Mavericks vs. Kings Odds
|Time||10 p.m. ET|
|TV||NBA League Pass|
|Odds via Caesars. Get up-to-the-minute NBA odds here.|
The Dallas Mavericks and Sacramento Kings will play for the second straight night on Saturday. With any luck, fans will get to see the debut of the latest superstar duo in the league, with Luka Doncic probable to play his first game with Kyrie Irving.
The Mavericks outlasted the Kings on Friday night even without their MVP candidate, as Irving already showed his value to the team by providing a stable baseline with Doncic out. Irving put up 25 points and 10 assists, while Josh Green chipped in 17/4/7, and the defense did the rest.
The line initially settled at Kings -4.5 with a total of 232.5 for Friday’s game, but with Luka now likely to play, the line sits at Kings -1.5 with the over/under at 235.5.
It’s tough to beat a line hammered into shape over the course of two nights, but some markets are still softer than others.
So, if the Mavs won last night and now they add Luka into the mix, they’re a lock, right?
I’m guessing that will be a prevailing narrative among many bettors today, and it certainly makes sense. But when we analyze one game, it’s often best to zoom out and do our best to not be biased by a one-game sample, even if it seems like the most relevant data point.
The most relevant data point is actually the previous game’s closing line. The line has had a whole pregame cycle to hammer itself into an exact closing line, and then the books get to post that sharp line as the opener this time, which makes it much harder to find an edge.
Unless you believe the books are missing some factor about either team that would’ve changed overnight, the line should be around the same (This could look like one team playing much worse on back-to-backs over a sustainable sample, etc.).
It’s a little different when a star player missed the first, such as Doncic. But we know how the books weigh a single player as well. As such, it’s not surprising that with Luka likely to play, the line shifted three points toward Dallas.
If he is given the full go-ahead, that number will likely move one more point, making Doncic worth around four points — about as high as any player in this league.
With that, I’m turning to a market that will be a lot different with Luka back: player points props for Dallas.
As noted, this will be the first game for Luka and Kyrie, two of the most ball-dominant players in the league.
Naturally, the expectation is for someone like Tim Hardaway Jr. to touch the ball less. But in this case, I’m not sure the books are going to adjust enough. His points line Friday night was 16.5 points juiced to over, but with Doncic back, I’d imagine we’ll see something closer to either 14.5 or 13.5 (his season average is 13.9).
I’m going to be looking to the under. Hardaway is averaging 17.2 points per game with Luka out, compared to 13.2 with Luka playing. With Kyrie in tow, I’d project him around 12.0 PPG moving forward.
These guys will open up looks for THJ, but he’ll have the ball in his hands much less, something that clearly matters to his points prop as we can see from the split above.
I’d take under 13.5 unless there’s crazy juice. I’d even go all the way to under 11.5 for plus money.
I’ll be looking at a player angle here as well, because of how sharp I believe the spread and total are. And since the Kings are not adding or removing any key pieces for tonight, these player props in theory would have been bet into shape as well.
But I prefer this angle for two reasons here.
For one, totals and sides also have higher limits, so they’re going to draw more sharps and thus be sharpened faster. The other reason is specific to this game, though, and it’s that I can’t figure out this Sabonis points + rebounds + assists (PRA) prop right now.
For the season, Sabonis is averaging 18.6/12.2/7.0 for a PRA total of 37.8. The Mavs are the slowest-paced team in the league, and there are no factors in which they flail that Sabonis would typically take advantage of, so I would’ve set his line around 35.5 or 36.5 before Friday night.
Instead, we got 37.5, and he went under (36).
So, one would have to imagine that the line would come down just a hair? Nope, the line is at 39.5 to open.
I’m going to bet the Sabonis points + rebounds + assists under 39.5, because I believe the books are getting that just from the game total being higher. However, I see that total being raised as a result of Doncic playing, something that doesn’t really impact Sabonis. Plus, Luka has shown no real effect in speeding up the Mavs.
I’ll also bet under the THJ points under as laid out above (under 13.5 all the way to under 11.5 at plus money).
As noted throughout, I’m going to avoid what I believe to be a sharp spread and total. Instead, I’ll target these two player props as leans for this game.
Pick: Tim Hardaway Jr. Under 13.5 points · Domantas Sabonis Under 39.5 Points + Rebounds + Assists