Mavericks vs. Pelicans Betting Preview for Wednesday: Dallas Could Sit Doncic in Second of B2B

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NBA Pick: Pelicans +1.5 (-115) at Bookmaker (visit our Bookmaker Review)

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Pelicans +1.5 (-115)
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It’s the second of a back-to-back for the Dallas Mavericks on Wednesday, which means it’s possible they rest star Luka Doncic because they have previously been in this situation.

Which side of the 1.5-point spread at the best sportsbooks has the best value? We also have a total play. 

Dallas Mavericks vs. New Orleans Pelicans 

Wednesday, March 08, 2023 – 07:30 PM EST at Smoothie King Center 

What You Should Know

There’s an NBA doubleheader on ESPN Wednesday with Dallas at New Orleans, important in the Western Conference playoff race, the first game followed by Raptors at Clippers. 

This concludes the regular-season series between the Mavs and Pelicans with Dallas leading 2-1 and winning the past two – but those were both at home. Dallas star Luka Doncic is averaging 34.0 points on 52.8% shooting, 9.7 rebounds and 7.0 assists in three games against New Orleans this season.

Such a shame we won’t see Luka and Zion Williamson do battle with Zion still out injured. They might be the two most unique players in the league when healthy. 

Regardless of the outcome Wednesday, Dallas has now won or tied 12 of the last 14-season series against New Orleans. The Mavs are 6-2 ATS on the NBA picks in the past eight meetings. 

Can Mavs Afford to Rest Luka? 

The big question is whether Mavs coach Jason Kidd rests Luka Doncic in the second of a back-to-back because it has happened several times this season. The last time the team played a back-to-back was Feb. 10 and 11 in Sacramento.

Doncic didn’t play the first but was legitimately injured then. He played in the second game. My guess is Doncic more than likely plays – obviously barring a minor injury suffered Tuesday because Dallas is trying to finish in the Top 6 of the West and avoid the play-in tournament. 

About Last Game

The Mavs were 11-point home favorites at the top Texas betting sites on Tuesday and beat Utah 120-116. Doncic had 29 points, 10 rebounds, and six assists in 34 minutes – not too bad minutes-wise. His streak of 30-point games ended at three in a row.

Kyrie Irving scored 17 of his 33 points in the fourth quarter. Tim Hardaway added 24 off the bench. He stayed in the game after injuring his ankle, but he could be forced to sit on the second night of a back-to-back. 

Guard Reggie Bullock played only eight minutes before leaving with a right quad contusion so he likely sits tonight. He averages 7.1 points and 3.5 points per game. Backup center JaVale McGee was out with an ankle injury and probably is out again. 

FYI: Doncic has posted four 25-point triple-doubles against New Orleans, which is tied for his most triple-doubles against any franchise and the only franchise he has produced four 25-point triple-doubles against. No price for a triple-double yet tonight as the books want to make sure Doncic plays. 

Team Stats

Dallas is 2-8 straight up in the second of a back-to-back this season. 

  • Mavericks are 9-23-1 ATS in their last 33 games following a straight-up win. 
  • Mavericks are 1-4 ATS in their last 5 games playing on 0 days’ rest. 

Pelicans Struggling From Deep 

No update of late on Pels star Zion Williamson, so he clearly won’t be playing anytime soon. Williamson has been out since Jan. 2 due to a hamstring issue. I wouldn’t want to play this team in the Western Conference play-in tournament if Zion is back by then. That’s if the Pels even get there as they are sitting 12th in the West currently. To make the final eight past the play-in, New Orleans is +130 at the NBA odds and -170 to miss out.  

About Last Game

The Pelicans lost for the sixth time in seven games Monday, 123-108 in Sacramento. The Kings blew it open by outscoring New Orleans 38-20 in the third. Jonas Valanciunas returned to the lineup after missing two games and had 19 points and 12 rebounds. Brandon Ingram led with 24 points.  

The team played again without trade acquisition Josh Richardson due to personal reasons but it appears he will play Wednesday. He’s averaging 9.7 points in six games since coming over from San Antonio. Reserves Jose Alvarado and Larry Nance Jr. remain out.  

Sacramento played a lot of zones because New Orleans isn’t a good three-point shooting team, ranking 29th in three-point attempts, 25th in makes, and 21st in three-point percentage. Since Zion went down, the Pelicans have posted an 8-20 record, and they rank 26th in points scored per 100 possessions. 

“We didn’t get into our offense quick enough. As I said, we started to walk around a little bit, just moving the ball on the perimeter. That’s what the zone is meant to do, stagnate you and that’s what it did to us,” Coach Willie Green said of the Kings’ loss.  

Team and Player Stats

The NBA is a copycat league, so I’d expect the Pelicans to see a lot more zone defense. Ingram is one of four players in the NBA this season to average 23-plus points, and 4.5-plus assists and shoots 39.0% or better from three-point range. Perhaps, he needs to attempt more three-points and fewer two-pointers.

Ingram ranks fourth in the NBA in mid-range field goals made per game at 2.8. When the Pelicans make more three-pointers than their opposition, they are 16-7.  

  • Under is 4-0 in Pelicans’ last 4 overall. 
  • Under is 5-1 in Pelicans’ last 6 after scoring 100 points or more in their previous game. 
  • Under is 5-1 in Pelicans’ last 6 games following a straight-up loss. 

Final Picks

New Orleans is 20-11 at home (17-14 ATS) and Dallas 12-19 on the road (SU & ATS), and with the Mavs playing a second game in 24 hours we have to take the points. If Doncic sits, this total will plummet so we’ll take it Under now.

NBA Pick: Pelicans +1.5 (-115) at Bookmaker

NBA Pick: Under 234 (-108) at Heritage Sports (visit our Heritage Sports Review)

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Under 234 (-108)
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*The line and/or odds on picks in this article might have moved since the content was commissioned. For updated line movements, visit BMR’s free betting odds product.