Bucks vs. Mavericks Betting Odds
|Bucks odds||-5.5 [BET NOW]|
|Mavericks odds||+5.5 [BET NOW]|
|Moneyline||-240/+195 [BET NOW]|
|Over/Under||237.5 [BET NOW]|
|Time||8:30 p.m. ET|
The Bucks have officially clinched the No. 1 seed in the East, and the Mavericks are more-or-less locked into the 7-seed in the West. Will either of these teams push for a win? Or instead, will they treat this matchup as simply a tune-up game for the playoffs?
With Milwaukee locked into the top seed in the East, it will be critical to monitor the status of their stars and their entire roster prior to tip-off. Moreover, it may be nerve-wracking to back Milwaukee, because it’s difficult to know if we’ll see the Bucks that “showed up” against the Nets — or the Bucks that came back from 23-points down to cover -9.5 against the Heat.
That being said, the Bucks have not been their usual dominant selves. Per NBA.com, Milwaukee reports a 1.7 Net Rating during bubble play, which is a far cry from the Bucks’ 10.2 rating for the entire season. The difference has been almost entirely on the defensive side of the ball. Whether due to issues with team chemistry or communication, the Bucks are giving up far more points per 100 possessions in the bubble than the regular season.
The Mavericks have two key players listed as Questionable for tonight’s game: Seth Curry and Dorian Finney-Smith. When both players are off the floor, the Mavericks have a +1.0 Net Rating, a dramatic drop off from the +5.8 they have when both are on the court.
Overall, the Mavericks have a -2.9 Net Rating in the bubble, and it shows: Dallas is 1-3 straight up and 0-4 ATS. The Mavs have been able to score, but they’ve struggled to stop their opponents on defense.
Dallas’ defensive woes notwithstanding, the Mavericks’ advanced metrics suggest that their offense still hasn’t reached its peak. They have achieved an anticipated eFG% of 53.9%, but their actual eFG% sits at 49.9%. So, Dallas may actually be due for some positive regression on the offensive side of the ball.
Betting Analysis & Pick
When these teams played each other back in December, the Mavericks won 120-116 without Luka Doncic.
In this matchup, Dallas will likely follow the blueprint laid out by Houston and Brooklyn to defeat the Bucks by burying as many 3s as possible. The Mavericks shoots the deep ball at the fourth-highest rate in the NBA per Cleaning the Glass, while Milwaukee’s defensive scheme gives up perimeter shots by design.
If Dallas shoots well from deep, the Mavs should be in a strong position to contend. But, if their shooting is off, it may come down to a rebounding battle. Milwaukee and Dallas have both rebounded the ball well in the bubble, as each team ranks among the top-five in overall rebounding percentage. Whichever team is able to control the glass and convert second-chance opportunities will have a distinct advantage in what I project will be a close game.
We watched the Bucks mount an incredible comeback against the Heat, but they will have their hands full with the Mavericks’ offense. I like Dallas’ side in this matchup, but keep an eye out for the news surrounding Finney-Smith and Curry, as that may impact the line.
The PICK: Mavericks +5.5