Once again, Golden State has the look of an NBA champion.
The Warriors run of three NBA championships and five consecutive trips to the NBA finals, even exceeds the early-century dominance of the Los Angeles Lakers. Golden State is once again on the precipice of a return to the NBA Finals, grabbing a commanding 3-0 series lead after a 109-100 win on Sunday Night.
No team has been able to overcome a 3-0 series deficit, and only three teams have ever rallied to even force a Game 7. However, one of those teams was the Dallas Mavericks, who forced a Game 7 against the Portland Trail Blazers in 2003.
After failing to defend their home court in Game 3, most of the betting public is backing the Warriors to finish off the 4-0 sweep tonight. Can the Mavericks earn that elusive first win over the Warriors, and start on the path towards making NBA history?
Here are my picks for tonight’s Game 4 matchup at the American Airlines Center.
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Mavericks vs. Warriors Betting Odds
*Lines accurate at the time of publication.
Mavericks vs. Warriors Tuesday Night Picks
Mavericks -1 (-105, DraftKings)
The biggest surprise of Game 4 was the poor shooting efficiency of the Mavericks.
In 16 playoff games, Dallas has shot 37.3 percent from beyond the arc. This is only slightly worse than Golden State, who has maintained 37.9 percent 3P playoff efficiency. The Mavericks are the only playoff team to carry over a 50 percent three-point frequency number, shooting 51.3% of their shots from beyond the arc. Dallas needs to shoot well from deep to find offensive success. This is especially true in their seven home playoff games, where Dallas is averaging an NBA-high 15 made three-pointers per game.
The Mavericks shot just 28.9 percent (13 of 45) from beyond the arc in Game 3, a crippling obstacle for their chances of victory. Despite their struggles, Dallas still held a 42-33 lead late in the second quarter, before struggling throughout the second half.
Dallas guard Reggie Bullock and forward Maxi Kleber combined to shoot 0-12 from three-point range in Game 3. I expect Dallas to experience some positive shooting regression, while maintaining their strong defensive performance from Sunday. The Mavericks held Golden State to just 11 made three-pointers, and force the Warriors into three more turnovers (10 overall).
When a team earns that critical Game 3 road win, it is difficult to find that same motivation for Game 4. Dallas has been too good in these playoffs to get swept at home in the Western Conference Finals. I think they force a Game 5 in Golden State with a home win tonight.
Risk: 1.05 units on DraftKings to win 1 unit. (Bet up to -110)
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Mavericks vs. Warriors Under 215.5 Points (-110, DraftKings)
Dallas is the slowest team in the NBA this season per John Hollinger’s Pace metric for ESPN. They also have struggled to match Golden State on the boards, often dropping all five players back on defense and giving up offensive rebounding opportunities.
That defensive play worked well in Game 3, it was the Mavericks offensive struggles that were their downfall. That led to a comfortable under 217-point game total, which I project happens again tonight.
The Warriors bench became even thinner with the loss of Otto Porter Jr. to a Game 3 foot injury. This puts Golden State in a challenging position if any of their starters experience foul trouble. That is certainly possible for Draymond Green, who already fouled out of Game 2.
Dallas was an overwhelming play to the under in home games, at 35-12-1 (74.5%) to the under at American Airlines Center this season. It the most important game of the season, I don’t expect that trend to change.
Risk: 1.10 units on DraftKings to win 1 unit. (Bet up to -120)
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