The Dallas Mavericks and Miami Heat are both in the thick a close race for playoff positioning in their respective conferences. The former now finds themself in fifth place thanks to some poor play from the Lakers, but just a half-game clear of the play-in tournament. The latter isn’t any more comfortable, hanging on to the sixth and final spot before the play-in tournament by just one game. After Monday, one team will be in danger of falling into the play-in tournament. Will it be Dallas or Miami? We’ll tell you where to look at SBR’s top-rated sportsbooks.
Dallas Mavericks vs. Miami Heat
Tuesday, May 4, 2021 – 8:00 PM EDT at AmericanAirlines Arena
Staying in the Fight
Dallas hasn’t been playing its best basketball by any means, nor is it completely healthy, but that hasn’t stopped the team from staying competitive out West. The Mavericks currently sit in sixth place, having momentarily leapfrogged the struggling Los Angeles Lakers before Monday’s win. Once seemingly destined for the play-in tournament, they’re now a half-game clear of the seventh-place Trail Blazers, and as long as they continue winning they’ll avoid that fate. That won’t be easy for Dallas, who has the Heat, Nets, Grizzlies, Pelicans, Raptors and surprising Timberwolves on the schedule mixed in with two seemingly automatic wins against the Cavaliers.
It looks like Dallas will have to do this without the services of one of its best players, however. Kristaps Porzingis is doubtful for this one as of Monday night, dealing with right knee soreness. On top of that, Maxi Kleber is questionable with right Achilles soreness. The Mavs have played plenty of games without these two all year long, but frontcourt depth could be important against the Heat.
On the defensive side, it’s been a struggle for the Mavs who are allowing 37.8% shooting from deep over the past 10 games, which has equated to 113.9 points per 100 possessions. That ranks all the way down in 21st in the NBA over that time-frame. For all the hard work Dallas put in on this end to even get into this position to make the postseason, it’s seemed tired and beaten down when it comes to getting stops. There’s also the fact that this team played five games in one week last week, and is surely working with tired legs all around.
It’s no secret that Miami’s had to deal with some unfortunate injuries this season. It’s seen Tyler Herro and other key contributors enter the league’s health and safety protocols multiple times over, veterans have felt the effects of a condensed season, and a prized deadline acquisition has hardly played. So, Tuesday’s injury report should come as no surprise. Herro will miss another game due to right foot soreness, while Andre Iguodala is listed as questionable with a hip injury. Victor Oladipo, who Miami was so excited to add this season to help out on both ends of the floor, continues to be out with a knee issue.
Despite all of that, the Heat are 7-3 over their last 10 games. They’re fourth in offensive efficiency during that run, scoring 117.2 points per 100 possessions, but just 14th when it comes to defense. That’s been the clear weakness for Miami, that and they continue to struggle rebounding, ranking near the bottom third of the NBA in that stat. With some key frontcourt depth for Dallas potentially missing, however, things might not be so bad.
With that, I’m looking right at the total here. I think the Heat are a deserving favorite at the best online betting sites, but It’s hard for me to lay three and a half points on a team dealing with so many injuries. With that said, both teams’ injuries could lead to an Over. Defense hasn’t been the strong-suit of either side over the past 10 games, and while the Heat have ranked dead last in pace, the Mavericks should help that pick up a little bit here.
The frontcourt issue is also real for Dallas, and if Kleber does indeed miss this game, the Heat offense could surge to new hights. I think we could get the best offensive showing in a while from both sides, and I have no problem taking such a low number.
*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.