We’ve got a game between the suddenly struggling Brooklyn Nets and the Dallas Mavericks who have gotten hot at just the right time. The Mavs have won 7 of 9 to help move into the top 6 in the west while the Nets have lost three in a row and are losing their grip on the number overall spot. Although these teams don’t play in the same conference, this game has playoff implications for both.
Brooklyn Nets vs. Dallas Mavericks
Thursday, May 06, 2021 – 07:30 PM EDT at American Airlines Center
Every Game Matters For These Teams
We're at that period of the season where every game means something in terms of playoff seeding. With the regular season finish line so close, you can literally feel teams making their playoff push. That is definitely the case with this game tonight and that's what makes it exciting. The Nets come in as -4-point favorite but some steam has seen the line move down to -3.5. That line movement makes perfect sense considering the Nets have lost 3 straight.
They will be very disappointed to have lost to the Bucks the way they did but that's in the past. They will need to bounce back here against Dallas where I believe they should have their way offensively. This is the best offense in the league so that shouldn't come to a surprise but stopping the Mavs is another story. While Dallas' offense isn't nearly as good as it was last season (they were number 1 last year and they are 9th this season), it has certainly picked up during this current run where they've won 7 or their last 9 games.
During that span, they are 3rd in the league in offensive efficiency at 119.9 points per 100 possessions. I don’t see any way the Nets slow them down in this spot, especially on the road where their bad defense (25th in the league) is much worse (117.1 per game on the road versus 111.9 at home). For that reason, the over seems like the best bet here.
Total Has a Lot of Value In This Spot
The total for this game opened at 234 points and hasn't moved. I'm fine with that because even though this game has playoff implications, it will be played at a regular season pace. While the Mavs might be a top 9 offense in terms of efficiency, they play at one of the slowest (24th) paces in the league. I don't see the Nets matching that pace, especially not with the athletes they have on the floor. The slow methodical pace favors Dallas because that's the way their best player (Luka Doncic) likes to operate.
On the flip side, I don't see anyone on the Dallas roster that can slow down what the Nets do offensively and I expect both teams to score 120+ in this spot. Again, that seems like a lot but the Nets average 118.7 points per game so for them, it isn't much of a reach to be honest. The final reason that I like the over here is that it's a nationally televised game (TNT) which means we should expect the stars to play like stars with the entire basketball world watching. I'll take the over 234 in this spot.
NBA pick: Over 234 (-105) with BetOnline