The Dallas Mavericks (6-4) face the Washington Wizards (5-6) on Wednesday. Tipoff is scheduled for 7 pm ET. Below we continue our NBA odds series with a Mavericks-Wizards prediction and pick.
The Mavericks are 6-4 and had won four consecutive games before losing to the Magic last night. Dallas has covered just 33% of their games, while 60% have gone over. For Washington, they’re 5-6 but have lost three straight home games. The Wizards have covered 50% of their games, while 64% of their games going under. Washington won both meetings between the teams last season by six and 32-point margins. Both games went over tonight’s 209-point total.
Here are the Mavericks-Wizards NBA odds, courtesy of FanDuel
NBA Odds: Mavericks-Wizards Odds
Dallas Mavericks: -3.5 (-114)
Washington Wizards: +3.5 (-106)
Over: 209 (-110)
Under: 209 (-110)
Why The Mavericks Could Cover The Spread
Dallas has had a solid start to the season which has seen them be, at times, dominant on defense but oftentimes stagnant on offense. The Mavericks rank 20th in points per game but have held opponents to the third-lowest amount of points. Dallas is a poor rebounding team, ranking in the bottom half of the league in both offense and defensive rebound rate but they make up for it by maximizing their possessions. The Mavs turned the ball over at the sixth-fewest rate in the league.
Offensively, Dallas lives and dies through star wing Luka Doncic. Luka has been incredible this season. He’s the league’s leading scorer with 34.8 PPG. However, his periphery stats are excellent as well considering he’s chipped in 8.2 RPG and 8.1 APG. He has the highest Player Efficiency Rating (PER) in the entire NBA and has truly been a one-man show for the Mavericks. Yet, he’s done all this while shooting a. career-worst 28.2% from beyond the arc. Luka’s three-point prowess will return closer to his career average soon which would only aid Dallas’ ability to cover spreads.
Outside of Luka, the Mavericks only have three players averaging more than 10 points per game. Spencer Dinwiddie (16.9 PPG) and Tim Hardaway Jr. (10.8 PPG) support from the perimeter as they excel at playing off Luka and attacking vulnerable defenses after he’s kicked them the ball. Dinwiddie has been on fire from distance (40% from three), but Hardaway Jr. is still looking for his outside shot this season. Hardaway is a career 36% three-point shooter but has been limited to just 31.5% this season. Just like Luka, Hardaway will improve from beyond the arc although that may not come tonight. Washington has held opponents to 33% from three – the ninth-best mark in the league.
Why The Wizards Could Cover The Spread
Washington has a very similar team composition to Dallas. The Wizards are a strong defensive team that has allowed the 12th-fewest points per game. They rebound well – ranking in the top ten in defensive rebounding and rebounding differential. However, Washington has been atrocious offensively. The Wizards are 29th in points per game and shoot the third-worst percentage from three (30.6% which is on par with the infamously poor-shooting Lakers’ 29.3%).
Despite their poor offense, the Wizards still have a number of players capable of putting the ball in the basket. Washington revolves their offense primarily through three players: Bradley Beal (21.6 PPG); Kristaps Porzingas (19.2 PPG); and Kyle Kuzma (17.2). However, the load will fall on Porzingas and Kuzma tonight as Beal will not be available due to COVID protocols. That being said, Washington was without Beal during their 32-point beatdown of the Mavericks last season – showing they can still cover as home underdogs without their star guard.
In Beal’s absence, former Maverick Kristaps Porzingas will need to be the focal point of one of the league’s worst offenses. He was electric in their win over Dallas last year – scoring 24 points and 9 rebounds while shooting 2-4 from beyond the arc. Porzingas has had an up-and-down season as he’s been inconsistent in the scoring department. He’s not eclipsed 20 points in the last three games, although he’d scored over 30 in the two games prior.
While Porzingas will be the focal point, sixth-man Rui Hachimura will presumably be called upon to score more, and his performance could go a long way for a Washington cover. Rui averages 11 points and 4.9 rebounds per game but has really started to pick things up as of late – scoring 16 and 15 in his last two outings. He had one of the best games of his career when these two teams met last year, scoring 21 points on 8-14 shooting.
Final Mavericks-Wizards Prediction & Pick
Even with Beal out, I like how Washington matches up with Dallas. The Mavericks will be without a key piece of their own, and this looks like a nice revenge spot for Porzingas. Take the home dogs.
Final Mavericks-Wizards Prediction & Pick: Washington Wizards +3.5