Hawks vs Mavericks Picks and Predictions: Wood Goes Off On Atlanta

Luka Doncic may need more help, but Christian Wood has really stepped up offensively for Dallas. Our NBA betting picks are banking on the Mavs' big man to get plenty of buckets against a smaller Atlanta Hawks squad.

Last Updated: Jan 18, 2023 1:34 PM ET Read Time: 4 min
Christian Wood Dallas Mavericks NBA
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The Atlanta Hawks will try to soar above .500 as they head to the Lone Star State to take on the Dallas Mavericks Wednesday night. These franchises are linked by the draft-day trade that brought Luka Doncic to the Mavs and Trae Young to the Hawks, and both superstars will try to carry their respective teams tonight.

NBA odds opened with the Mavs as 3-point home favorites with the Over/Under at 233.5. Here are my free Hawks vs. Mavericks NBA betting picks and predictions for January 18.

Hawks vs Mavericks best odds

Hawks vs Mavericks picks and predictions

Luka Doncic could still use more help, but Christian Wood has emerged as a dependable sidekick. Wood started off slowly with his new team and was primarily used off the bench but is now a full-time starter and thriving.

Since Christmas, Wood is averaging 22 points per game on 54% shooting, and he should get plenty of shot attempts tonight with Tim Hardaway Jr. expected to miss his second game in a row with an ankle injury. Wood took a season-high 22 field goal attempts on Sunday with Hardaway sidelined and has dropped at least 23 points in four of his last five contests. 

Wood can play either PF or C and Atlanta struggles to defend both positions — allowing 24.7 ppg to centers and 23.1 ppg to power forwards. The Hawks also rank 26th in the league with 53.7 ppg allowed in the paint and that number has surged to 61.3 ppg in their last three contests. 

My best bet: Christian Wood Over 21.5 points (-107)

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Hawks vs Mavericks spread analysis

The Mavericks must be happy to be home and well rested after a five-game road trip that saw them go 1-4 straight up and against the spread. They are coming off pair of losses to Portland on the weekend where they surrendered 136 and 140 points on back-to-back nights. 

Dallas was solid defensively last season but has regressed this year and is just 23rd in the league with an opponent field goal percentage of 47.9%. However, it limits foes to a 46.2 field goal percentage at American Airlines Center where it has played much better this season — going 16-6 at home with an average scoring margin of +5.4 ppg. 

Doncic has been carrying the team with 33.8 points, 9.0 rebounds, 8.8 assists, and 1.6 steals per game. The Mavericks have been too reliant on Doncic to create shots, but they rank fifth in the league in offensive rating thanks to his ability to stuff the stat sheet.

Doncic is expected to suit up today despite an ankle injury and forward Dorian Finney-Smith is also listed as probable after missing the last 14 games with a hip injury. Finney-Smith is one of the Mavs' best defenders and should help them on the wing. 

The Hawks have won three games in a row and are coming off a 121-113 win against the Heat on Monday where they shot a sizzling 59% from the floor. Atlanta has six players averaging at least 12 ppg led by the dynamic backcourt of Trae Young (27.4 ppg, 9.8 apg) and Dejounte Murray (20.4 ppg, 6.1 apg).

Somewhat surprisingly, the Hawks haven't been shooting the ball well and rank just 22nd in the league in offensive rating. They are a respectable 12th in the league in defensive rating (112.8) with that number improving to 110.2 in their last five games. 

Both of these teams rarely give the ball away, with Atlanta second in the league in turnover rate and the Mavs third. Dallas is dead-last in the league in rebound rate but the Hawks rank 28th and might not be able to take advantage of that weakness on the glass.

Hawks vs Mavericks Over/Under analysis

The Mavericks play at the second-slowest pace in the league, which was a recipe for lower-scoring games earlier in the season. Lately, they've been defending very poorly.

Their defensive rating of 119.5 since Finney-Smith was sidelined is the fourth-worst in the NBA. It will be interesting to see how much better they'll be on D if he returns to the lineup today. 

The Hawks love to push the tempo and are ninth in the league in pace. Despite ranking just 24th in the league in effective field goal percentage (52.8%) they are 11th in scoring with 115.1 ppg. They have been shooting the ball better over their last three games where they have a 58.7 EFG%.

When it comes to recent betting trends something has to give. The Over is 5-1 in Dallas' last six games at home and the Under has gone 4-1 in Atlanta's previous five contests on the road.

Hawks vs Mavericks betting trend to know

The Hawks are 18-37 ATS in their last 55 road games vs. a team with a winning home record. Find more NBA betting trends for Hawks vs. Mavericks.

Hawks vs Mavericks game info

Location: American Airlines Center, Dallas, TX
Date: Wednesday, January 18, 2023
Tip-off: 7:30 p.m. ET

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