Mavericks vs. 76ers: Back Philly to Remain Dominant at Home

Kenny Ducey breaks down the NBA matchup between the Mavericks and 76ers and breaks down his betting preview and prediction.

Mavericks vs. 76ers Odds

Mavericks Odds +4.5
76ers Odds -4.5
Over/Under 231
Time 7:30 p.m. ET
Odds via FanDuel. Get up-to-the-minute NBA odds here.

Things are unraveling quickly for the Dallas Mavericks, who now find themselves on the outside looking in when it comes to not only the playoffs, but the play-in tournament as well. On Wednesday night, they’ll be tasked with doing one of the hardest things in basketball – winning in Philadelphia.

Though the matchup may seem straightforward, there are still some key factors worth breaking down. Let’s examine them in our Mavericks vs. 76ers betting preview and prediction.

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Mavericks Struggling Mightily

Just how bad is it right now for the Mavericks? Well, they’ve won just three games since March 7 and just six of their last 19 since February 10. Over their last 10, they’ve actually had a negative Net Rating, ranking 21st in the NBA at -1.9 per 100 possessions.

If there’s one area they’ve really struggled, it’s on offense with an output of just 113.9 points per 100 possessions. This is partially due to the introduction of Kyrie Irving; the Mavs are just 4-8 when their newest acquisition plays alongside Luka Doncic. It’s also partially due to the decrease in Christian Wood’s playing time since Maxi Kleber’s return from injury. Whatever the reason, things are very, very bleak at the moment.

Dallas needs wins in the worst way right now. The Mavs are currently tied with the Thunder, but due to the tiebreaker they currently sit 11th in the Western Conference, one game out of the play-in tournament.

It’s not impossible for the Mavs to crawl out of this hole by any stretch, but this is the first of a run of four tough games. After the 76ers, they face the Heat, Hawks and Kings before two favorable games against the Bulls and Spurs. It’s very likely the Mavs could lose four of their next six to end the season on a 3-8 slide.

Before we move on to Philly, be sure to monitor the statuses of Kleber and Frank Ntilikina. Both are listed as questionable due to injury.

76ers Injuries Will Be Key

The 76ers are dealing with some injury concerns of their own. After his infamous absence last time out against Denver, Joel Embiid enters this game questionable with the same calf issue which deprived us of an Embiid-Jokic battle.

On top of that, James Harden is still on the injury report with Achilles soreness, though his questionable tag would indicate he’s trending in the right direction. A report yesterday indicated Harden was targeting either this game or Friday’s game against the Raptors for a return.

So, it may be that Embiid and Harden give it a go here, but with Philly looking more and more likely to be locked into the third seed in the Eastern Conference, we could easily see another rest day with meaningful basketball on the horizon. As always with these two — especially Embiid — health will dictate the best way to bet this one.

Still, we can point out that over the last 10 games, this team is exactly fifth in Offensive and Defensive Efficiency. They’ve done everything well, even rebound! They’re eighth in that category despite ranking as one of the worst in the NBA over the entire season. They’ve also managed to look incredible on offense despite shooting just 36.6% from 3, which is well below their elite mark of 38.6%.

Mavericks-76ers Pick

For years now, the Mavericks have lived and died by the 3 far too many times to count. They’re ninth in that category for the season and won’t be excited to hear that the 76ers are one of the best in the NBA at defending the 3, particularly over the last 10 games where they’ve allowed just 32% of guarded looks to fall, the second-best mark in the NBA.

As a team ranked dead last in rebounding, the Mavericks also won’t have much fun against a 76ers team which has been strong on the glass of late. This is all on top of the fact that the Mavericks are a mess offensively, and the Sixers have been putting the clamps down.

The Sixers have lost just 11 games in Philly and enter this one 22-14-1 against the spread at home this season. I really don’t see Dallas winning, even in a must-win spot. The Sixers play excellent defense and have incredible depth, which should help them win even without Embiid and Harden.

I would lay the points here up to 6.5, but you’d probably be wise to wait on injury news. This line would indicate that sportsbooks feel at least Embiid is playing, so I wouldn’t expect a huge move if he’s ruled in. Without him, though, you’ll get an excellent price on the home team.