They are now on the road on the second game of a back-to-back. None of their opponents have scored more than 100 points in a game during that stretch.

Their opponents have averaged just 98 points per game this season, which is first in the league. They rank second in the league in Defensive Rating (101.1) through Sunday’s games, per NBA Advanced Stats. They are 29th in Pace (96.92) in the league.

The Nuggets are 24th in the league in Offensive Rating (104.6) and points per game (103.8). With Jamal Murray and Michael Porter Jr. out, the Nuggets don’t have many scorers to help support the reigning MVP Nikola Jokic.

Even when Porter was playing, he was averaging just 9.9 points per game on 35.9% shooting. He has missed the past three games and will be out indefinitely with a back injury.

The offense revolves around Jokic, but the Nuggets fared just fine while he was on his one-game suspension as they beat the Pacers. Jokic quickly bounced back with a triple-double in a win against the Hawks.

Teams have been struggling to stop the versatile big man’s offensive arsenal that destroys teams in the paint, but he can also spread the floor with his excellent shooting. Jokic’s most impressive qualities are his passing skill and ability to set up the offense.

Kristaps Porzingis has been playing better as of late and has the mobility and length to defend Jokic. That will be a key matchup to watch. In addition, the Nuggets have gone 10-3 to the under this season, per Bet Labs.

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Mavericks Offense Off to Slow Start

The Mavericks just came back home from playing two games on the road. They will then be off embarking on another four-game road trip immediately after this game. This road trip will be tough, with a pair of games against the Phoenix Suns and the Los Angeles Clippers.

The Mavericks will have revenge on their mind after they were destroyed 106-75 to Denver last month. They shot 29.5% from the field and should be a bit more motivated to come out and take care of business.

The Mavericks have a 7-4 record, but their metrics haven’t looked all that strong. Their Offensive Rating ranks 21st in the league, a far dip from their production in previous seasons. They’ve picked it up as of late, thanks to the return of Porzingis. He has looked a lot better since returning from a five-game absence with a back issue. He’s averaged 21.8 points and 8.5 rebounds in the past four outings and gives the Mavericks another scoring weapon.

Totals in Mavericks games have gone 8-4 to the under this season, per Bet Labs. The previous two games have gone over the total, so could they be turning the tide here?

Nuggets-Mavericks Pick

Their last matchup in October ended with 181 total points. The game obviously went way under the total of 220.5. Now, books have adjusted all the way down to 209. Is this adjustment warranted?

Since the 2015-16 season, games featuring two elite teams (defined as teams with a winning percentage at or above 60%) from the same conference have gone under 60% of the time, per Bet Labs.

Defensive intensity tends to ramp up when good teams face off with one another as conference positioning and tiebreakers matter so much, especially in a stacked Western Conference. In addition, these teams both play a slow pace and are strong defensive teams.

Matchups between these two teams have gone 6-2-1 to the under, dating back to February 2019. These teams play at a slow pace, with above average defenses and below average offenses.

I anticipate this to be another low-scoring game. My recommendation is on the under and would play it down to 207.

Pick: Under 209

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