The Dallas Mavericks (36-27) hope the third time’s the charm as they play host to the Sacramento Kings (26-37) on Sunday night. The Kings have beaten the Mavericks both times this season despite being 6½ and 8½-point underdogs. Undeterred, sports betting odds have Dallas as another six-point favorite here.
Dallas has won six of its last seven games. The only loss came against Sacramento in a game that saw the Mavs go 8 of 21 (0 of 9 from three) in the first period. They fought back but it was for naught. This time, they’ll finish off the Kings.
Kings: Future King
Fade the Sacramento Kings at your own peril as these underdogs have been busting serious chalk lately. The Kings have won three of the last five games they were lined at plus money and they’ve beaten the spread five of the last six times.
Even without star guard De’Aaron Fox (quarantine), the Kings have gone 2-2 with upsets over Dallas and the full-strength Los Angeles Lakers. This franchise has been among the worst in pro sports in the last 15 or so years for a plethora of reasons, most of which include its inability to draft or even tank properly.
Sacramento isn’t going anywhere and you can’t fault the team for putting on an inspired performance against the Lakers. But maybe there is a bit of hope here in the form of rookie Tyrese Haliburton.
The 6-foot-5 guard is averaging 13 points with a 471/408/855 shooting line on top of 5.3 assists, 1.3 steals and just 1.6 turnovers. He’s not as flashy as Anthony Edwards or LaMelo Ball, but his big performances over the Lakers and Golden State Warriors (twice) indicate he’s on the same level
Mavericks: Coughing Up Chalk
If the Kings have been sneaky good underdog bets lately, the Dallas Mavericks have been shaky favorites all season. Dallas is 25-15 as a favorite but only 17-14 at home (12-19 against the spread).
Dallas has been on a roll lately but prior to winning six of its last seven, it lost five of seven with four as a favorite. The team can be hot and cold thanks to a phenomenal offense led by Luka Doncic combined with inconsistent defense.
Since the All-Star break. Doncic has the Mavericks as the fifth-best offense in the NBA. The team also has the fifth-best effective field goal percentage (EFG%) and nearly a 2:1 assist-to-turnover ratio, tied for ninth overall.
Dallas’s inconsistent defense has partly been due to chronic injuries up front. But as long as Doncic can keep the team’s offense humming, the Mavericks should be a top-five Western team.
An inconsistent defense is the last thing you’d want when facing the Kings. This team has yanked the carpet from favorites that have either had a lackluster offense (Lakers and San Antonio) or a porous defense (Mavericks and Boston).
Haliburton was paramount to the Kings’ last win over Dallas and he’s all but taken over since Fox has been sidelined. The rook plays like a 10-year NBA veteran and has helped keep the Kings’ offense a top-10 unit in the league.
Tyrese Haliburton since De’Aaron Fox went out:
23 PTS | 10 AST | 4 3PT
13 PTS | 8 AST | 1 3PT
14 PTS | 10 AST | 2 3PT
24 PTS | 8 AST | 2 3PT pic.twitter.com/czGwqKH79q
— StatMuse (@statmuse) May 1, 2021
However, this is still the Kings we’re talking about. This is the same team that is 15-24 against teams .500 and above and has allowed opponents to score at least 120 points for more than half of the season.
Dallas had a forgettable first period against Sacramento the last time. But the rest of the game went as it should. The Mavericks win this one but take them straight-up and avoid the points on the NBA lines.