Dallas has been on a roll of late, going 6-2 in its last eight games coming in. Miami continues to climb the ranks in the east heading into the postseason as the Heat have won seven of their last 10 games as well. Which surging team will continue to gain some ground in their respective conference in this affair?
Here’s how sportsbooks have set the opening Mavericks-Heat odds.
NBA Odds: Mavericks-Heat Odds
Dallas Mavericks +3 (-110)
Miami Heat -3 (-110)
Over 215 Points (-110)
Under 215 Points (-110)
Why The Mavericks Could Cover The Spread
The Dallas Mavericks have had a strange nine-game stretch over the past few weeks. They are 6-3 in those games, which they have to be pleased with. What’s interesting to note is that the Mavericks’ three losses in that span have all come against the lackluster Sacramento Kings. Thankfully for Dallas, Sacramento won’t be around to torment it in the postseason as well. The Mavericks are currently sitting in the sixth seed out west with an opportunity to surge past the Lakers with a win against Miami.
Dallas has a fairly favorable remaining schedule as they take on three playoff teams and three tankers. The other two matchups will be against play-in contenders that have been up-and-down all year long. This is promising for the Mavericks because the Lakers and Blazers have extremely difficult remaining schedules, which gives Dallas a leg up in the battle for the fifth seed. If Luka continues to dominate like he has recently, Dallas should have no problem defeating the Heat and the majority of their remaining opponents. Dallas is 7-2 in their last nine road games and will look to build on that success in this crucial inter-conference battle.
Why The Heat Could Cover The Spread
The Miami Heat are in the heart of a loaded battle in the middle of the east. The Heat, New York Knicks, Atlanta Hawks, and Boston Celtics are all within 2.5 games of each other for the fourth-through-seventh seeds in the Eastern Conference standings. Everyone knows the importance of staying out of the seventh spot and avoiding the play-in tournament come playoff time. Miami feels the sense of urgency and has played up to the test as it is 7-2 in the team’s last nine games coming in.
The Heat pulled off a 10-point victory in their previous game against Charlotte to extend their winning streak to three-straight. Miami’s remaining schedule isn’t favorable, which is why they will be ready for this home game against a Dallas team that will likely be without Kristaps Porzingis. With six Heat players scoring in double figures against Charlotte, it seems this team is starting to find their chemistry at the perfect time with the postseason just around the corner. The Heat will be motivated to take care of business against a Mavericks team that they’re 5-0 against in their last five head-to-head matchups in South Beach.
Final Mavericks-Heat Prediction & Pick
If history is any indicator, the Miami Heat are clear for takeoff. Just last season, we witnessed the Miami Heat hit their stride at this exact time as they prepared for a Finals run. The Heat are scorching hot right now and have a consistent formula for success. The offense is finally coming together for Miami and the defensive intensity will never waver. Dallas has been great, but without Kristaps it’s hard to believe they will have enough options after Luka to compete for 48 minutes. Look for Miami to smother Luka and although he will end up getting his fair share, the Heat will claw their way to a victory and cover at home.
FINAL PICK: Miami Heat -3 (-110)