Mavericks vs. Raptors Odds
|Time||5 p.m. ET|
|TV||NBA League Pass|
|Odds via BetRivers. Get up-to-the-minute NBA odds here.|
The last time these two teams faced off was on Nov. 4 of this year. The Mavericks won 111-110 but failed to cover the 4.5-point spread.
Worse than just the loss, the Raptors lost their best player, Pascal Siakam, to a right groin injury in that game.
Siakam hasn’t played since then, but is targeting next week to make his return.
OG Anunoby led the Raptors with 27 points to go with seven rebounds and five steals. The Raptors kept it close, but were at full strength.
Can Toronto keep it close again despite a rash of injuries to key players?
Mavericks Can’t Seem to Cover the Spread
The Mavericks have a winning record of 9-8, but have been the worst team against the spread (4-12-1, -49.20% ROI) so far this season, even worse than the Lakers (5-11, -40.51% ROI).
A big part of this is due to their play style, which relies heavily on volume 3-point shooting and therefore leads to higher variance. The Mavericks are third in 3-point rate taking 42.6% of their shots from beyond the arc. However, they are just 18th in 3-point accuracy at 35.2%, according to Cleaning the Glass.
Dallas’ defense is also a part of the reason for their ATS woes. While they do well in limiting opponent’s 3s and layups, they struggle at defending those areas, ranking 22nd (37.3%) and 24th (68.3%), respectively.
This is not to say that their defensive is poor. By limiting opponents’ opportunities at high-efficiency shots, the Mavericks have earned themselves a top-10 Defensive Rating of 109.9. However, they are vulnerable to teams that are capable in either of those areas.
Out of all of the Mavericks’ 12 ATS losses, only three teams have been in the bottom half of the league in both offense at the rim and from beyond the arc: the Thunder, the Rockets (in a game where Doncic sat out) and, you guessed it, the Raptors.
But that was a different Raptors team than the one we’ll be seeing tonight and their battered roster makes them a tough sell.
Raptors Facing Matchup Disadvantage
Injuries have been a problem lately for the Raptors, who will be without Pascal Siakam, Otto Porter Jr., Scottie Barnes, Precious Achiuwa, and Justin Champagnie while Dalano Banton is a game time decision.
Another question mark heading into tonight’s game is the status of All-Star point guard Fred VanVleet who is dealing with a non-Covid illness.
The fact that VanVleet practiced yesterday is a good sign for his return, but he’s still tagged as questionable as of the writing of this article.
However, with so many Raptors out, containing Luka and the Mavs will be a difficult task regardless of VanVleet’s status.
When Toronto lost Siakam to injury on Nov. 4, the Raptors were 5-4 SU and 7-2 ATS. Since Siakam’s injury, Toronto is 4-5 SU and just 3-6 ATS.
What Siakam and Barnes provide the Raptors on both ends of the floor is very difficult to replicate. Their on/off splits are head and shoulders above the rest of the Raptors roster.
Siakam leads all Raptors with a +13.5 Differential, which is in the 88th percentile for the league, followed closely by Scottie Barnes’ +12.8, good enough for the 87th percentile.
Unfortunately for Toronto, Christian Koloko (+10.1) and Chris Boucher (+3.7) are the only other two Raptors with a positive differential.
The Raptors play style isn’t particularly conducive to stopping Jason Kidd’s offense. They currently allow the eighth-most 3s to opponents in the league (37.7%) and the seventh-most shots at the rim (36.1%).
And that’s exactly where the Mavericks like to play. As previously mentioned, the Mavericks shoot the third-most threes in the league and the second-fewest shots from the midrange, which means they’re also taking a healthy percentage of shots at the rim where they rank 14th (36.1%).
If VanVleet remains out tonight (which I don’t think he will), look to Anunoby scoring props. But since I think VanVleet will play, I’ll go with a pick that isn’t dependent on his status.
Tonight I’m going with a first quarter over since both teams tend to start games fast and with lackluster defense, two things we like to see when betting overs.
The Mavericks go from a Pace of 95.6 for the full game to 98.9 in the first quarter. It’s still only 29th, but their offense improves drastically in the first as well. They go from an Offensive Rating of 113 overall to 119.6 in the first quarter, which is sixth in the league according to NBA Advanced Stats. Meanwhile, their defense generally doesn’t tighten up until the game gets going.
The Raptors like to crank things up even more to start their games. Their full game pace of 98.7 skyrockets to 102.3 in the first quarter. They also go from a Defensive Rating of 110.9 to a first quarter rating of 115.9.
And the books haven’t adjusted to the increased scoring in the first quarters. The Raptors are 5-3 to the 1Q over at home and 9-8 overall, while the Mavericks are 3-2-1 on the road, but 11-5 overall.
I like the full game over, too, since my number is about three points higher than the opening total of 216, but I like the first quarter over even more.
Pick: 1Q over 54.5 (-124)