Two inter-conference foes will go head-to-head this evening as the New York Knicks travel to the Lone Star State to take on the Dallas Mavericks. Join us for our NBA odds series where our Knicks-Mavericks prediction and pick will be revealed.
After embarking on an impressive eight-game winning streak, the Knicks have since lost three games in a row and enter Tuesday night’s contest with an 18-16 record. As it stands, they are six games behind the Boston Celtics for first place in the Atlantic Standings and currently occupy the sixth seed in the Eastern Conference. On Christmas Day, New York was bested by the 76ers by a score of 119-112.
As for the Mavericks, Dallas has quite the joyous Christmas season by prevailing over the Los Angeles Lakers and improving their record to 18-16 as well. However, unlike the Knicks, Dallas has been on the winning side of things of late with three consecutive wins under their belts. After spreading the Christmas cheer, the Mavericks will continue to attempt to ball out at home with their 13-5 record at American Airlines Arena this season.
Here are the Knicks-Mavericks NBA odds, courtesy of FanDuel
NBA Odds: Knicks-Mavericks
New York Knicks: +5 (-110)
Dallas Mavericks: -5 (-110)
Over: 218.5 (-110)
Under: 218.5 (-110)
Why The Knicks Could Cover The Spread
For starters, the Knicks must figure out a way to return to the type of play that was responsible in them going on their abundant winning streak. During that stretch, it was New York’s ferocious defense that took control of opposing teams’ lackluster offensive approach, but the Knicks have seemed to partially give up their willingness to defend like they are capable of. Six days ago, New York allowed Raptors forward Pascal Siakam to drop 52 points against them and most recently let Philadelphia shoot 46% from three-point range in the loss a couple of days ago. Simply put, this Knicks’ defensive attack will have to tighten the screws in a big way if they want to snap their losing skid and also cover the spread in doing so.
Not to mention, New York needs more out of their top players to get the job done and take care of business. With that being said, the Knicks will have to rely heavily on R.J. Barrett and newcomer Jalen Brunson to carry the load offensively. Unfortunately, Brunson’s status against his former team may be in question after sustaining a hip injury on Christmas. Alas, if Brunson isn’t able to give it a go, expect the Knicks to try to utilize their top scorer in Julius Randle even more than they used to. At first glance, Randle is usually up to the challenge of overwhelming opposing defenses, and if he can get his first couple shots to drop from the field, then New York’s losing fortunes may indeed be reversed.
Why The Mavericks Could Cover The Spread
One of the more exciting up-and-coming teams in the entire league, the high-flying Mavericks are no strangers to outscoring teams at a feverish pace. On paper, Dallas only averages 111.4 PPG which is surprisingly within the bottom ten of the league. Nevertheless, this is a team that can get hot within a matter of moments and should not be toyed with whatsoever.
Without a doubt, Dallas’ offense runs through superstar phenom Luka Doncic who is averaging a whopping 32.8 PPG in his fifth full season at the NBA level. Obviously, it will be impossible for the Knicks to stop Doncic completely which makes other contributions from other fellow scorers that much more important. With that being said, be on the lookout for the Mavs to get guys like Christian Wood involved from the get-go. Playing at a high level this past Sunday, Wood was able to provide Dallas with a mind-blowing 30 points on an extremely efficient 71% shooting. All in all, Wood is on the fringe of playing at an All-Star level and is clearly transforming himself into one of the more reliable scorers on this roster. The more Wood gets touches down low on the block, the more success Dallas will find.
Other than the fact that the Mavericks need to find ways to create scoring opportunities from other than Doncic, the defense has been the catalyst for Dallas success this year. Although this team has been largely inconsistent, the Mavericks are giving up the fifth-fewest points in all of basketball and have benefitted from getting stops thus far. At the moment, Dallas’ best shot at covering in this one will no doubt be due to this squad’s aggressiveness in forcing turnovers and staying out of foul trouble.
Final Knicks-Mavericks Prediction & Pick
With both sides coming into this one with identical records, it would be wise to take the Mavs in this one because of how good they have been on their home floor.
Final Knicks-Mavericks Prediction & Pick: Mavericks -5 (-110)