The Dallas Mavericks aren’t enjoying the success the team dreamed of after acquiring Kyrie Irving, with a 4-6 straight up and against the spread mark since the star point guard debuted.
Dallas is slipping in the Western Conference standings and welcomes the Utah Jazz to the American Airlines Center on Tuesday. The team desperately needs a victory to climb back into a top-six spot in the West.
Utah is also sinking in the standings after losing three straight games and going 4-8 SU and 4-7-1 ATS in its last dozen contests.
Here are my best NBA picks and predictions for Jazz vs. Mavericks on March 7.
Jazz vs Mavericks best odds
Jazz vs Mavericks picks and predictions
Pressure is mounting on the Dallas Mavericks, and even more so on Kyrie Irving after the team lost a massive matchup against the Phoenix Suns this past weekend.
Tuesday’s home date against the Utah Jazz is one of just two home games for Dallas over the next seven contests. With the squad struggling on the road, this matchup is an important “get right” spot for the spiraling Mavericks.
The club’s poor record since the Irving deal isn’t really Kyrie’s fault, especially when you look at his work against Phoenix this past Sunday. He finished with 30 points on 10-for-19 shooting, doing damage both inside and out while also dishing seven assists.
Irving is still growing into his role with Dallas and beginning to create chemistry with the veteran's new teammates. Meanwhile, the Mavericks' isolation offense gets one of the best one-on-one players in NBA history. The Mavericks are running more isolation than any team in the league, and they rank top six in points per play and scoring frequency.
Utah has been enduring difficulties against heavy one-on-one attacks, with a bigger lineup a step behind those ball-handers. The Jazz allow an NBA-worst 48.7% scoring frequency against isolation offenses for 1.02 points per play. They're even more susceptible given the setup for Dallas’ offense, which drags interior defenders to the outside and takes away the weakside help.
The last time Irving faced this Jazz team he was with the Brooklyn Nets. He torched Utah for 48 points on 18-of-29 shooting, including eight triples. Irving also handed out six assists.
I don’t expect him to flirt with 50 again, but he'll definitely get to the paint for points and make this Jazz team start to cheat over on help. Kyrie has been given a point prop of 25.5 for Tuesday, a mark he’s blown away the past two games with efforts of 30 and 40 points.
Irving’s dribble penetration will collapse Utah's interior, and he’ll hit the open hands of the Mavs’ trigger-happy 3-point shooters, or catch cutters on dives to the rim for easy buckets inside. His assist prop is bouncing between 5.5 and 6.5 dimes for Tuesday, and Irving has topped his assist total in three straight games and seven of his last eight
The game total has ballooned to 236.5 points, indicating there will be plenty of chances for Irving to create offense one way or another.
My best bet: Kyrie Irving Over 32.5 points + assists (-105 at FanDuel)
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Jazz vs Mavericks spread analysis
The Mavericks opened between -5.5 and -7 depending on the sportsbook, but the market has steamed this spread as high as Dallas -9 as of Tuesday morning.
The Mavs went toe-to-toe with the Kevin Durant-led Phoenix Suns on Sunday, and they were a Luka Doncic bunny away from winning. But the Mavs' star scorer missed a point-blank shot in the waning seconds, leading to a 130-126 defeat.
Doncic and Irving combined for 64 points and Dallas shot 49% from the floor, but the team's defense remains a real soft spot. The Mavericks are 28th in defensive rating since the All-Star break, allowing foes to fire at nearly a 51% clip.
Meanwhile, the Jazz are facing a completely different level of competition and style during this trip to Dallas. Utah has taken on Western Conference bottom-feeders Oklahoma City (three times) and San Antonio (twice) over the past five contests, coming away with a disappointing 2-3 SU and 1-3-1 ATS record. They played without All-Star forward Lauri Markkanen (back) in the most recent loss to Oklahoma City, but he's expected to return for Tuesday.
Those recent foes and the Memphis Grizzlies, whom the Jazz played on February 15, feature drive-heavy offenses that rely on points in the paint. However, the Mavericks play a stretch-five defense that leans into dribble penetration to set up the 3-point kick out.
These teams last clashed immediately following the Irving trade on February 6, with Dallas beating Utah 124-111 in Salt Lake City despite Doncic sitting (injured heel), Irving not available yet, and the roster was left thin due to the deal. The Mavs closed as 9.5-point road underdogs.
Overall, the Jazz are 34-29 ATS with a 17-14-1 ATS mark on the road. The Mavericks are a dismal 11-20-3 ATS at home, part of an NBA-worst 23-39-3 ATS record on the season.
Jazz vs Mavericks Over/Under analysis
This Over/Under opened as high as 234.5 points, with some books posting 232.5 as the opener. It's risen up to 236.5 as of Tuesday morning.
The Mavericks’ defensive issues have been keeping the team from succeeding with Irving. But that's been fueling a string of seven Overs in the team's last nine outings, including Sunday’s 130-126 final score that rolled across the closing total of 233 points.
The Jazz feature a much bigger lineup than the Mavericks, with Markkanen, Kelly Olynyk, and Walker Kessler all 6-foot-11 or bigger. That interior height on offense will test a Dallas lineup that only runs as big as 6-foot-10 centers Dwight Powell and Maxi Kleber, who is questionable.
However, the Mavs’ stretch offense will pull those lumbering bodies away from the rim and create gaps to reach the basket. Utah allowed 129 and 130 points against the Thunder in the past two games, and the Jazz could slow Oklahoma City from attacking the paint. Those games topped totals of 231 and 236 points, and the Jazz are now allowing 119.1 points against on the road.
That’s helped pump out a 21-11 O/U record on the road for Jazz games, which lies in contrast to the 14-18-1 O/U count at home. The Mavs have produced a 37-28 O/U overall record for total bettors, with a 21-13 O/U mark as hosts.
Jazz vs Mavericks betting trend to know
The Over is 13-3 during the Jazz’s last 16 road games. Find more NBA betting trends for Jazz vs. Mavericks.
Jazz vs Mavericks game info
|Location:||American Airlines Center, Dallas, TX|
|Date:||Tuesday, March 7, 2023|
|Tip-off:||8:30 p.m. ET|
|TV:||ATTSN-RM, Bally Sports Southwest-DAL|