The high-flying Brooklyn Nets welcome the inconsistent Dallas Mavericks at the Barclay’s Center on Saturday for an interconference showdown.
The Brooklyn Nets (22-12) are riding an incredible eight-game winning streak, improving their run of positive form most recently behind a 129-92 win over the Orlando Magic. It’s the first time the Nets face off against the Dallas Mavericks (15-16) this season; as well it’s the first time James Harden faces his old rival Luka Doncic since he was traded away from the Houston Rockets.
By all accounts, this should be a scintillating showdown that hoops bettors will want to spot on NBA picks. In fact, the early betting odds underpin that notion as the market on this clash has opened with the Nets laying merely -2.5 points to the Mavericks.
Dallas Mavericks vs. Brooklyn Nets
Saturday, February 28, 2021 – 8:30 PM ET at Barclay’s Center
Mavericks Can’t Find Consistent Form
The Dallas Mavericks have struggled to find consistency for the better part of this season and they’re paying the price for it with a subpar 15-16 mark to date. As such, the Mavericks find themselves on the outside and looking in, sitting just outside of the playoff frame in ninth place and 10 games back of Western Conference leaders, Utah Jazz. In terms of the Southeast division, the Mavericks are in second place and 2,5 games back of the current leaders, San Antonio Spurs.
Over the last month there’s been a marked improvement on form behind a solid 7-3 SU in their last ten games. However, most recently, the Mavericks merely 2-2 SU in their last four games, which includes Thursday’s brutal 111-97 loss to Eastern Conference leaders, Philadelphia 76ers.
The Dallas Mavericks had won two straight games since returning to action following a week-layoff that was brought on unexpectedly by the terrible weather disaster that hit the state of Texas over a fortnight ago. Going into Philly with a measure of form though, hopes were high within Dallas’ camp even though Kristaps Porzingis was side-lined for a third straight game (back). Alas, things didn’t go to plan and the Mavs failed to improve their winning form to three straight wins.
The Mavs were put through the ringer by the 76ers, their starters thoroughly outplayed and outscored by Philly’s starters through four quarters. Doncic entered the game riding MVP-like form, averaging 34 points, eight rebounds, and eight assists while shooting 48% from deep in over a seven-game span that saw the Mavs reach .500. But he put up only 19 points, 3 rebounds, and 4 assists in Dallas’ losing effort on the road.
By the stats, the Mavericks are averaging 112.4 points on 46.5 percent shooting while allowing 113.6 points on 46.9 percent shooting. They’re shooting average is 35.2 percent from beyond the arc and 78.2 percent from the free throw line. At the same time, they’re allowing 36.9 percent shooting from deep and they’re grabbing 42.4 rebounds per game.
Doncic is averaging a solid 28.9 points and 9.2 assists, Kristaps Porzingis is averaging 20.5 points and 8.2 rebounds, while Tim Hardaway Jr. is averaging 16.8 points and 3.1 rebounds.
On a side note, it’s interesting to note that several USA betting sites tip the Mavericks as the team to beat in the Southeast division, however, in futures betting markets, the Mavericks are longshots to win it all. Bovada Sportsbook, for example, tips the Mavericks at +5500 to win the NBA Championship title this season.
Brooklyn Nets Among Teams To Beat
By the NBA odds, the Brooklyn Nets are amongst the top teams to beat in the chase for the NBA Championship title. On the strength of their stellar 22-12 SU mark, the Nets, depending on the choice top betting site, are tipped anywhere between +280 and +550 to win it all by season end.
Recent form is an impressive 8-2 SU, which includes a run of eight straight wins. Dialing it back further, they’re 13-4 SU in their last 17 games going back to January 23. The only losses during this stretch have come to Washington, Toronto, Philadelphia, and Detroit.
The Brooklyn Nets are averaging 121.2 points on 50.1 percent shooting while allowing 117 points on 46.9 percent shooting. Their shooting average sits at 40.6 percent from beyond the arc and 80.9 percent from the free throw line. At the same time, they’re allowing 36.6 percent shooting from deep and they’re grabbing 43.5 rebounds per game.
Kyrie Irving is averaging 27.4 points and 4.7 rebounds while James Harden is averaging 24.9 points per game, 8.5 rebounds and 11.3 assists. Kevin Durant, who has led the team in scoring with an average 29 points, remains side-lined with an injury for the foreseeable. Reports suggest he’ll be out through All-Star week at the very least. That said the Nets don’t appear to have missed Durant a whole lot as they’ve won six games on the trot without the starlet.
Most recently, the Nets crushed the Orlando Magic 129-92 at home, improving to a 13-5 SU mark at the Barclay’s Center this season. Irving and Harden combined for 47 points, 16 assists and 14 boards in the victory. With the way the duo is playing for Steve Nash’s side, there really is no hurry for Irving to rush back to court.
NBA Predictions and Picks
Although the Brooklyn Nets are on a tear, recent form is encouraging for the Dallas Mavericks too. That fact alone makes this a riveting contest that could prove as competitive as the early NBA odds seem to suggest. That said, the Mavs’ recent wins come at the expense of questionable opponents for the most part, raising the question of whether bettors should really put any stock on it. Quite simply, against stiff opposition, the Mavs have been found wanting more often than not – case-and-point, their hefty loss to the 76ers.
The Nets (half a game back) are chasing the 76ers in the standings, and after seeing the 76ers manhandle the Mavs on Thursday they must fancy their chances to mete out a similar offensive clinic. Put another way, with the Nets laying merely -2.5 on the NBA odds board, it’s just too tempting of an opportunity to not tickle in the betting.
*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.