Portland will be at a disadvantage Friday night when it hosts Dallas as the Trail Blazers will be playing the second of a back-to-back. Which way to lean at SBR’s top-rated sportsbooks? This is the lone national TV game of the night, shown on NBA TV. I’m quite sure betting action on the league will tail off quite a bit overall because Friday is the first day of the NCAA Tournament. There are parlay options, though, at the best betting sites between college hoops and the NBA. It’s a two-TV night for sure!
Dallas Mavericks vs Portland Trail Blazers
Friday, March 19, 2021 – 10:00 PM EDT at Moda Center
The Mavs and Blazers will not see each other again after this weekend (they play again Sunday in Portland) in the 2020-21 season barring a playoff matchup – which isn’t all that likely. Both should get in but doubtful the Blazers get high enough in the West standings to, say, face the sixth-seeded Mavericks.
On Valentine’s Day in Big D, the Mavs were 5.5-point favorites on the NBA odds (total was set at 235.5) and Portland pulled off the 121-118 upset despite 44 points, nine assists and seven rebounds from Luka Doncic. The problem was that no other Mavericks player had more than 18 points. In fact, the other four starters had 46 points combined. Damian Lillard led the Blazers, to no surprise, with 34 points (including tiebreaking three-pointer in final minute) and 11 assists. No other starter had a single assist. Portland leads the all-time series 87-75 and is 53-25 at home. However, Dallas is 7-1 ATS in its past eight trips to the Pacific Northwest. The over is 6-0 in the past six meetings.
Mavs’ Doncic Continues To Amaze
Dallas has alternated wins and losses over its past five, which doesn’t bode well here considering the Mavericks come off a 105-89 home blowout win over the Clippers on Wednesday in one of the team’s best efforts of the season and in what could be a first-round Western Conference playoff preview. The Mavs are 4-9 ATS on NBA picks in their past 13 after a win.
Doncic is making an MVP push as he had another absurd game with 42 points, nine assists, six rebounds, three steals and two blocks – Dallas outscored the Clippers by a whopping 29 points with Doncic on the court. He now has nine career 40-point games, tying Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Devin Booker for the 10th-most 40-point games by players age 22 or younger. Doncic won’t be 23 until next February.
Dorian Finney-Smith missed the game after the birth of his son and apparently will miss this one as well. Tim Hardaway Jr. started in his spot and had 15 points and six rebounds. The Mavs also are without backup big man Willie Cauley-Stein as he’s in the COVID protocols. The team had a major COVID issue earlier this season.
Expect a close game Friday as 14 of the past 15 meetings in this series have been by single digits, including each of the last 10. Seven of those 15 as well have been decided by three or fewer points.
Doncic is averaging 28.4 points, 8.3 rebounds and 7.2 assists per game in nine career games against the Blazers and has totaled at least 20 points, five points and five rebounds in eight of the nine – he has scored at least 20 in all of them.
Lillard Carrying Blazers
Portland completed a two-game home sweep (we picked the Blazers to win Tuesday’s game) of New Orleans on Thursday, 101-93. Damian Lillard has been playing crazy since the All-Star break and had 36 points in that one after 50 on Tuesday vs. the Pels.
Enes Kanter finished with 16 points and 13 rebounds Thursday and CJ McCollum, in his second game back from a broken foot, had 11 points on 3-for-16 shooting. I wonder if the Blazers might rest him in the second of a back-to-back to be safe? Unfortunately, that answer likely won’t come until much later today.
The Pelicans' 93 points were the fewest by a Portland opponent this season. New Orleans entered the game with 5th in offensive rating (117.5). Portland ranks 29th in defensive rating (117.7).
Portland is 4-4 in the second of a back-to-back this season and 2-2 at home. And I’d expect a big game from Lillard. He had 61 points in a win over Dallas in the Orlando bubble last August, the second-most points put up by an individual against the Mavericks in franchise history behind Kobe Bryant’s 62 on Dec. 20, 2005. Lillard is averaging 47.3 points in his past three vs. Dallas and has scored 25+ points in 18 of his last 19 games against the Mavericks.
Blazers head coach Terry Stotts spent four seasons as an assistant with Dallas (2008-12), including the team’s championship season in 2010-11.
I’m honestly not sure how to feel about this game. The Blazers are playing a third game in four nights but at least all were home. Dallas is well-rested – plus, I don’t know about McCollum and the teams play again Sunday. Still, I think Portland getting 3.5 points is too many. Take the points as the Blazers are 7-3 ATS in their past 10 as dogs.
*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.