Utah Looks to Break Serve
The Dallas Mavericks look set to start their playoff campaign without the help of Luka Doncic as they welcome the Utah Jazz to the American Airlines Center.
Doncic’s status remains unknown in the lead-up to this one but the strong market reaction suggests that there’s little hope for the Slovenian star to take the floor to begin this series.
Limping Luka’s Cause for Concern
When Luka Doncic limped from the floor in the Mavericks regular-season finale many hoped it was simply precautionary that they sat him out the rest of the game on the eve of the playoffs.
Those assumptions have turned to concern for fans as the online sports betting markets have moved in a manner that suggests Doncic won’t just miss Game 1 – he could miss the entire series.
The line swing on this series is obvious, but the disregard for Dallas as a team seems to be completely overblown.
The Mavs are 8-9 this season when Doncic failed to take the floor; they’re 4-3 at home in his absence.
The team still owns one of the best half-court defenses in the league in his absence and given Utah’s shortcomings on the road it’s certainly not set in stone that the team will fold and surrender their home court advantage without a fight.
Jazz Out of Sync
The Utah Jazz continue to play well below expectations heading into the playoffs and the belief that the team may be at the end will almost certainly become a reality if they come undone here.
Quinn Snyder has the full arsenal of weapons at his disposal, but even with the team fully healthy down the stretch, their road woes become more and more concerning with each collapse.
No team has surrendered more 20-point leads this season than the Jazz and they come into this series having won just one of their last nine road games – that came on the final day against the tanking Portland Trail Blazers.
The dysfunction is also becoming evident on the court, with their offensive ball movement being a far cry from what it was a year ago.
Donovan Mitchell has become the ball-dominant option for them down the stretch of games and that style of basketball won’t cut it in the playoffs against an elite defense.
The question is whether the team remains on the same page heading into this series; if not, it will be evident early, and even with Doncic potentially sitting out, this Mavs team has enough togetherness and identity in half-court sets to expose a disjointed Jazz offense.
Jazz vs Mavericks Head-to-Head
The Mavs come into this one having won the two most recent meetings between these sides, both of which came on their home floor.
In fact, the Jazz have won just once in this arena since 2018 and are 0-2 against-the-spread (ATS) in this building this season.
Jazz vs Mavericks Game Information
- Game: Jazz (49-33) vs Mavericks (52-30)
- Location: American Airlines Center
- Day/Time: Saturday, April 16, 1pm ET
- Live stream: NBA Game Pass
Jazz vs Mavericks Betting Lines
Jazz vs Mavericks Prediction
The Jazz need to show they are united on all fronts in the playoffs and nothing will expose any disharmony more than a road game to kick things off.
The Mavs defense is still elite and ranks as the best half-court defensive unit in points per possession allowed. If they’re able to perform to their expected level at that end of the floor that should be enough to give them a chance down the stretch in this one.
The sportsbook odds certainly indicate that Doncic sits but the over-adjustment means the value still remains on Dallas here.
If you’re looking to bet online in this game, take the points – take the Mavs.