The Dallas Mavericks (12-11) visit the Denver Nuggets (14-9) on Tuesday night. Action tips off at 10 pm ET. Below we continue our NBA odds series with a Mavericks-Nuggets prediction and pick.
The Mavericks have won three of their last four games to propel them to ninth in the Western Conference. Dallas is 7-15-1 against the spread while 61 % of their games have gone over. The Nuggets have lost two straight games but still, sit in fourth place in the West. Denver is 11-12 against the spread while 52% of their games have gone under. This will be the third of four matchups between the teams this season. They split the first two although both games took place in Dallas.
Here are the Mavericks-Nuggets NBA odds, courtesy of FanDuel
NBA Odds: Mavericks-Nuggets Odds
Dallas Mavericks: +5 (-110)
Denver Nuggets: -5 (-110)
Over: 222.5 (-110)
Under: 222.5 (-110)
Why The Mavericks Could Cover The Spread
Despite Dallas’ subpar record, they’ve been a force on both ends of the floor. The Mavericks rank 17th in scoring and seventh in offensive efficiency. They’ve been even better on defense where they rank fourth in points allowed and tenth in defensive efficiency. The one place they’ve been really hurt is on the glass. Dallas is near the bottom of the league in rebounding, ranking 29th in rebound differential and 28th in rebound rate.
The Mavericks’ offense runs first and foremost through the hands of star Luka Doncic. Luka is in the midst of an incredible statistical season as the Mavericks rely on him for nearly everything offensively. His statistical profile is incredible. Through 22 games, Doncic averaged 33.4 PPG, 8.5 RPG, and 8.5 APG. He’s also swiped nearly two steals and blocked nearly a shot per game. Perhaps most remarkable for Doncic has been his efficiency. Despite holding the third-highest usage rate in the league, Doncic has maintained stellar shooting percentages. He’s shooting 51% from the field, 34% from three, and 72% from the free throw line. However, Luka has struggled by his standards against Denver. For his career, he’s averaged just 24.8 PPG on 43% shooting – something to keep in mind when making a Mavericks-Nuggets prediction.
If Dallas is going to cover as road underdogs, they’re going to need to prioritize their rebounding. While the Mavericks are near the bottom of the league in rebounding, the Nuggets are near the top. Luka is the team’s leading rebounder, but center Christian Wood is not far behind him. Wood averages 7.8 RPG in addition to his 17 PPG (also second on Dallas). He’s been on fire as of late – contributing on the glass and on offense. Over his last two games, Wood has averaged 21.5 points and 8.5 rebounds. He’ll have his work cut out of him against Denver but is a vital ingredient in a potential Dallas cover.
Why The Nuggets Could Cover The Spread
Despite lineup inconsistency, Denver has again proven to be a regular-season stalwart. The Nuggets have a strong offense that ranks 12th in scoring and fourth in offensive efficiency. They’ve been exposed on defense, however, ranking just 16th in points allowed and 26th in defensive efficiency. Denver makes up for their defensive limitations thanks to their strong success on the glass. The Nuggets rank sixth in rebound differential and ninth in rebound rate. Denver will notably be without Michael Porter Jr. tonight while Kentavious Caldwell-Pope and Jeff Green remain questionable.
Denver has maintained their regular-season success while battling numerous injuries. The key to that effort is reigning MVP Nikola Jokic. Jokic’s scoring is down this year but his statistical profile is still incredible. The Joker averages 23.2 PPG, 10.1 RPG, and 8.9 APG. He’s been unbelievably efficient despite his decreased scoring. Jokic is shooting 63.5% from the field – fourth in the league. He’s shot at least 60% in eight of his last nine games and will look to continue his strong play of late against a weak Dallas frontcourt.
With scorer Michael Porter Jr. out again, Jamal Murray will need to build off his recent hot streak if Denver wants to cover. Murray has slowly but surely returned to form after sitting for over a year recovering from injury. For the season Murray averages 17.9 PPG and 4.9 APG while shooting 44% from the field. His play has improved as his minutes have increased, however, and he’s in the midst of a nice stretch of games. Over his last eight games, Murray has failed to score 18 points just once. Against a tough Dallas defense, Denver will need another strong showing from the star guard.
Final Mavericks-Nuggets Prediction & Pick
Dallas dominated the first meeting before losing in a heartbreaker by one in the second matchup. I’d expect more of the same tonight as the Mavericks should be able to keep things close.
Final Mavericks-Nuggets Prediction & Pick: Dallas Mavericks +5 (-110)