Mavs vs. Rockets Odds & Picks: Point a Bug-A-Boo for Dallas in Houston

Two teams that know each other well are meeting in Houston tonight but the circumstances in which they enter the game could not be more different. Dallas is entering tonight with four of their top six rotation players out including Luka Doncic and Kyrie Irving.

Meanwhile, the Rockets are at home, where they are 11-2 and healthy outside of a questionable Tari Eason. Expecting Dallas to score enough to stay in the game with so much of their scoring and creation out seems farfetched at best.

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Mavs vs. Rockets Betting Odds

Mavs Rockets
Spread +8.5 -8
Moneyline +280 -340
Total o223.5 u223.5

*lines accurate at the time of publication

Mavs vs. Rockets Best Bets

Mavs TT Under -107.5 (-110, FanDuel)

It is easiest to start with the list of Mavs that are out: Luka Doncic, Kyrie Irving, Derrick Lively, Josh Green, Maxi Kleber. Seth Curry is questionable as well. Just in losing Doncic and Irving, that is the two highest usage players, a combined 68.3% out of the lineup. So much of the offense is built around the playmaking of those players that easy looks for the players remaining will be a big question.

Tim Hardaway Jr. is the best scorer remaining for the Mavs but will not be getting the best defensive assignment from a top-five defense and he is best when looking for his shot and not necessarily others. Jaden Hardy will have to step up and fill some of that usage but again, he is best used when looking for his numbers.

So far this season, Luka Doncic has only missed one game and in it, Dallas scored 84 points against the Grizzlies while shooting only 37% from the field. The problem with the remaining rotation players for the Mavs is when considering their shooting ability, they need to be set up perfectly to have their shooting numbers high enough to be respected.

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On the Houston side, they should have their full complement of personnel, especially defensively to make life difficult for the remaining Mavs. While the offense has waxed and waned for the Rockets, their defense has remained steady, third in December in non-garbage time minutes. Even with the lack of size for Dallas, which may lead to them attempting to play smaller, Houston has the personnel to match with rangier defensive-minded wings. Finding paths to an over, even on a lower total like this is more more difficult than finding ways the remaining Mavs sputter.

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