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NBA expert Jonathan Macri is here with his prediction and picks for the Tuesday night matchups between the Dallas Mavericks vs. Miami Heat and the Jazz vs. Kings.

NBA Predictions and Best Bets: Dallas Mavericks vs. Miami Heat and More

When: Tuesday, November 2, 7:30 p.m. ET

Where to Watch: TNT

Spread: Heat -2

Total: 212.5

Click Here For Mavericks vs. Heat Odds

Mavericks vs. Heat Prediction

With the always necessary early November caveat of “it’s early,” it isn’t hard to tell who the cream of the crop is in the NBA this season.

Looking at net rating (which measures how many points per 100 possession a team either outscores or is outscored by their opponent), the top of the league can roughly be grouped into two tiers: The Heat and Jazz, and then everyone else.

Through two weeks of regular season play, Miami and Utah are head and shoulders above the rest of the NBA in scoring margin. The Heat are outscoring teams by 16.5 points per 100 possessions, which would comfortably be a new NBA record, while the Jazz is at plus 13.0. No one else is in double digits.

For the Heat, the deciding factor has been defense, which they have been executing in dominating fashion in every way imaginable. As a result, they are holding teams to the second-lowest effective field goal percentage in the league, the second-lowest offensive rebounding rate, the fewest put-back points, and the second-fewest points per 100 possessions off live rebounds.

On offense, even though they’re a middling shooting team (15th in effective field goal percentage), they crash the offensive glass and get to the line with abandon. In their one loss – an overtime defeat to the Pacers in which Jimmy Butler and Bam Adebayo combined to go 13-of-27 – they only got to the line 14 times and grabbed 10 offensive boards.

Enter the Mavs, who were supposed to enter this year with the sort of offense that could give a team like Miami a run for their money. Unfortunately, that hasn’t been the case. Dallas has the 27th ranked offense in the league, with the second-lowest effective field goal percentage in the NBA. Their defense has been slightly better than expected – 11th overall – but their overall net rating is still in the bottom quarter of the league and over 20 points per 100 possessions worse than Miami.

In other words, the Mavs are getting far too much respect by being a single-possession underdog, even at home. Dallas is banged up, with both Kristaps Porzingis and the quietly vital Maxi Kleber both out, leaving the Mavs without a rotation caliber power forward. That’s not a big deal against the offensive challenged PJ Tucker, but it will be when Miami goes small with Jimmy Butler at the four.

The Heat seems hell-bent on using this regular season to remind everyone that #HeatCulture is still very much a thing, and this is simply the latest stop on that tour.

Mavericks vs. Heat Pick

Utah Jazz vs. Sacramento Kings Prediction

When: 9:00 p.m. ET

Where to Watch: NBA League Pass

Jazz vs. Kings Odds

Not to be outdone, the Jazz is quietly going about their business. Like Miami, Utah has covered all but one time, with four double-digit wins in their five victories.

The one win that came by single digits was a nine-point margin in Sacramento during the second game of the season. The teams were tied with five minutes to go before Utah pulled away, so the Jazz should be taking Sacramento seriously in the rematch.

It helps that Utah has the most repeatable offensive formula in the league, at least where the regular season is concerned. They’re the only team in the NBA in the top five in frequency of both shots at the rim and behind the arc.

The Kings have done a great job of limiting threes all year long – they’re 6th in opponents’ frequency from deep – but the Jazz was still able to fire off 42 attempts from long range in that first matchup. The bigger area of concern is that only two teams allow their opponents to take more shots at the rim. They survived that in Sacramento, but the Jazz shoot seven percent better at the rim at home than they do on the road.

In short, this just isn’t a great matchup for the Kings, and the closeness of the earlier game is throwing us off the scent. Utah beat Sacramento by margins of 16, 22, 32, and 49 (not a misprint) last season. So expect another convincing win on Tuesday night.

Jazz vs. Kings Pick

Article Author


Dean of Knicks Film School, host: KFS Pod, co-host: Pick N Pod. There isn't much about Knicks basketball that Jonathan doesn't know and he's here to break down the big games each and every week.


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