Despite entering the series as the higher seed, the No. 4 seeded Mavericks were the betting underdog to the No. 5 seeded Utah Jazz. The uncertainty surrounding Mavericks star guard Luka Doncic left the public with skepticism for the Dallas supporting cast. However, the Jazz now face elmination in Game 6, needing a big performance to extend this series to a winner-take-all Game 7 on Saturday night.
Dallas already won Game 3 at Vinvint Arena, behind 31 points from Jalen Brunson. The return of Doncic led to a 102-77 Game 5 blowout at home, with 33 points and 13 rebounds from the Dallas star point guard.
Will the Mavericks closeout the Jazz in Salt Lake City, or can the Jazz force a Game 7 back in Dallas? Here are my picks for a fantastic Thursday Night matchup.
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Mavericks vs. Jazz Betting Odds
*Lines accurate at the time of publication.
Mavericks vs. Jazz Best Bets
Mavericks +1 (-110, PointsBet)
The Mavericks have been the better team throughout the series. Even without Luka Doncic, the Mavericks started the series 2-1 with wins at home in Game 2 and on the road in Game 3. With Utah’s leading scorer, guard Donovan Mitchell, dealing with hamstring soreness, this is a tough spot to back a Utah team that is struggling to gain chemistry.
Utah has been among the league’s worst teams against the spread this season. The Jazz are just 34-50-3 (39.1%) ATS, third-worst in the NBA. They ended the season just 2-9 ATS over their last 11 games, failing to cover eight games in a row. Utah covered the first game of this series, but has failed to cover the last four consectutive matchups.
Dallas has struggled against high-scoring guards all season, allowing big production to skill sets such as Phoenix’s Devin Booker and Doncic. Despite missing several games with a calf strain, Doncic has found no trouble scoring against the Jazz. He has registered consecutive double-doubles, and is averaging 31.5 PPG despite playing just 33.5 minutes in the two games.
The Dallas defense has caused trouble for the Jazz all series, with the Mavericks supporting cast suffocating Donovan Mitchell and Rudy Gobert. Center Dwight Powell has provided inside production on both ends of the floor, and the perimeter defense of Dorian Finney-Smith, Reggie Bullock, and Jalen Brunson, has kept the Jazz from elongated offensive runs.
The Utah “players-only” meeting did nothing to improve their on-court efficiency in this series. The Jazz need to make some critical decisions about the future of this team, and will have plenty of time after their season ends tonight.
Risk: 1.10 units on PointsBet to win 1 unit. (Bet up to -120)
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Mavericks vs. Jazz Game Total Under 210.5 Points (-110, DraftKings)
The Mavericks have been the best team to the under this season. Dallas is 52-33-2 (62%) to the under, including three of the five games in this series. In a must-win for Utah, I expect this game to play to the under again.
The Jazz remain a strong defensive team, finishing the season ranked ninth overall in defensive efficiency. They will need to contain Doncic, and force the perimeter scorers to continue their hot shooting. I expect a less explosive Mavericks offense on the road in Game 6, but also have doubts on how effective the Utah offense can be without a fully-healthy Donovan Mitchell.
Mitchell states he is “good to go” for tonight, but has been less than efficient throughout this series. His field goal percentage has dropped from 44.8% to 37.9% against Dallas, including his 3P percentage hovering around 19.5%. It’s difficult to see how the Jazz can win a high-scoring game with their leading-scorer struggling, and now hurt.
I’m taking the under in a Game 6 matchup that carries just a one-point spread. Both teams will be led by their defense, keeping at least one team under 100 points.
Risk: 1.10 units on DraftKings to win 1 unit. (Bet up to -120)
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