The collective fan base let out a sigh of relief after Bojan Bogdanovic missed a wide-open look that would have sent the series to a game 7. For the team, and fans, getting out of the first round was an important goal. It meant validation. It meant progress. It meant showing Luka that he could win meaningful basketball games in Dallas. After heartbreaking exits the past two years to a superior team, the elation and joy shared by the fanbase is real. That feeling, however, won’t last long.
Up next, we have the best team in the regular season and a team that will stress test the Mav’s schemes in ways few teams can.
Phoenix Suns -300, Dallas Mavericks +230
The feeling Matt Moore expressed last night is part of the reason the Mavs are now +230 after opening as +330 underdogs. Sure, the Suns are better than the Mavs. But should they be better than 3 to 1 favorites after getting pushed by the Pelicans? Probably not. A line that high probably drew a ton of interest from sharp bettors and would have left Vegas vulnerable should the Mavs find a way to pull the upset. The latest odds are much safer for Vegas.
For context, these are the same odds Vegas settled on before the Mavericks/Jazz series and that was before we knew whether or not Luka would even play. Vegas is dying to make the Suns heavier favorites but has to hedge against the possibility that Luka goes nuclear and lays waste to everything in his path. So, should you put your money on the Mavericks? Let’s answer that question by asking a series of other questions.
- Do you trust Jason Kidd to scheme better looks in crunch time?
- Can the Mavericks stop Chris Paul in late-game situations?
- Will DeAndre Ayton filet lineups with Dorian Finney-Smith at the 5?
- Can Maxi Kleber avoid foul trouble?
- Can Maxi Kleber hit his shots?
- Can the Mavericks make Paul work on defense?
- Can Jalen Brunson keep his level of play up despite facing a much better defense?
- Will Spencer Dinwiddie regain his aggressiveness and regular-season form?
- If small ball lineups cant hold up and Dwight Powell has to play, can he have a positive impact?
- If the Mavs get outclassed, what is the path forward for this team?
Ok, admittedly, I snuck that last question in there because it’s all I’ve been thinking about since the Mavs won game 5 against the Jazz. There will be plenty of time to tackle that question in the offseason.
For now, if the Mavs don’t have enough answers to the other questions, the Suns might be a bargain at -300. In Round 1, the Jazz’s unwillingness and/or inability to adjust made the end result inevitable. The Suns, however, have the depth and versatility to beat you in a number of ways. The adjustments won’t just be from game to game. They will be quarter to quarter and, at times, possession to possession. With 7 reliable rotation players, does Kidd even have the horses he needs to execute those adjustments? Time will tell but Luka will have to play like the best player on the court for the Mavs to have a chance.
ADVICE: Stay away. You can get similar odds for Game 1. There will be opportunities to bet on the Mavs. At +230, there simply isn’t enough value to bet the series as a whole.
Total Games played
If you think the Mavs win, you probably don’t think they win in 5. Betting on total games played allows you to play both sides. As long as the Mavs don’t get swept or lose in 5, you win.
Games X/Series Double
Mavericks to win game 1 and win the series +550
This is probably my favorite bet on the board. I would pounce on this.
Will there be a buzzer beater…. Yes +1600
Something tells me we may see some late-game Luka Magic in at least one game.