Best Bets for Thursdays NBA Slate
Mavericks at Nets
The Nets are in a bad spot right now, losing 3 of their last 4 games and return home to face the Mavericks on the second night of a back-to-back. The Mavericks themselves haven’t been super sharp and are still working on the offense and chemistry they are better than their 1-2 record would indicate. The Mavericks come off a loss to the Pelicans, but they looked like a very serious team for most of that game, the Mavericks started off slow but had the game within reach and actually took a lead into the 4th quarter before falling to the Pelicans. The Nets on the other hand are in freefall and could potentially be in a total freefall soon, they’re 1-3 and this roster has major problems. Ben Simmons is basically unplayable; Brooklyn is -16 with him on the court and just -3.4 with him off the court.
The Mavericks defense is good again this season, they defend in the paint very well but also rank 5th in defending the midrange. I expect them to put the clamps on a Nets team that looks lost and has no identity outside of having talented players. Dallas should be able to score at will here too going up against the fifth worst 3 point defense in the league. Nets are on the 2nd night of a back to back and had to travel from Milwaukee last night so they should be pretty spent. Mavericks to win.
Pick: Mavericks Moneyline -145
Heat at Warriors
Jimmy Buckets and the 2-3 Heat take on Chef Curry and the 2-2 Warriors tonight in Oakland. While neither team has lit the world on fire yet there’s legitimate worry for the one of these teams. The Warriors slow start seems to be a function of effort right now and it makes sense, they just won the title and have a good shot to repeat so these games right now don’t really matter for them they just want to get to the playoffs healthy. The Heat on the other hand are worrying, the team has regressed on both sides of the ball and it appears to be a function of an aging roster.
Neither of these teams defend right now, the Warriors don’t want to and the Heat can’t at a high level anymore. The Warriors are currently the fastest paced team in the league and while the Heat are 23rd in pace I don’t think that will be much of a factor. The Warriors game against the Suns blew past this total and the total has gone over in 6 of their last 8 home games.
Pick: Over 227 (-110)