Today’s NBA slate will only feature two games, but we’ll still be covering them wall-to-wall with our prediction and pick series for this cross-conference matchup between playoff hopefuls. The Dallas Mavericks (37-40) will be taking on the Miami Heat (40-37). The odds makers have this set as close as it can be, check out our NBA odds series for our Mavericks-Heat prediction and pick.

The Dallas Mavericks are in 11th-place in the Western Conference and sit just a half-game back of the Thunder for the final playoff spot. They looked like a playoff team for much of the season but have gone on some costly losing skids in the last month. They’re 1-5 in their last six games and will need a huge win here to stay in playoff contention. The Mavs won their only other meeting with the Heat 115-90.

The Miami Heat are seventh in the Eastern Conference and have their position locked up for the play-in tournament. As they sit just two games back of the six-spot, the Heat would love to close their season strong and avoid a play-in game if they are able. They’ll want this win more than ever as they’ve lost their last three consecutive games by sizable margins.

Here are the Mavericks-Heat NBA odds, courtesy of FanDuel

NBA Odds: Mavericks-Heat Odds

Dallas Mavericks: +1 (-110)

Miami Heat: -1 (-110)

Over: 224.5 (-110)

Under: 224.5 (-110)

How To Watch Mavericks vs. Heat


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Why The Mavericks Could Cover The Spread

The Mavericks were looking like a solid playoff team for much of the season but have struggled to pick up wins as of late. The frustration is beginning to set in for Luka Doncic as the franchise star looks down the pipe of missing the playoffs after the addition of Kyrie Irving. In their last loss to the 76ers, Doncic and Irving were able to do their parts, but the Mavericks bench combined for just 30 points as they couldn’t stop the 76ers on defense. They’ll have another test offensively as they face a stingy Miami defense. The Mavericks will have to spread the ball and find open shots while avoiding one-on-one situations.

Dallas hasn’t been the best covering team on the road at 17-22 ATS. They’re 1-5 SU in their last six games coming in, but will have the upper hand in the matchup with Miami going 4-1 ATS in their last five games against them. With the star-power the Mavericks have, it’ll be crucial to find a sweet spot for the games of Irving and Doncic to blend. Look for them to get involved in the passing as it’ll take a team effort to beat the Heat.

Why The Heat Could Cover The Spread

The Heat haven’t been playing well during this three game stretch and have lost by a combined 52 points. They’ve been struggling with taking care of the ball, averaging more than 12 turnovers in the last five games. They haven’t been 100% healthy down the stretch and it’s been costing them, but they’re doing enough not to drop position in the standings. They’ll be without Nikola Jovic in this one. Key players Kyle Lowry and Bam Adebayo both remain ‘questionable’ as they nurse injuries. It’ll be interesting to see if they Heat will be healthy coming in and how their recent road trip may affect their fatigue.

The Heat have been a great home team this year, going 25-14 SU. However, they haven’t been covering those spreads at just 12-25 ATS at home. With them being the favorite by just one point here, odds makers are predicting that this will be a razor-thin matchup, giving the slight edge to the home team. To win this game, Jimmy Butler will have to be lights-out if his teammates can’t suit up. They haven’t matched up well against the Mavericks in the past, but will have a great chance to win if they can be the more disciplined team on defense.

Final Mavericks-Heat Prediction & Pick

The Heat will be the better team on defense here, but their success will massively hinge on whether Bam Adebayo is available to play or not. Without him, the Mavericks could have too many weapons to penetrate the paint and get easy looks around the rim. This shapes to be a very close matchup, but we’ll give the slight edge to Dallas as they’re playing for more here. Look for Luka Doncic to score the ball at-will if he has to. Let’s take the Mavericks to win.

Final Mavericks-Heat Prediction & Pick: Dallas Mavericks ML (-104)