Who’s ready for some NBA action on this Saturday? The Dallas Mavericks will head up north and cross the Canadian border to take on the Toronto Raptors. Check out our NBA odds series, where our Mavericks-Raptors prediction and pick will be made.
With a pair of ugly losses, the Mavericks enter play with a 9-8 record and are parched for a much-needed win. Since winning five consecutive games, Dallas has been defeated in five of their previous eight matchups played on the hardwood.
As for the Raptors, Toronto comes into this one also with a two-game losing streak that has left them feeling a sense of urgency to get themselves back in the win column. As it stands, Toronto has boasted a 9-9 record and is already 5.5 games behind the Boston Celtics in the Atlantic Division.
Here are the Mavericks-Raptors NBA odds, courtesy of FanDuel
NBA Odds: Mavericks-Raptors Odds
Dallas Mavericks: -2.5 (-112)
Toronto Raptors: +2.5 (-108)
Over: 215.5 (-112)
Under: 215.5 (-108)
Why The Mavericks Could Cover The Spread
Arguably, the Dallas Mavericks’ best chance at covering the spread comes in the form of possessing the best player on the court in Luka Doncic. Standing at a towering 6’7″ for a point guard, the Mavericks could cover this one based on Doncic alone and his MVP-caliber play a month into the season. Entering play, Doncic is averaging a whopping 34.0 points per game which leads the entire league, and is also fourth in the NBA when it comes to dishing out assists. Not to mention, but the 23-year-old Slovenian is the most efficient player with a 32.65 PER. Alas, Doncic is fresh off of a 42-point-outing on Wednesday against the Celtics and is no question Dallas’ go-to to being able to secure a spread-covering victory.
Outside of Luka, the Mavericks will have to establish some sort of presence from the three-point line. At the moment, Dallas has shot a 34% clip from behind the arc, but that only ranks them as the 19th-best shooting mark from downtown in the entire league. Against the Celtics, hit about their average from three by going 11-31 overall, but Dallas will need playmakers like Spencer Dinwiddie, Tim Hardaway, and Jalen Green to come together to get the offense going early against a respectable Raptors defensive unit.
Why The Raptors Could Cover The Spread
At first glance, the Toronto Raptors will benefit in playing this inter-conference duel from within their home confines of Scotiabank Arena. Coming into this duel, the Raptors have compiled an impressive 5-2 record at home. All in all, this may end up being a big factor in this one because of Dallas’ inefficiency out on the road. In fact, some would point to the Mavs’ average record is because of a 1-5 road record. Simply put, the Mavericks have been woeful out on the road which could greatly benefit Toronto.
When it comes to taking care of their own business, the Raptors will no doubt be shorthanded and will need some unlikely heroes to step up in the absence of some starters being ruled out. With that being said, keep your eyes out on guys like shooting guard Gary Trent Jr. who happened to be Toronto’s leading scorer in the loss versus the Nets with a total of 19 points even though he was only 6/19 from the field.
Not to mention, but even though the Raptors out-rebounded Brooklyn by a healthy 52-39 margin, they shot an abysmal 24% from three-point range. Being shorthanded is no excuse, and finding a way to shoot at a better clip will help the Raptors get off to a better start and eliminate any hope from the Dallas side to steal a road win.
On paper, Toronto’s bread and butter remain on the defensive side of the floor, as the Raptors are only allowing 110.1 points per game. When going up against a Mavericks team that can certainly light up the scoreboard, Toronto will need to be fundamentally sound to make life difficult for Dallas’ offensive possessions to solidify their chances of covering the spread.
Final Mavericks-Raptors Prediction & Pick
With both sides entering play with back-to-back losses, there’s no question each team could use a win to fuel their confidence. Alas, the Mavericks have showcased that they have struggled greatly as a visiting team, and even though the Raptors have been hit hard with the injury bug, Toronto is definitely the safe bet in this one.
Final Mavericks-Raptors Prediction & Pick: Raptors +2.5 (-108)