Mavericks vs. Pistons: Fade Dallas in a Letdown Spot

Kenny Ducey breaks down Thursday's NBA matchup between the Dallas Mavericks and the Detroit Pistons and shares his best bet.

Mavericks vs. Pistons Odds

Mavericks Odds -8
Pistons Odds +8
Over/Under 221
Time 7 p.m. ET
Odds via FanDuel. Get up-to-the-minute NBA odds here.

The Dallas Mavericks rebounded in a big way by taking out the Golden State Warriors on Tuesday night and will look to continue their winning ways in a rather easy matchup with the Pistons.

Is Tuesday’s game proof enough to back Dallas to cover another spread, or should we look elsewhere when betting this game? Let’s dive into it.

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Can the Mavericks Be Trusted to Cover?

The Mavericks have been one of the most nightmarish teams to bet this season. They started off the season 2-2 straight up and 3-1 against the spread and have since gone far downhill.

I’m not talking about their win-loss record, which stands at 10-10–I’m talking about the fact that Dallas has covered just twice since that start, going 2-13-1 against the spread.

The good news is that Dallas may have had its best result to date with a win over Golden State on Tuesday. The Mavs posted a 108.7 Defensive Rating against a solid Warriors offense and mustered up a 111.5 Offensive Rating despite just 34.1% shooting from 3.

The Mavericks were out-rebounded, 50-39, marking the fifth straight game they’ve been held under a 50% Rebounding Rate and the 10th time in 11 games.

That’s just been the story for Dallas, which ranks 29th in rebounding this season. It has shied away from shooting close to the rim, ranking sixth-lowest in frequency of attempts inside of 10 feet, and it ranks third in 3s, shooting them 47.6% of the time.

There are no injuries to report here for the Mavericks, so I’ll leave you with the fact that the Mavericks are 0-9 ATS after a win this season and 1-4 ATS as a road favorite.

Can Beef Stew Ignite the Pistons?

The Pistons seemed poised for a turnaround (albeit a minor one) when Isaiah Stewart returned to the lineup on Tuesday. They’d lost five of seven games since he went down with an injury and had really struggled in the rebounding department with Marvin Bagley III trying to pick up the slack and getting banged up while doing so. Then, they lost by 30 points to the Knicks.

So, I’m not really sure what to say here. The splits would tell you that with Stewart on the floor, the Pistons have seen a 3.1-percent increase in their Rebounding Rate. That’s what made their season-low mark of 38.2% against the Knicks so stunning. They’ve also been 1.5 points per 100 possessions better with Stewart this season, but the young center turned in a -22 in that game.

The Pistons continue to refuse to shoot 3s and instead rank sixth in attempts per game in the paint (not including the restricted area) and 11th in midrange attempts. They also refuse to defend inside the arc, allowing the second-worst field goal percentage on contested looks inside of 10 feet.

Mavericks-Pistons Pick

Maybe there’s no saving the Pistons. While I choose to believe they’re already in tank mode, Stewart’s return should make this team look a little more competitive.

With that said, the Knicks are playing some rather inspired basketball at the moment, and I’m not entirely sure this game will be a carbon copy of that one.

While Detroit is 24th in rebounding, Dallas is 29th. This Stewart-led frontcourt should make some headway here against the Mavericks, and there’s probably no reason to worry about the interior defense considering Dallas continues to be one of the most 3-happy teams around.

I’m going to continue to back the trends here. Fading the Mavericks against the spread, particularly in spots like this one, has been one of the most profitable moves all season. Detroit surprisingly ranks ninth-best at defending the 3 and should be well-equipped to make this competitive.