The Dallas Mavericks are a fun team to bet on. Yes, I’m a biased fan, but they’re also right in that gambling sweet spot. There’s enough mystery around the team that they aren’t considered top-tier favorites in any major category (besides to win their division — more on this soon), but with Luka Doncic, they have enough talent to make a deep run as a sleeper.
Let’s take a look at team futures for the Mavericks and see what’s worth betting on.
All odds are courtesy of the DraftKings Sportsbook.
Southwest Division Winner: Mavs -230
This is the only category in which the Mavericks are heavily favored, and ohhhhh boy it’s a doozy.
The Southwest Division is home to the Dallas Mavericks, Memphis Grizzlies, New Orleans Pelicans, San Antonio Spurs, and Houston Rockets. So Mavs winning feels obvious, right? I mean, that’s why you have to bet $230 on the Mavericks in order to win $100.
But it’s tougher than it looks.
We can cross off the Rockets and the Spurs; neither of those teams will be even close to winning this division. But what about the Pelicans and Grizzlies? There’s a world in which the Pelicans could be world breakers if Zion Williamson stays healthy, Brandon Ingram plays at an All-Star level, and some of their youngsters step up. The Pels have been a dumpster fire recently and the Mavs are trending up, so I don’t see that happening, but it’s worth noting.
The Grizzlies are the team I’m worried about here. Ja Morant is already a star, but he’s poised to make a huge leap sooner rather than later. If he can stay healthy, and his supporting cast (specifically Jaren Jackson Jr.) can provide him with what he needs, it’s not unrealistic that they could win the Southwest Division, especially if the Mavericks are plagued by injuries, knock on wood.
Still, if the Mavs can avoid major injuries, it’s hard to believe they won’t wind up winning the division.
Advice: Bet on the Mavs, but do so with caution.
Western Conference Winner: Mavs +1300
When it comes to analyzing the Mavs' odds to win the Western Conference, it’s important to also look at the odds for other teams in the West. Here they are:
- Lakers +200
- Warriors +550
- Suns +650
- Jazz +650
- Clippers +650
- Nuggets +900
- Mavericks +1300
- Blazers: +3500
- Grizzlies: +5000
- Pelicans +6000
The other teams (Wolves, Kings, Spurs, Thunder, Rockets) don’t even have a puncher’s chance of winning the West.
I’m not saying this from the perspective of a biased fan, even though that’s what I am, but I genuinely think the Mavs are the best bet out of this group. The Lakers +200 just doesn’t feel right. Sure, they have the best team, but they also have a lot of old guys. I don’t like the return on investment at +200.
The Warriors, Suns, and Jazz all feel similar in real life, and the odds reflect that, but similar to the Lakers situation, I don’t like the return on investment. And if you’re betting the Clippers at +650, seek help. Kawhi Leonard might not play at all this season. They’re not winning the conference.
Dallas is undervalued at +1300. They have arguably the best player in the conference in Luka Doncic, and they have a seemingly happy and healthy Kristaps Porzingis. Their biggest question mark is... Jason Kidd? But if everything goes fine in that department, there’s no reason to think Luka can’t propel the Mavs to the NBA Finals.
This is my favorite Mavs future bet. I don’t understand why they’re not in the Warriors/Suns/Jazz/Clippers range from +550 to +650. 13/1 odds is an absolute steal.
Advice: Hammer the Mavs.
NBA Finals Winner: Mavs +2800
Do I think the Mavs will win the title? No. Will I bet them at +2800? Absolutely. This really comes down to one thing: Luka Doncic.
+2800 is crazy for a team that has arguably the best player in the NBA. I’m not campaigning for the Mavs to be title favorites by any means, but they should definitely be in the same value range as the Warriors, Jazz, Clippers, and Suns, who are +1100, +1500, +1700, and +1700, respectively.
An important consideration when betting on title winners is just how much luck is involved in winning the NBA Finals (a lot). That’s why I would recommend betting on the Mavs (who knows what will happen?), but I also wouldn’t bet a lot on them (who knows what will happen?).
Advice: Throw a little sprinkle on the Mavs.
Favorite Finals Matchup Bet: Bucks vs Mavs +10000
The Nets are the favorite to come out of the East, and that’s fair, but the odds for a Nets vs Mavericks Finals matchup are +2800, which is absolutely ludicrous. Sure, the Nets have the highest ceiling in the East, but with all of the question marks surrounding that team (and the Mavs), everything breaking in a way that would lead to a Nets vs Mavs matchup feels too unrealistic for the odds you’re getting.
Instead, take a look at the Bucks vs Mavericks Finals matchup at +10000 (a $100 wager wins $10,000). I can’t believe the Bucks are getting disrespected at that level after winning the previous NBA Finals. In my eyes, the Bucks and Nets are pretty much a tossup in the East. There’s a world in which the Bucks come out of the gates with no pressure on their shoulders and never look back, sprinting to the Finals with ease. If that happens, and Luka carries Dallas on his shoulders, the payout is awesome.
Advice: It’s unlikely to happen, but the payout makes it worth a sprinkle. Why not?