Joel Embiid is questionable to play tonight but for purposes of this article, we will assume he plays. If he is downgraded to OUT, jump all over the Mavs wherever you can find them. Assuming health, this is an interesting matchup for the Mavericks and, in particular, their style of defense. Teams with multiple ball handlers that can knock down open shots give the Mavs fits. In theory, the Mavs should thrive against this version of the Sixers. Yes, Harden and Embiid are two of the league’s best scorers. The Sixer’s role players, however, are not particularly well-equipped to threaten the Mavs. The Mavs gameplan will focus on forcing anyone but Embiid and Harden to beat them. Tyrese Maxey could go for 25 tonight. Tobias Harris could go for 18-20 points. If they are up to the task, the Mav’s defense will be trying to cover the sun with their hands. If the role players struggle to hit shots, it will be easier for Kidd to focus on finding ways to keep the Sixer’s big two off the FT line.
Spread: Mavs +3.5 (-110)
Moneyline: Mavs +140
The Mavs desperately need Marques Chriss back. He is far from a lockdown defender but he is 6’9. We can get away with playing Maxi and DFS at the 5 against certain teams, the Sixers are not one of them. Embiid and the Sixers thrive on getting opponents into foul trouble. Two early fouls on Dwight Powell could prove to be disastrous. Most big men aren’t skilled enough to punish the Mavs for going small. Tonight’s game is going to be fascinating. Defensively, the Sixers won't have many answers for the Mav’s new-look offense. You want to blitz pick and rolls? Now Dinwiddie is going 1 on 1 against James Harden. You want to leave Embiid in the lane and try to deter Luka from scoring in the paint? Luka will find the open man and generate a ton of good looks for his teammates. They say fights are all about styles. Tonight’s game comes down to what team is able to impose their style of play on their opponent.
ADVICE: Take the points. This game is close to a coin flip.
The under is juiced to -115. I tend to lean to the under but I don’t want to pay the extra juice.
Advice: Stay Away
Two-Team Moneyline Parlay
Advice: I know, I know. The Lakers stink. The Lakers can’t go winless the rest of the way, can they? Getting +860 on the off chance Lebron shows out and wills his team to a victory is a pretty good risk to take.