The Portland Trail Blazers had little trouble with the Dallas Mavericks last night, leading by 15 points at halftime and cruising to a 17-point win. Perhaps even more fortuitous for the Blazers, they kept the game just close enough for the Mavericks’ starters to play genuine minutes rather than rest up for tonight. That may be enough to make it two in a row for Portland as the teams face off once more at the Moda Center.
Here are our free NBA picks and predictions for Mavericks vs Trail Blazers on Sunday, January 15.
Mavericks vs Trail Blazers best odds
Mavericks vs Trail Blazers picks and predictions
What’s the old definition of insanity? Doing the same thing over and over again yet expecting different results? Assuredly, that will push this handicapper away from backing the Mavericks for a second straight night, especially since just about none of yesterday’s logic came through.
Luka Doncic fell well short of both 34.5 points and 53.5 combined points, rebounds and assists. He had consistently blown past those marks since mid-December, but the Blazers held him to 15 points, 10 assists, and six rebounds on Saturday. Perhaps the Portland defense is for real no matter who it is facing.
Without Doncic cooking, Dallas fell behind in the second quarter and never recovered. A 16-6 run from the Blazers to open the second frame effectively decided the game, yet Doncic still played 36 minutes.
Now, as of mid-afternoon, the biggest books do not have any points props available on Luka, suggesting his availability may be in question. At the absolute least, some availability for the Mavericks is uncertain.
Dallas was already without forward Christian Wood on Saturday, sidelined by an ankle injury. The combination of him and Doncic has been torturing opponents of late, and this handicapper should admit that may have been undervalued in approaching Saturday night.
Tonight’s line is indeed heftier than last night’s, up to -6.0 rather than the -1.5 of the first matchup in this back-to-back. Is such a jump equivalent to Luka sitting out? He is a ripe NBA MVP candidate who has been on the hottest run in the league for nearly a month. Yes, he is worth at least 4.5 points.
Consider who plays and shoots more if Doncic sits. Frank Ntilikina played 22 minutes and took five shots on Saturday, while Theo Pinson took seven in 13 minutes. They would both step up without Doncic, and while they may make some buckets, neither impacts the whole game like Luka does regularly.
Unless Spencer Dinwiddie goes off for 40, this could be another Portland blowout. For that matter, the Blazers’ leaders played reduced minutes last night thanks to the easy win. Only one starter played at least 30 minutes, and that was Jerami Grant with 34. The rest should be well set to lead again tonight.
My best bet: Blazers -6.0 (-110 at DraftKings)
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Mavericks vs Trail Blazers spread analysis
Line movement has not shed any light on who will play for Dallas in this one. Sunday began with Portland favored by 6.5, and it fell to -6.0 early in the morning. That has been the only move thus far.
If any of this feels fishy, take comfort in knowing the biggest sportsbooks are offering points props on all the Blazers’ starters. Portland is expected to play its best team, no matter what Dallas trots out tonight.
By no means should last night’s 17-point win be expected again, but two buckets feels awfully short going against what could be the Mavericks’ B-team.
Mavericks vs Trail Blazers Over/Under analysis
The second half last night turned into a bit of a laugher, with 128 points pouring in. Blowouts tend to have that effect.
Portland’s defense has been among the best in the league since New Year’s Day, which keeps this total down to 222.5 or 222.0, depending on your book. That is a few points lower than Saturday night’s, which is another sign that Dallas may be shorthanded.
Mavericks vs Trail Blazers betting trend to know
The Blazers are 1-5 ATS in their last six games. Find more NBA betting trends for Mavericks vs. Trail Blazers.
Mavericks vs Trail Blazers game info
|Location:||Moda Center, Portland, OR|
|Date:||Sunday, January 15, 2023|
|Tip-off:||9:00 p.m. ET|
|TV:||Bally Sports Southwest, Root Sports|