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Look for Mavs to rebound after sluggish playoff start

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One of the greatest playoff doubleheaders in recent memory occurred Monday night. The chaos in the final minutes of the Knicks' win over the Sixers and Jamal Murray's game-winner against the Lakers capped off a wild night in the Association. Oh, and the Cavs defeated the Magic in another slugfest.

Hopefully, Tuesday's results are just as exciting. Here are three bets to target.

Mavs @ Clippers (+2.5, O/U 216)

The Mavs were the NBA's hottest team to close the regular season. But their stars sat the last two games, and Dallas' full team hadn't played together in 10 days when it opened the playoffs in Los Angeles on Sunday.

Whether it was rust or an intensity level that didn't meet the moment, the Clippers dominated the Mavs in the first half and never relinquished their lead.

Luka Doncic and Kyrie Irving did their part, scoring 33 and 31, respectively. Dallas' supporting cast, which has been dependable all season, must not have known that the playoffs started. The Mavs' other three starters combined for 14 points. Dallas players not named Doncic or Irving scored 33 combined.

It's challenging to win a playoff game with such poor complementary production, especially when James Harden, Ivica Zubac, and Paul George each score more than 20. Dallas will play desperate Tuesday night in a crucial spot, and it's fair to expect more from Doncic and Irving's teammates.

It seems unlikely Kawhi Leonard will play considering he's yet to practice with contact. Back the road favorites in Los Angeles.

Pick: Mavs -2.5

Luka Doncic: Over 33.5 points

Doncic has been labeled the Clippers killer after some monstrous playoff performances against Los Angeles despite never actually defeating the Clippers in a series.

The MVP candidate struggled in Game 1 and still scored 33 points. He was 42% from the field and 33% from three, well below his season averages.

The Clippers threw a ton of bodies at Doncic, and Zubac held his own when switched onto the Slovenian. However, Doncic had some uncharacteristic misses.

The Mavs' supporting cast has to have an impact to defeat the Clippers, but Dallas also needs Doncic to be the superstar that he is. He notched 33 points with poor efficiency. Now, imagine his scoring total on a night where he's shooting well.

Odds: -112

Jusuf Nurkic: Under 19.5 points and rebounds

There's a clear size discrepancy between the Suns and the Timberwolves. Phoenix relies on finesse and mid-range shooting, while the Wolves have trees waiting in the paint. As a result, Minnesota outrebounded the Suns 52-28 in its 120-95 pummeling over Phoenix.

Nurkic had nine points and four rebounds in 27 minutes. He's no match for Rudy Gobert. The Suns have to play Nurkic because they're thin at center, but they could implement small lineups with Kevin Durant at center to try to force Gobert off the floor.

That would further reduce Nurkic's minutes. I expect Nurkic to have a bounce-back game but don't see an avenue for him to contribute to the Suns' scoring. Phoenix needs him to be more physical on the glass, but it's not easy to rack up boards against towering bigs.

(Side note: If you think Game 1 was a fluke, there's some value on the Suns to win this series at +215.)

Odds: -115

Sam Oshtry is a sports betting writer at theScore. You can follow him on X @soshtry for more betting coverage.

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