We’ve got a matchup between two teams that have not lived up to the hype this season when the Dallas Mavericks take on the Indiana Pacers. Both teams came into this season with playoff expectations but are way off track, at the moment.
Dallas Mavericks vs. Indiana Pacers
Friday, December 10, 2021 – 07:00 PM EST at Gainbridge Fieldhouse
Mavs Need to Figure This Out Fast
When the Dallas Mavericks hired Jason Kidd during the off-season I, like many others, was very skeptical. Kidd's resume as a player is unquestioned and he is definitely one of the best point guards in NBA history. That has not been the case as a head coach although the sample size is still relatively small. We do know that he has a reputation as a player's coach but what about his ability to be a teacher and a leader? So far the jury is still out but the early returns have not been good.
So far nothing much has changed for the Mavs and to be honest, I don't think it's fair to lay all of the blame on Kidd. The fact is, the roster is not good enough to be a real contender. Luka Doncic is easily one of the most talented players in the NBA. He also has to do way too much for this team which is why he's averaging a disastrous 4.7 assists per game this season.
His 36% usage rating is the highest in the league and if Dallas is ever going to get to the next level, they'll need someone else to help with that load. Tonight the Pacers come into this one as the favorites which is not surprising given how much better their offense is at home. The line for this game is Pacers -1.5 or -2 depending on which of the top online sportsbooks you shop at. I do think the Pacers win here but my official pick is on the total.
Pacers Offense at Home Plays to the Over
In their road games this season, the average combined score for the Pacers has been 210.1 per game but at home, it’s a much different story. Their defense is relatively the same but their offense is much more prolific. Their combined score at home is 219.1 points which is one of the main reasons I am looking to get over in this spot. It's not as simple as "they score more at home" but that's a good place to start.
The other reason I'm looking at the total instead of the sides here is that both teams are wildly inconsistent. To say that I know what either of them is going to do from one game to the next is a reach, to say the least. With these teams, you have to find spots and favorable matchups. For example, this is technically a revenge game for Rick Carlisle but he's in health and safety protocols so he won't even be there.
You would think that he has given his team a pretty clear blueprint on how to slow down this Mavs team but his absence is not great if you're backing the Pacers to cover. On the flip side, can you really take the points with the Mavs considering how poor they've been offensively?
In the end, I think the Pacers frontcourt bullies this Mavs bunch and they should be able to get to the average home score which is 111.4 on the season. The total in this one has steamed down from 214.5 which is where it opened and is now down to 212.5.
I'll take the over in this spot for my NBA pick considering both of these teams are in the bottom half of the league defensively.
*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.