Injuries have ravaged the rosters of the 8-20 Dallas Mavericks and 22-6 Golden State Warriors recently. That hasn’t stopped either squad from performing well and both will look to continue their solid play against each other in Oakland today (10:30 p.m. ET Thursday on TNT).
The Warriors will likely have all four of Draymond Green, Stephen Curry, Zaza Pachulia and Nick Young out for tonight’s contest. Many of them have also missed other games in the past couple weeks, but Golden State has still won seven games in a row.
Dallas is without Dennis Smith Jr., Seth Curry, Nerlens Noel and Dorian Finney-Smith, but the squad has won six of its last 12 games. For a team that had a poor collection of talent even before the injury, that’s a major accomplishment.
Golden State is the easy favorite with the offshore online bookies. But can the Dubs cover the spread? Let’s examine this game from a variety of angles before making this preview’s betting predictions and picks for the spread and the over/under on the total points.
Who Wins the Matchup at Point Guard?
Both squads are missing their starting point guards. Stephen Curry is out for a while with an ankle injury, while Dennis Smith Jr. is nursing a hip injury.
The Warriors are using Shaun Livingston, Quinn Cook and a little bit of Andre Iguodala at point guard in Curry’s place. Dallas, meanwhile, has turned to Yogi Ferrell and J.J. Barea to replace Smith.
On paper, the edge goes to Golden State due to its size and athleticism advantage. However, Barea has been on point lately. In the Mavericks’ last 12 games, he has put up 12.7 points, 3.2 rebounds and 6.8 assists in a mere 23.3 minutes per contest with a 57.4 true shooting percentage.
Will Golden State Continue to Limit Turnovers?
The Warriors have done a much better job of taking care of the ball as of late. In their last five games, they’ve turned the ball over just 13.6 times per contest. Prior to this stretch, their average was 16.8 turnovers per contest, which is poor.
This stretch may be a slight anomaly, though missing Stephen Curry and Draymond Green for some of the games probably does contribute to the lower turnover numbers. Both stars are risk-takers on offense.
Dallas isn’t a squad that forces a lot of turnovers. The Mavs just don’t have the length and athleticism to disrupt passing and dribbling lanes well. The trouble for Golden State will come if the team gets too fancy and attempts to make the crowd-pleasing play instead of the smart one.
Can the Mavericks Stay Competitive on the Glass?
Golden State and Dallas are much different in terms of their rebounding abilities. The Warriors grab 51.6 percent of available rebounds, seventh in the NBA. Meanwhile, the Mavericks secure only 47.6 percent of rebounds, which slots them 27th in the NBA.
Dallas’ projected starting lineup for Thursday includes Maxi Kleber and Dirk Nowitzki as the power forward and center, respectively. Neither of these players are particularly athletic or strong on the glass, which could be a problem. Thankfully for them, the Warriors will likely be without Draymond Green and Zaza Pachulia from their starting lineup.
This is still a big mismatch in terms of rebounding. Golden State has big, athletic perimeter players who can help on the glass, while the Mavericks are a generally small and unathletic team.
Our Preview’s Dallas Mavericks at Golden State Warriors Betting Picks & Predictions
The Mavericks are pesky. They are well coached by Rick Carlisle, and they will do everything in their power to keep this close. Despite their poor record, 13 of their 20 losses this season have come by eight points or fewer.
Golden State also has a bad habit of playing down to its competition before turning on the gas in the second half. This contest could be surprisingly close.
- Not surprisingly, oddsmakers favor the Warriors by a wide margin of 11.5 points. However, I recommend betting the other way. Find the best odds of Mavericks +11.5 @ -110 with Bovada, 5Dimes, MyBookie and BetOnline.
- The over/under is an interesting pick. In December, Mavs games have a very low average total of 198. For the Warriors, it’s 217.7. Most betting outlets provide 211.5 as the over/under. That’s much closer to the Warriors’ number as of late, but I expect the Mavericks to dictate pace here in a surprisingly close game. Bet with the under 212pts @ best odds of -105 with Bovada.