Mavericks vs Warriors Game 1 Player Props: Looney Fades Back Into the Background

Kevon Looney's monstrous showing on the glass in Game 6 to close out Memphis was crucial to Golden State, but don't expect that production to continue. We break it down and more in our Mavericks vs. Warriors player prop picks.

Last Updated: May 18, 2022 6:04 PM ET Read Time: 4 min
Kevon Looney Golden State Warriors NBA
Photo By - USA TODAY Sports

The table is set for the Western Conference Finals and the Dallas Mavericks will take on the Golden State Warriors. Luka Doncic has gotten the "he's never won a playoff series" monkey off of his back in a big way this year, bringing the post-Dirk Nowitzki Mavericks to their first Western Conference Finals.

Opposite them, a Warriors team straddling a line between the old and new, combining the core of the previous dynasty with Steph Curry, Klay Thompson, and Draymond Green with a showcase of the future with the likes of Jordan Poole and Jonathan Kuminga.

The series will feature a lot of nuance on both ends of the floor and with that comes some intriguing angles to attack matchups via NBA betting prop picks for Mavericks vs. Warriors, beginning with Game 1 on Wednesday, May 18.

Click on each pick to jump to the full analysis. Each odds widget below represents the best odds available for each betting market from regulated US sportsbooks.

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Mavericks vs Warriors Game 1 props

One of the biggest stories that came out of the Warriors’ series-clinching Game 6 win over the Memphis Grizzlies was Kevon Looney's dominance on the boards. Looney grabbed a monstrous 22 boards, four more than his career-high, and 11 of them came on the offensive glass. But, in lieu of that performance, his line may be a bit over-inflated for Game 1

Looney's rebounds prop is set at 7.5, which is likely too large of a number when diving deeper into it. He has managed to break that mark just twice in their Warriors' 11 playoff games (Games 4 and 6 against Memphis). He also went under that number in 51 of his 82 regular-season games (62.2%), which is notably higher than the implied probability of the -140 odds on the Under (58.3%).

The prop gets even more intriguing when splitting out his rebounding performances with and without Draymond Green. In the 36 regular-season games without Green, he averaged 8.7 rebounds and went under 7.5 rebounds 18 times (50.0%). In the 46 regular-season games with Green, he averaged 6.2 rebounds per game and went under 7.5 rebounds just 33 times (71.7%).

PICK: Kevon Looney Under 7.5 rebounds (-140)

For the second prop, we're once again looking to fade the narratives and performances coming from the game most fresh in bettors' minds. Green chipped in 14 points in Game 6 last Friday, his playoff-high this year thus far. However, prior to that, Green managed just 4.8 points per game in the previous five games against Memphis, never once eclipsing six points during that stretch.

To his credit, he did manage to average 9.6 points per contest in the Warriors' first-round matchup with the Nuggets, but Denver also posted a 121.9 defensive rating in that series, which is markedly worse than the dead last 116.4 rating the Rockets posted in the regular season.

Dallas has been a Top 10 team defensively all year and allowed the fourth-fewest points to opposing point forwards during the regular season. Green's recent track record against the Mavericks isn't great, scoring just two points twice as well as posting a zero in his last three games against Dallas.

PICK: Draymond Green Under 7.5 points (+105)

There's no denying it, Luka Doncic has been brilliant in the closing games of the first two rounds. In the final two games of each series, Doncic has averaged 31.3 points, 10.8 rebounds, and 6.3 assists. However, when looking at how he typically opens a series, it can be a bit of a mixed bag.

In Games 1 and 2 against Phoenix, Doncic did put up a blistering 80 points but he also accumulated 12 turnovers. And if we ignore the Jazz series (Doncic did not appear until Game 4), Doncic had 70 points and 10 turnovers against the Clippers in Games 1 and 2 in 2021 and then another 70 points and 12 turnovers against the Clippers again in 2020.

So, what is the point exactly? Luka's usage is extremely high and that tends to rear its head early in a series to mixed results, and then over the course of a series, he tends to get his teammates more involved. In fact, Doncic's 37.4% usage rate during the regular season was the eighth-highest usage rate season of all-time. Luka now swims in some very deep water, as the playoff track record for all-time usage leaders is not great.

You have to go all the way down to the 38th-highest usage rate season to find a Finals winner of that year (Michael Jordan, 1992-93). Just one other player amongst that group made the Finals (Allen Iverson, 2001-02) and just one more made their Conference Finals (James Harden, 2017-18).

Luka is not only coming off of a seven-game series, but he is now playing against a Warriors team that generated turnovers at the eighth-highest rate during the regular season.

PICK: Luka Doncic Over 4.5 turnovers (+105)

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