The season is on the brink for the Dallas Mavericks. Their incredible run in the second half of the season and through the NBA Playoffs has been awesome to watch, but they face the prospect of getting swept at home in Game 4 of the Western Conference finals.
In various desperate spots this season, the Mavericks have risen to the challenge and excelled. Can they do it again here to force this series back to the Bay Area?
NBA Odds & Picks
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|Warriors vs. Mavericks Moneyline|
|Kevon Looney Player Prop|
|Warriors vs. Mavericks Game Total|
Golden State Warriors vs. Dallas Mavericks
|Tipoff||9 p.m. ET|
Austin Wang: The Mavericks’ remarkable season appears to be nearing its end as they enter Game 4 down 3-0 to the Warriors. No team has ever come back from this deficit in the history of the NBA.
Many bettors, including myself, expected the Mavericks to come out strong at home in Game 3. The home team wasn’t able to buy a basket and went 13-for-45 (28.9%) from behind the arc. Reggie Bullock and Maxi Kleber, two critical role players, went a combined 0-for-15 from the field.
The Warriors turned it up against the Mavs in Game 3 and defied all 2-0 trends and home-away splits. They added insult to injury as Andrew Wiggins posterized Luka Doncic and Stephen Curry taunted the Mavericks with a shimmy in the third quarter.
Since the 2017-18 season, the Warriors are 4-6 straight up and 1-9 ATS after a playoff series road win, per the SDQL at Gimme the Dog. The Warriors tend to have a let-down spot after a road win in the playoffs.
The home-away splits still favor the Mavs. The Warriors still struggle on the road – 25-22 straight up and 19-27-1 ATS in road games this season (including the playoffs). On the other hand, the Mavericks were 34-14 straight up and 28-18-2 ATS this season and playoffs.
The betting public will look to back the Warriors as underdogs to complete the sweep. However, with the taste of that demoralizing loss lingering in their mouths, I expect the Mavericks to make one final stand in Game 4 and go out with some dignity. I’m playing the Mavericks ML at -110 (up to -125).
|Pick||Kevon Looney Over 9.5 (+100)|
|Tipoff||9 p.m. ET|
Munaf Manji: One of the many areas the Warriors have been abusing the Mavericks is on the glass. Mavericks head coach Jason Kidd said after the Game 3 loss that they need to rebound the basketball better to have any chance of winning a game in this series.
On the boards, the biggest thorn in Dallas’ side has been big man Kevon Looney. In two out of the three games in this series, Looney has grabbed at least 10 or more rebounds, including back-to-back games with 12 rebounds.
The Mavericks are allowing their opponents to grab 45 rebounds per game in the postseason, which ranks No. 13 amongst the 16 playoff teams. The Mavericks also rank No. 12 in defensive rebounding percentage.
I don’t see a reason why Looney’s rebounding success would slow down in this one, and I expect him to have a third straight game of double-digit rebounds.
|Tipoff||9 p.m. ET|
Brandon Anderson: I’m not entirely sure what to expect from this game. I see two possible scripts.
In the first script, the Warriors comes out and deliver an early knockout punch. Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson and Draymond Green are just too good — they know it, the Mavericks know it — and the result is quickly obvious and inevitable. That’s what this looked and felt like in the second half of Game 3.
Doncic looked like he knew he was beaten. He and the Mavs were exhausted. They fought all the way but didn’t have enough. If that happens again in Game 4, this could be a 1-2-3 Cancun moment as Hookah Doncic and the boys put a bow on the season and get ready to party.
Then there’s the other script. In that script, the Mavs show that this series isn’t as much of a blowout as it seems. Dallas comes out firing and actually hits those 3s early again like it did in Game 2, and this time, the Warriors don’t push back. Golden State has done this before. The Warriors have gone up 3-0 in a series 10 previous times and are only 6-4 straight up in those closeout Game 4s.
Sometimes the Warriors come out, see if the shots fall early and they can coast to a win, and if not they sort of laugh it off, shrug their shoulders, and pack it in for a home Game 5 win.
Both scripts have one thing in common — one team not really totally showing up all game. I’m not sure which way it goes, but I could see either of these teams getting away in the second half and suddenly one team only puts up a number in the 80s and drags this whole game under.
We’ve already got two unders in three anyway, so that’s more than enough to push me toward an under in Game 4.