The San Antonio Spurs (24-26) will be on the road to take on the Dallas Mavericks (29-22) in a Southwest Division contest on Sunday night. The battle of Western Conference playoff contenders tips off at 8 pm ET.
The Spurs, currently ninth in the West standings, are led by DeMar DeRozan and DeJounte Murray. Dallas, led by star Luka Doncic, has slowly been working its way up the West standings, currently sitting in the seventh spot.
San Antonio Spurs: Losers of Five Straight
The Spurs are slipping, losers of five straight games. Having gone 2-8 in its last 10, San Antonio is at risk of falling completely out of the playoff picture.
The Spurs don’t light the world on fire in any major way. Their offense is a bottom 10 unit, and their defense is middling.
When looking at points per game and efficiency, the defense seems serviceable, but digging deeper, there are clear flaws that can be exploited.
San Antonio is one of the most generous defenses in opposing the 3-point shot, and it is below-average down low as well. Expect a big game from the Mavericks from deep.
The Spurs last played on Friday, losing to the Denver Nuggets 121-119. Point guard Derrick White led the team in scoring with 25 points. DeRozan was right behind him with 24 points and 12 assists.
On the season, DeRozan averages 20.9 points per game, shooting nearly 50% from the field, adding 7.1 assists as well. Center Jakob Poeltl leads the team in rebounding, hauling in 8.0 a game and blocking 1.6 shots per contest.
San Antonio is 26-24 against the spread this year and 24-26 against over/unders.
Dallas Mavericks: Balance on Both Ends
Dallas has been picking up steam at the right time, thanks to its balance on both ends of the floor. The Mavericks are squarely in the mix of a loaded Western Conference.
Their offense is just outside the top 10 in rankings, while their defense has launched the Mavericks into the top 10 off the back of a strong two-week performance.
Their offensive identity is simple, as this team prefers to shoot the 3-pointer. Ninth in the NBA in 3-pointers made per game and 25th in points in the paint, so expect plenty of long-range shots Sunday night.
Dallas’ most recent game was a 116-101 win over Milwaukee. Doncic led the team in scoring with 27, adding nine rebounds and nine assists to his total. Kristaps Porzingis added a monster game of his own, finishing with 26 points and 17 rebounds.
Doncic’s season averages are flirting with a triple-double, currently at 28.5 points per game, 8.2 rebounds and 8.7 assists. Porzingis leads the team in rebounds and blocks, averaging 9.2 and 1.6, respectively.
The Mavericks are 26-25 against the spread this year and have hit their projected point total just 39% of the time, the second-worst rate in the NBA.
Dallas matches up well with San Antonio. The Mavericks’ preference for the deep shot aligns perfectly with San Antonio’s inability to slow down 3-pointers.
With that in mind, consider targeting several Dallas players for prop bets and daily fantasy picks. Doncic (8.2 3-pointers attempted per game) should hit his points over, and Porzingis (6.2) and Tim Hardaway Jr. (7.9) also stand a good chance.
The Mavericks are simply the stronger team on both ends of the court. As the clearly superior team, when doing your NBA betting, the pick here is for Dallas to cover the six-point spread at home.
This is the third and final meeting between these two teams during the regular season. Dallas won the first two, and the expectation is a season sweep of the Spurs.