Featured Video from Scott Steehn
When and where: March 16, 2019, American Airlines Center, Dallas, TX, 8:30 PM ET
The Dallas Mavericks will try to snap a seven-game losing streak on Saturday when they host the visiting Cleveland Cavaliers. After upsetting the Toronto Raptors, it was back to reality on Tuesday for the Cavaliers as they fell on the road to the Philadelphia 76ers. Meanwhile, the Mavericks lost a nail-biter on the road against the Denver Nuggets.
Back to reality for the Cavaliers
The high the Cavaliers were riding after beating the Toronto Raptors has completely worn off. They have lost their last two games, and on Thursday night, they were completely obliterated by the Magic, 120-91.
It’s back to reality.
The Cavaliers only shot 40.7 percent from the floor and a ridiculously poor 7-of-31 from 3-point range. However, the one part of the game that likely sent Cavaliers coach Larry Drew over the edge was the fact that they gave up 26 points off 16 turnovers. There were simply too many mistakes on the floor for the young Cavaliers to overcome, and they really never even gave themselves a chance to win the game.
Veteran forward Kevin Love disappeared as a scorer when the team needed him to take over. He finished the game with 10 points and eight rebounds. Meanwhile, rookie guard Collin Sexton carried the brunt of the weight for the team, netting 23 points, four rebounds and three assists.
Mavericks lose a heartbreaker to the Nuggets
Luka Doncic usually does everything for the Mavericks, but in Thursday night’s near upset win over the Nuggets, he feels like he could have done more to help get his team the victory. After being fouled on a potential game-winning dunk, the rookie star forward missed a free throw that would have put the Mavericks two points ahead.
Doncic’s missed free throw essentially made it a one-point game with five seconds left on the clock, which was more than enough time for Nuggets center Nikola Jokic to catch an inbounds pass and throw up a one-handed circus shot to win the game. Another opportunity to be the hero slipped through Doncic’s hands, and the Mavericks fell in defeat for a seventh consecutive time.
“I should have made the free throw,” he said, per Dallas News. “I feel like I let my team down. That’s not who I’m supposed to be. That’s not who I am. I just feel like I let ’em down. I should have made the free throw.”
LUKA THROWS IT DOWN WITH 5.8 SECONDS LEFT! pic.twitter.com/FhGOPULetO
— Dallas Mavericks (@dallasmavs) March 15, 2019
Doncic notched a near triple-double under his belt with 24 points, 11 rebounds, nine assists and two steals, while guard Jalen Brunson finished the game with 20 points, five rebounds and four assists in the 100-99 loss.
- Mavericks are 4-1-1 ATS in their last 6 games against teams in the NBA Central
- Mavericks are 8-3 ATS in their last 11 Saturday games
- Mavericks are 15-7-1 ATS in their last 23 games against teams in the Eastern Conference
- Under is 5-0 in Mavericks last 5 home games
- Cavaliers are 1-4 ATS in their last 5 road games against teams with a home winning % of greater than .600
- Cavaliers are 1-4 ATS in their last 5 games against teams in the NBA Southwest
- Cavaliers are 1-5 ATS in their last 6 Saturday games
- Cavaliers are 0-4 ATS in their last 4 games playing on 1 days rest
The Bottom Line What to bet on this game.
Full-Game Side Bet
If a few things go differently, the Mavericks could easily be on a three-game win streak over the Nuggets, Houston Rockets and San Antonio Spurs. That’s three potential playoff teams in the Western Conference. It isn’t like the Mavericks are getting blown out, but they are simply failing to make the necessary plays down the stretch to close out games.
This is a very winnable game against a Cavaliers team with the second-worst record in the Eastern Conference. Despite the Mavericks’ struggles this season, they have consistently played well at home, while the Cavaliers have only won six games on the road.
The Mavericks came away with a victory, and Doncic went off for 35 points the last time these two teams faced one another.
I expect a repeat in the rematch with Doncic dominating on the offensive end of the floor and the Cavaliers struggling to play keep-up. The Cavaliers are only averaging 102.5 points per game on the road, which won’t be nearly enough to topple this young and feisty Mavericks team. Give me the Mavericks in this game.
Prediction: Dallas Mavericks (-6.5)
Full-Game Total Pick
The under is 4-0 in the last four head-to-head meetings between the Mavericks and Cavaliers. It’s hard to have much faith in the Cavaliers offense on the road. While the Mavericks have been inconsistent offensively with all of the personnel changes this season, they have quietly climbed up the ranks as the No. 11 scoring defense in the league.
The Cavaliers haven’t scored over 100 points in back-to-back games, and they were held to only 98 points the last time these two teams met. Take the under in this game.
Prediction: Under (215.5)