Warriors vs. Mavericks Preview: Dallas Is Very Live Underdog

Can the Luka Doncic-led Mavericks pull another upset in Game 1 at Golden State?

The Western Conference Finals tips off between the Golden State Warriors and Dallas Mavericks. Golden State finally finished off a Ja Morant-less Memphis team in six games after jumping out to a 3-1 lead. The Warriors hold home court advantage, but will start this series without two key players in Andre Iguodola (back) and Gary Payton II (elbow). Both are expected to play in the series, but their timetable for return is unknown.

Dallas has been the surprise of the playoffs, earning a shocking 123-90 blowout victory over Phoenix in Game 7, eliminating the No. 1 seeded Suns from contention. Luka Doncic was brilliant, averaging 32.6 points, 9.9 rebounds and seven assists, while generating repeated open three-point attempts from Dorian Finney-Smith, Reggie Bullock, Maxi Kleber, and Jalen Brunson.

The regular season meetings between these teams fail to provide reliable data, as neither team featured the same roster they currently carry. Dallas did win three of the four contests, including a 122-113 matchup in early March. While Golden State did not have Draymond Green in that game, they did allow 41 points to Doncic and 17 three-pointers to the Mavericks team.

Here are my two picks for today’s Game 1 matchup between the Mavericks and Warriors.

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Warriors vs. Mavericks Betting Odds

Warriors Mavericks
Spread -5.5 +5.5
Moneyline -228 +186
Over/Under 214.5

*Lines accurate at the time of publication.

Warriors vs. Mavericks Wednesday Night Picks

Mavericks +5.5  (-110, DraftKings)

I am concerned by how Golden State ended their series with Memphis. The Warriors had massive advantages on offense with the Grizzlies missing Ja Morant, yet struggled mightily in all three games, including two at home.

The Grizzlies stayed competitive with defense, and Dallas will bring the NBA’s best statistical defense to this matchup. The Mavericks posted a 1.0 defensive efficiency rating over their last three games, even more impressive when you consider they beat a Phoenix team that finished with the best record in the league. Dallas also stifles their opponents from beyond the arc, holding the Suns to just 27 total points in the first half of Game 7 at home.

The Mavericks rank third-best in the NBA in cover rate this season, currently holding a 56-37-2 (60.2%) ATS record this year. This includes a very impressive 28-20 (58.3%) road cover rate this season. Dallas thrived against the Suns, covering four of the last five games with three outright wins as underdogs.

The overwhelming about of bets and money is on Golden State, but I will grab the points with a Dallas team that continues to be undervalued despite the Doncic dominance.

Risk: 1.10 units on DraftKings to win 1 unit. (Bet up to -120)

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Dwight Powell Over 7.5 Points + Rebounds (-110, BetMGM)

Dwight Powell sees a much more favorable setting against Golden State, where he will be matched up with the limited mobility of Kevon Looney.

Powell has thrived in the games with Luka Doncic this season, posting 9.0 points and 4.8 rebounds in the 65 games they have played together. Phoenix provided more interior resistance with Deandre Ayton, JaVale McGee, and Bismack Biyombo all providing resistance to Powell’s upside.

However, Powell did average 5.3 points and 4.8 rebounds is four matchups this year against the Warriors, and tallied overall regular season averages of 8.7 points and 4.9 rebounds.

Powell is an active and athletic big man, that should be able to effort his way to beat this number. He tallied 11 Points + Rebounds in the final two games against the Suns, and I’m betting he does it again in Game 1.

Risk: 1.10 units on DraftKings to win 1 unit. (Bet up to -120)

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