Jazz vs Mavericks Game 2 Picks and Predictions: Jazz Hit All the Right Notes in G2

The Mavericks will have their work cut out for them tonight as they'll likely be without All-NBA sensation Luka Doncic. Can the remaining role players step up and prevent the Mavs from falling into an 0-2 hole to the Jazz? Find out in our NBA picks below.

Ryan Murphy - Managing Editor at Covers.com
Ryan Murphy • Managing Editor
Apr 18, 2022 • 17:30 ET • 4 min read
Rudy Gobert Utah Jazz NBA
Photo By - USA TODAY Sports

To play or not to play? That’s the question facing Luka Doncic, who hasn't committed to playing for the Dallas Mavericks in Game 2 of his team's first-round playoff series against the Utah Jazz. 

The superstar watched from the sidelines on Saturday as his squad fell 99-93 in a surprisingly gritty affair for two high-octane offenses. Doncic is listed as day-to-day, and is unlikely to return until the series shifts to Salt Lake City.

Can Dallas find another gear, or will the Jazz steal both games away from home? Find out in our NBA picks and predictions for Jazz vs. Mavs. 

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Jazz vs Mavericks odds

This odds widget represents the best odds available for each betting market from regulated sportsbooks.

The Jazz opened as 5.5-point favorites on Sunday morning after hanging on to defeat the Mavs by six points in their opening clash. That number has held steady at a multitude of sportsbooks in the 24 hours since.

The total opened at 203.5 as both teams struggled to crack the century mark on Saturday. It has risen to as high as 206 at bet365 but is available at 205.5 at most books.

Use the live odds widget above to track any future line movements right until tip-off and be sure to check out the full NBA odds before betting to ensure you get the best number.

Jazz vs Mavericks predictions

Predictions made on 4/18/2022 at 9:30 a.m. ET.
Click on each prediction to jump to the full analysis.

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Jazz vs Mavericks game info

Location: American Airlines Center, Dallas, TX
Date: Monday, April 18, 2022
Tip-off: 8:30 p.m. ET
TV: Bally Sports Southwest-Dallas, AT&T SportsNet-RM

Jazz vs Mavericks series odds

Jazz: -700
Mavericks: +500

Jazz vs Mavericks betting preview

Key injuries

Jazz: Trent Forrest SG (Out), Udoka Azubuike C (Out).
Mavericks: Frank Ntilikina PG (Day-to-Day), Luka Doncic PG (Day-to-Day), Tim Hardaway Jr. SF (Out).
Find our latest NBA injury reports.

Betting trend to know

The Mavs are 8-10 straight up this season when Luka Doncic sits. Find more NBA betting trends for Jazz vs. Mavericks.

Jazz vs Mavericks picks and predictions

Our side and total predictions are based upon our analysis of the line and total in this game. Our best bet is our favorite pick across all markets.

Spread analysis

Luka Doncic isn’t likely to win NBA MVP honors this season, but there’s no doubting the fact he’s the Mavericks’ most valuable player. The Slovenian sensation averaged 28.4 points, 9.1 rebounds, and 8.7 assists in his fourth season, and led the league in usage rate for the second straight year. His absence was keenly felt in Game 1 as the Mavs mustered just 93 points – 15 below their season average – and repeatedly failed to close the gap in the fourth quarter.

Doncic is likely to miss Game 2 tonight, which could spell doom again for Dallas. Prior to Saturday night’s debacle, the Mavs had won their last two games against the Jazz in large part because of Doncic’s exceptional play. The All-NBA star averaged 33.5 points, 13 rebounds, 6 assists, and 1.5 steals in those outings as he systematically picked Utah apart. Without Doncic in Game 1, the Mavericks generated just 17 assists and repeatedly failed to get the kinds of good, clean looks he so frequently generates. 

Spencer Dinwiddie and Jalen Brunson both had decent games in Doncic’s absence, but neither player can replace his production or the kind of gravity he creates when he’s on the court. Simply put, Doncic makes everyone around him better, and his inability to play exposes the weaknesses of the Mavs’ remaining role players. 

Doncic’s absence is really just one of many issues, as Dallas was also badly out-rebounded by Utah. The Jazz won the war on the glass 53-34 and outscored the Mavs in the paint 50-36.

Those are ridiculously lopsided margins, and they illustrate just how much work the Mavericks have ahead of themselves tonight. The presence of Rudy Gobert and Hassan Whiteside gives the Jazz a sizeable advantage inside, and the hard-working pivots should continue to present Utah with enough second chances to get the job done.

Even with Doncic, the Mavericks would have been hard-pressed to win Monday night’s clash. Without him, they have no chance.

Prediction: Jazz -5.5 (-110 at DraftKings)

Over/Under analysis

Much has been made of Doncic’s offensive brilliance, and rightfully so. The 23-year-old is the straw that stirs the drink in Dallas with his off-the-charts basketball IQ and ability to elevate the play of everyone around him. In fact, Doncic’s wizardry is so impressive that it sometimes conceals the fact that he’s positively dreadful at the other end of the court. 

Doncic’s pedestrian 110.3 defensive rating tells part of the story, but the eye test is far more convincing. The three-time All-Star struggles to stay in front of smaller, quicker guards and is the frequent target of pick-and-rolls. His lack of lateral speed and general unwillingness to do the dirty work at that end of the court have hampered Dallas since he arrived in the Lone Star State in 2018.

Although Doncic’s absence is obviously a crushing blow, the Mavs have looked significantly better on defense while he’s been sidelined this season. That was especially true in Game 1, as Dallas held Utah’s top-ranked offense to just 99 points on 43.4% shooting from the floor and 31.8% from beyond the arc. The Mavericks did an especially masterful job on Donovan Mitchell, who needed 29 shots to score 32 points.

Doncic’s absence meant Dallas could focus more on one-on-one coverage rather than having to aggressively help on his man as well. The end result was that Game 1 fell comfortably Under the projected 210-point total.

Both teams will make adjustments, but there are two other compelling trends that suggest Game 2 will be another low-scoring slugfest. Consider the fact that the Under is 10-1 in Utah’s last 11 games as a road favorite, and 11-2 in the Jazz’s last 13 road games overall.

Prediction: Under 206 (-110 at bet365)

Best bet

The Mavs made it their mission to make life miserable for Mitchell in Game 1, and for the most part they succeeded, forcing the All-Star guard into a dreadful 10-for-29 performance from the floor.

There was a notable downside to their relentless double teams, however, and that was the space and freedom allotted to Bojan Bogdanovic. The veteran sharpshooter erupted for 26 points on 11-for-20 shooting and was part of a decisive second-quarter push that put the Jazz up for good.

Bogdanovic’s projected point total for Game 2 has been set at a relatively modest 18.5, which is certainly tempting, but we’re going to pounce on his assist total of 1.5 instead.

Although Bogey isn’t known for being particularly generous with the rock, he did make all the right reads on Saturday as he piled up four assists in 40 minutes. The eight-year vet also averaged two assists in his three regular-season appearances against the Mavs this year and went Over tonight’s total 35 times in 2021-22.

No one will ever mistake Bogdanovic for Magic Johnson, but he has the skills and opportunity to easily dish out two dimes or more this evening.

Pick: Bojan Bogdanovic Over 1.5 assists (-135)

NBA parlays

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