The Dallas Mavericks are heating up as the NBA season heads toward the All-Star break. The team is (relatively) healthy. Luka Doncic looks : despite a dire shooting stretch. And more than anything, the defense has been on fire. What does that all mean gambling-wise ahead of tonight’s game against the Toronto Raptors? Let’s get into it.
All odds are courtesy of DraftKings sportsbook and are current as of 11:30 a.m. CT, January 19.
Spread: Mavs -3.5 (-110)
Moneyline: Mavs -160
The Raptors are a confusing team. After a hot streak in late December/early January where they won six straight games, they’ve now lost three of their last four. Recently, they lost an ugly game against the lowly Detroit Pistons by double digits, but then followed that up with a nice win over the reigning champion Milwaukee Bucks.
Toronto is spear-headed by Fred VanVleet and Pascal Siakam, two guys that will have decent chances of making the All-Star Team (the former with a better chance than the latter), but those two guys aren’t what make this team scary. It’s their hyper-athletic, switchable lineups. Being able to have Scottie Barnes, OG Anunoby, Precious Achiuwa, and Siakam all on the court at the same time feels like a cheat code.
That type of long, strong lineup is likely to cause issues for Luka’s sidekick and the Mavs’ best non-Luka attacker, Jalen Brunson.
I hope JB proves me wrong and has an incredible game, but I’m worried about it. The Mavs could certainly win, but playing a team that is likely going to be able to hold Brunson in check will make it more difficult.
Advice: Stay away from betting on the outcome, and just enjoy the game tonight.
207.5 (-105 for the over, -115 for the under)
Over the Raptors’ last five games, they’re averaging a mere 97.8 points per game. The Mavericks over that same stretch are giving up a stingy 97.2 points per game. I have a lot of faith in the Mavs’ defense tonight, and next to zero faith in their offense.
Advice: It’s certainly not much fun to cheer for defense, but bet the under here. It’s the smart play.
Two-Team Moneyline Parlay
Mavs and Heat: -104
The Heat are big favorites tonight. They’re looking like one of the best teams in the NBA, and they have a home game against the struggling Portland Trail Blazers with no Damian Lillard. The Heat, on the other hand, are talented up top and have loads of depth that I trust. There’s absolutely no way the Heat should lose this game.
Advice: If you think the Mavs can pull off a win, then throw a unit on this parlay. Near even odds are nice for this pairing.