Mavericks vs. Suns Prediction: The Mavs are Undermanned and Overmatched
When: Friday, November 19, 10 p.m. ET
Where to Watch: ESPN
Spread: Suns -8
Mavericks vs. Suns Prediction
While he hasn’t officially been ruled out of Friday night’s game yet, Luca Doncic has been listed as doubtful with an ankle injury that kept him out of the first of this two-game miniseries with the Phoenix Suns.
With Doncic sidelined on Wednesday, the Mavs actually put forth a nice effort, leading for most of the second half until the Suns made a late push to take the game. Even so, Phoenix wasn’t able to cover the spread of eight points, their second straight game failing to reward bettors’ faith in the NBA’s hottest team.
Now the Suns will put their 10-game winning streak on the line against a team that is clearly up for the challenge but also doesn’t profile to be on Phoenix’s level. Despite their 9-4 record, the Mavs have been outscored by their opponents on the year. According to Cleaning the Glass, they are the NBA’s third luckiest team, with 2.5 more wins than their point differential portends.
Adding to that, they have the third worst shot profile in the league, taking the fewest shot around the rim of any team in the NBA but the fifth most long twos. There’s also some unsustainability here, in that Dallas is currently tops in the NBA at converting short mid-rangers, with several of their key players drastically outpacing their career norms.
And then there is the absence of Luca. It’s clear that the Mavs put forth an inspired effort without their MVP candidate on Wednesday, but it’ll be tough to replicate that once more, especially given how they shot 50 percent on 3-pointers in that game and still only barely covered the spread.
Take advantage of this line being smaller than it should be based off the most recent game, and look for the NBA’s second best team to act like it on Friday night.
Mavericks vs. Suns Picks
- Suns -8 @ -110
Lakers vs. Celtics Prediction
When: 7:30 p.m. ET
Where to Watch: ESPN
The NBA’s marquee matchup is back for its latest edition, and the league’s most historically successful franchises are not in the best of places.
With each sitting in 9th place in their respective conference standings, the Celtics and Lakers are a combined one game below .500. LA can say that they have an excuse, with LeBron James having missed more than half of the season, but that was theoretically the purpose of bringing in Russell Westbrook as well – to make up some of the difference if last season’s injury issues repeated themselves.
As it stands, the Lakers should feel incredibly fortunate they’re even at .500. According to Cleaning the Glass, LA has been the NBA’s second luckiest squad, only behind a team that has beat them twice: the Oklahoma City Thunder. They’re also dead last in how they do compared to the spread. Clearly Vegas continues to count on people getting blinded by the purple and gold, and thus far, a market correction hasn’t been needed.
Things might be looking up though. LeBron is questionable for this game, and it was reported earlier this week that he has a real chance to play. Anthony Davis is also a little banged up, but his status is probable, so he should be good to go.
This spread is essentially a toss-up, which again seems like it’s giving too much respect to the road team. It’s probably worth noting here that Boston has been the NBA’s sixth unluckiest team, and while they’ve certainly had their issues, they’ve also had a positive 2.1 net rating over the last two weeks.
The Lakers may yet get the benefit of the doubt here, but they haven’t earned it yet. This one goes to the home team.
Lakers vs. Celtics Picks
- Celtics -2 @ -105