The Brooklyn Nets were the talk of the NBA Tuesday night, as Kyrie Irving unloaded 60 points on the poor Orlando Magic in a 42-point smackdown.
Unfortunately for Brooklyn, Kyrie will be sidelined again by his ongoing vaccine saga when it hosts the red-hot Dallas Mavericks, who are tied with Boston for the NBA's best record over the past 15 games (12-3).
Find out if Dallas can keep rolling with our Mavericks vs. Nets NBA picks and predictions for Wednesday, March 16.
Mavericks vs Nets odds
This odds widget represents the best odds available for each betting market from regulated sportsbooks.
Dallas opened as a -1.5 favorite, where it currently still sits across the board as of Wednesday morning. The total hit the books at 220.5 and has been bet down to 219.5 in a couple of spots.
Mavericks vs Nets predictions
Predictions made on 3/16/2022 at 8:20 a.m. ET.
Click on each prediction to jump to the full analysis.
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Mavericks vs Nets game info
• Location: Barclays Center, Brooklyn, NY
• Date: Wednesday, March 16, 2022
• Tip-off: 7:30 p.m. ET
• TV: ESPN
Mavericks vs Nets betting preview
Mavericks: Tim Hardaway Jr. SF (Out), Reggie Bullock SF (Out).
Nets: Kyrie Irving PG (Out), Ben Simmons PG (Out), Joe Harris SF (Out), LaMarcus Aldridge C (Out), Seth Curry SG (Questionable), Cam Thomas SG (Questionable).
Find our latest NBA injury reports.
Betting trend to know
Mavs are 6-0-1 ATS in their last seven road games. Find more NBA betting trends for Mavericks vs. Nets.
Mavericks vs Nets 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.
Wow. What a performance from Irving Tuesday night. He can look to keep that momentum going tonight and...oh, wait...never mind.
Without two of its big three tonight (and potentially several other rotation players), Brooklyn has to fend off one of the NBA's best teams right now. The Mavs have been streaking, at 6-1 straight up in March, with wins over the Warriors, Jazz, and most impressively, Celtics on Sunday.
The Mavericks ethos is fairly simple: They grind the game to a halt, suffocate in the halfcourt with a better-than-the-sum-of-its-parts defense, and let Luka Doncic do Luka Doncic things within the slimmer margins of a lower-possession game.
Brooklyn will be in a somewhat similar state, left to let Kevin Durant run amok on an injury-depleted roster that could be without its second, third, and fourth-leading scorers. The good news, at least, is that Durant will be fresh — he took just nine shots last night while Kyrie went nuclear, so he won't be as taxed by the back-to-back.
But Durant's surrounding scoring depth projects to be inferior to Dallas', between revelation Jalen Brunson, Spencer Dinwiddie remembering how to shoot since being traded, and Doncic's otherworldly playmaking unlocking options like Dwight Powell and Dorian Finney-Smith.
Brooklyn also can't bring a defensive effort like the Mavs can. Dallas ranks as the NBA's fourth-best defense over the past two months, while the Nets clock in at 17th — not awful, but certainly not an edge they can grind in this matchup.
The Mavericks are one of the few teams with a superstar that can match Durant blow-for-blow, have the better defense, and the better supporting cast with all of Brooklyn's inactives.
The Mavs just beat the NBA's other hottest team in their last game and have to be on full confidence right now. Count on them to deliver another W here.
Prediction: Dallas -1.5 (-110)
This isn't a total we're particularly fond of, to be honest.
Dallas is an Under-magnet by nature, playing at the NBA's slowest pace this season and sporting its sixth-best defense. Inherently, the Nets contrast that style, but still don't tend to play all that fast, at the NBA's 12th-ranked pace, which falls to 17th over the past 15 games (ie: without James Harden).
Brooklyn's trotting out a depleted roster against an elite defense that has an above-average cover for Durant in Finney-Smith and plays smart, switch-heavy D. The Mavs can also sell out on stopping KD and make the Nets' other guns beat them, forcing BK to burn more clock while making "the extra pass", though ultimately with fewer finishers to punish the rotations.
KD's presence is one hell of a variable though, and he could easily provide the spark that both lifts Brooklyn's halfcourt offense beyond what Dallas can consistently stop, while also forcing the Mavs' hands.
We'd lean Under here if forced, but this is one we're cautioning to hammer at your own risk.
Prediction: Under 220.5 (-110)
This spread just seems too thin. At less than a bucket, it's basically positing who we think will win this game outright, and it's tough to see BK getting it done against a well-rested Mavericks team that's been playing some of the most cohesive basketball in the Association.
There isn't a huge sample size of recent Durant home games to draw on — he's played just two since returning from a six-week absence. But those games were a narrow win over the pathetic Knicks and a loss to the Heat without Jimmy Butler and Kyle Lowry. Nothing to suggest the Nets are world-beaters with KD solo.
The Mavs' recent track record is pretty damn impressive, and they should be given a little more respect than this against a consistently-overrated Brooklyn team that's among the NBA's worst ATS this season at 27-40-2.
Pick: Dallas -1.5 (-110)
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