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Trail Blazers vs. Mavericks Odds, Pick, Prediction: Back Portland to Stay Hot in Dallas (December 16)

Trail Blazers vs. Mavericks Odds, Pick, Prediction: Back Portland to Stay Hot in Dallas (December 16) article feature image
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Rocky Widner/NBAE via Getty Images. Pictured: Damian Lillard #0 of the Portland Trail Blazers.

  • The Portland Trail Blazers look to stay hot as they take a three-game winning streak on the road to Dallas.
  • Meanwhile, the Mavericks (Spread: -3.5) are coming off a home loss, but have overall been solid at home (11-5).
  • Jim Turvey looks at the odds and offers up a pick and prediction below.

Trail Blazers vs. Mavericks Odds

Trail Blazers Odds +3.5
Mavericks Odds -3.5
Over/Under 227.5
Time 8:30 p.m. ET
TV NBA League Pass
Odds via WynnBET. Get up-to-the-minute NBA odds here.

Friday night brings a matchup between Western Conference playoff hopefuls as the 16-12 Portland Trailblazers head to Dallas to take on the 14-14 Mavericks.

The two teams are headed in slightly different directions as the Blazers have won three in a row and five of their past six, while the Mavericks have lost three of four.

The Mavericks also just got news that Maxi Kleber — who hadn’t quite popped in Dallas the way the Mavericks had hoped, but was still a solid rotation piece — will be out indefinitely after suffering a tear in his right hamstring Wednesday.

Portland, meanwhile, has is mostly healthy after a 2021-22 season that was filled with injuries.

That being said, let’s break down the odds and make a pick for this matchup.

Portland Trail Blazers

The Blazers have played 13 games with a fully healthy starting five and are 9-4 with a net rating of +4.6 in those games.

Obviously no team can expect full health all season, but that success in games with a healthy starting five is one reason I see this team’s ceiling to be a lot higher than others.

In fact, it appears bookmakers are lower on this Blazers team than they ought to be as Portland in the most profitable team to bet on this season from both a spread (19-9; +30.0% ROI) and moneyline (16-12; +36.2% ROI) perspective (through Wednesday’s games).

The Blazers’ success has come from their typically strong offense (7th-ranked offense, by offensive rating). But one difference is they seem to be more prudent in their attack this season. They have never been a supremely fast-paced team, but they are particularly methodical this season and rank 28th in pace.

That patience has potentially played a part in their excellent shooting, especially from deep. The Blazers are quietly right up there with Denver and Boston in terms of three-point shooting percentage, converting at a blistering 39% clip from long range.

Portland has also paraded to the free-throw line with great regularity.

Two names lead the charge on both those fronts, and while one should be no surprise (Damian Lillard), the other has been one of the most pleasant surprises of the season: Jerami Grant. The ninth-year pro is shooting a bonkers 44.8% from deep this season, good for 10th in the Association. He’s also getting to the line 6.3 times a game, and his 22.4 points per game are a career high. Grant has had mini breakouts before, but never before on a team this good. If he continue this play, it will go a long way toward determining if the Blazers are true contenders in the West.


Dallas Mavericks

“If the season ended today” is an often overused statement, but it is worth noting that no Mavericks fan would feel great about hosting the Warriors for the chance to play a second must-win game just to get into the official playoffs.

The Mavericks defense has slipped notably this season, down from sixth last year to 20th this campaign. However, they’ve also suffered a bit of bad luck. Dallas has a net rating that suggests it should be over .500, and that comes against the third-hardest schedule in the NBA.

The one steady presence in the Mavericks lineup this season has been the preseason MVP favorite, Luka Doncic, and his insane 33.0/8.4/8.7 stat line.

In the previous matchup between these two, Doncic was able to get loose for 42 points in a five-point win. However, the Blazers were without Jusuf Nurkic in that game and maybe unsurprisingly, 12 of Doncic’s 13 made field goals came from inside the arc. He also had 18 free-throw attempts.

With Nurkic expected to play Friday, expect a quieter game from Doncic.

Trail Blazers-Mavericks Pick

Alongside a quieter game from Doncic, I’ll be looking at the Portland side of this spread. The last game was a tightly contested affair and I see no reason for this game to be any different. The 3.5 is sitting right in the free-throw zone, so I also don’t hate a look at the moneyline if that’s more your style.

I’m also going to go back to the well and double down on a Blazers-Mavericks under, despite missing on that the last time these two met. I don’t see Lillard and Doncic combining for 35 free throws again Friday night, and I will play the pace game, which should be a lock given that these two sit at the bottom of the pace standings.

Pick: Portland +3.5 | Lean: Portland Moneyline; Under 222.5

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