Warriors at Mavericks betting preview: Will favored Dallas avoid sweep?
After three Warriors wins to open this series, the Mavericks have their backs firmly against the wall entering Tuesday's do-or-die Game 4. Can they stave off elimination in front of their home crowd, or will the Dubs punch their sixth ticket to the NBA Finals in eight years?
Here's how we're betting this one:
Do the Mavericks really deserve to be favored after what we've seen through the first three games of this series? Sure, Dallas is at home where it's won five of seven this postseason (5-2 against the spread) and where it successfully staved off elimination in the second round against the Suns. But it hasn't mattered where the games are played in this series: the issues are the same.
After torching Phoenix from deep in Round 2, the Mavericks have shot 32.6% from deep in this series and just 41% overall. They've been dominated on the boards in all three losses, ceding at least 13 more rebounds in each one, and they simply have no answer for the Warriors' elite shotmaking down the stretch. Now they also have to contend with a reborn Andrew Wiggins, who baptized Dallas star Luka Doncic for two of his 27 points in Sunday's win.
Doncic has filled the stat sheet despite being clearly bothered by myriad ailments - notably a lingering shoulder injury - but consecutive 40-point games haven't translated to wins for his group. That was the concern for the Mavericks coming into this series: can they get enough support from their role players? The answer has been a resounding "no" - while Doncic (34 PPG), Jalen Brunson (21.7), and Spencer Dinwiddie (15.7) have carried the load offensively, the rest of Dallas' rotation has combined to score 57 points through three games on a ghastly 31.6% shooting.
History isn't on the Mavericks' side in this spot, either. In the last two decades, teams facing an 0-3 series deficit are 29-41-3 ATS (41.4%) in Game 4 and have been outscored by 6.1 points per game in those 73 contests. Home favorites haven't been much better, posing a 4-6-1 ATS mark, while those facing the Warriors in an 0-3 hole are 4-5 ATS/2-7 straight up with a minus-54 combined scoring differential.
Flashes of brilliance in Game 2 may inspire hope that this team can pull off a victory in a must-win spot, but the way Golden State roared back in that one - and all three games, for that matter - should dampen that optimism just as quickly. Until the Mavericks prove they can slow down the Warriors' stars and avoid giving up free possessions on the boards, they aren't worth the wager.
Pick: Warriors +1
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