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Celtics vs. Mavericks: NBA Picks and Predictions

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Celtics vs. Mavericks: NBA Picks and Predictions
Luka Doncic #77 of the Dallas Mavericks on February 22, 2021 in Dallas, Texas. Tom Pennington/Getty Images/AFP

The Mavs survived a comeback attempt by the Grizzlies on Monday night and now they are tasked with a much tougher opponent in Boston on Tuesday. Can the Mavs shake off the tired legs or will the C’s grind their way to a road win in this very short spread? Let’s check their NBA odds.

Boston Celtics vs. Dallas Mavericks

Tuesday, February 23, 2021 – 07:30 PM EST at American Airlines Center

Mavs’ Frontcourt Questions

Kristaps Porzingis did not play for the Mavs last night against the Grizzlies and while they didn’t need him very much, his status tonight will be one to watch for the Mavs as we get closer to game time.

Porzingis could have just been sitting out due to the Mavs playing on the front half of a back to back. So, if I had to guess, I think the star big man will be back tonight. However, that is far from a sure thing right now, so it may be a good idea to check on Porzingis’ status before locking in any bet.

That is because not only will the Celtics have a nice advantage down low if Porzingis doesn’t play, it’s also because the Mavs may be down two of their best big men tonight.

Maxi Kleber went down with an ankle injury in Monday’s game and did not return. If he experiences swelling in his ankle and is unable to play the Mavs’ frontcourt will be very thin tonight if Porzingis can’t return either.

Dwight Powell and Willie Cauley-Stein would have to absorb a ton of minutes and since both of them played 20-plus minutes a night ago, it could lead to Boston getting more buckets in the paint in this one.

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The Sharp Pick

Even though Dallas had been off for a while before Monday’s game, the back to back could cause some issues for this team. When the season began, the Mavs were one of the better defensive teams in the NBA, and they were consistently good on that end of the court.

However, things have changed a lot since then and the Mavs have regressed to the mean a lot defensively. They looked good defensively against Memphis, but the Grizzlies are without a lot of offense right now, so I’m not ready to label the Mavs’ defense as back after just one game following a long layoff.

Dallas is allowing 113.7 points per 100 possessions this season, which ranks 25th in the league. They also are allowing more points per 100 possessions at home this season at 116.3, which ranks 29th in the league. Over their last five games, it’s been even worse.

Jayson Tatum #0 of the Boston Celtics dribbles. Maddie Meyer/Getty Images/AFP

Despite having a lot of time off prior to Monday, I doubt that will help Dallas tonight on the defensive end. Their only way to win games lately has been to outscore their opponent, so I’m banking on a high scoring game here.

The pace shouldn’t be overly fast, but both teams have the ability to put up 120 points on the other. Dallas has allowed 116.4 points per game over their last five and have scored nearly 123 per game in those five.

Several of those games were against pretty average-to-below average teams as well, so with Boston coming into town and the Mavs potentially tired, I expect some points in this one.

Dallas had cashed the over in seven straight before cashing the under on Monday. For my best bets, I expect the over trend to bounce back here with the C’s in town, especially if the Mavs have little rim protection with their potential injuries. However, if Porzingis plays, that will obviously help the over.

NBA Pick: OVER 226 (-108) at Heritage Sports (visit our Heritage Sports Review)

OVER 226(-108)
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*The pick reflects the line at the moment the writer made the play, the odds at the beginning of this article show the live line movement. Since the lines might vary, don’t forget to refer back to our live odds.