The San Antonio Athletics take on the Dallas Mavericks in Texas when the NBA resumes play after the All-Star break. It’s time to continue the NBA odds series and make the Spurs-Mavericks prediction and pick.
The Spurs are 18-14 overall and against the spread. San Antonio lost its last game before halftime, against the Oklahoma City Thunder.
The Mavericks have an 18-16 record, and they’re just 15-19 against the spread. Dallas closed out the first half of the season with three game wins, the last of which was against the Thunder.
Here’s how sports bettors determine their odds for the opening game between the Spurs and the Mavericks.
Paris NBA: Mavericks Spursspeed
San Antonio Spurs +4 (-110)
Dallas Mavericks -4 (-110)
More than 226 TCPs (-110)
Below 226 PTS (-110)
Why tracks can close the gap
At first glance, Dallas’ biggest advantage tonight seems to be its high-powered offense. In fact, they played only slightly better than San Antonio’s much less vaunted offense.
The Mavs average one more point per night, 111.8 points per game, while the Spurs average 111.0 points. San Antonio and Dallas scored an equal number of points in the paint, 44.5 points per game.
Dallas buckets may be lighter, but the end product is almost the same.
The Mavs don’t even have a big advantage at the three-point line. If the Mavericks shoot more three-pointers, they’ll have less success. San Antonio even has a three-point lead, with 36.3% versus 35.0% for Dallas.
The Spurs’ defense is a good opponent for Dallas’ shaky offense.
The Mavs shoot just under 18 free throws per game and score about 16% of their points from the free throw line. The Spurs play disciplined defense and commit the second most fouls in the league.
When Luka Doncic and his teammates are caught from the perimeter, they can’t rely on too many free throws or easy baskets to find their rhythm.
The Spurs’ discipline isn’t just evident on the defensive side. Offensively, they have the lowest turnover average in the league and are the only team to give the ball away less than 11 times per game.
Against a Dallas defense that ranks in the bottom half of the league in points allowed, the Spurs should be easy to beat in this game.
Why the Mavericks can close the gap
The two most important factors for the Mavericks tonight are winning the three-pointers and turning this game into a shootout.
The Mavs are 12th in the league in three-point shooting, while the Spurs are 25th. In typical Popovich style, San Antonio isn’t forcing three-pointers. San Antonio has ranked in the top five on a three-point scale for four consecutive years.
Dallas doesn’t need to increase its three-point shooting percentage to win this game. You just have to do more.
They proved that in the last meeting between the two teams, when the Mavs allowed the Spurs to shoot 43% from the middle and San Antonio made just 28 three-pointers. Dallas shot 39 three-pointers and won the shootout.
Dallas shoots nearly seven more three-pointers per game than San Antonio, and they have the personnel to win the game by more points. With Luca, Tim Hardaway Jr, Josh Richardson and Kristaps Porzingis, the Mavs have four high-volume shooters. They just need someone who catches fire to pick up points quickly.
The Spurs have not defended the three-point shot well all season. They allowed their opponents to shoot 38.3 percent from the center, the fifth-highest percentage in the NBA.
San Antonio is not made for high-scoring fights. If the opponent scores 115 points against the Spurs, they are 7-2 overall.
Dallas will try to score quickly and take out San Antonio.
Endorsements – Forecasting and selection
The Mavericks are an exciting team, but there is little consistency in their play. They score 130 points in one night against a solid defensive unit, and they fail to score 90 points in two days. The Spurs differ much less and have similar stats in almost every major category. Add in the fact that the Spurs have excellent coverage on the road (9-4 ATS), and I’m happy to take four points for San Antonio here.
FINAL POINT: SAN ANTONIO SPURS +4
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