|5.5 DAL (-105) @ pinnacle|
5 of 6 Experts (83%) with a pick against the spread are aligned. 10* play on the Dallas Mavericks (Spread).
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The line on this game is telling you who to bet as the number is not what it should be. Milwaukee was just favored by -9.5 over a hot Miami team, -19 against the Nets and even minus 5 against Houston and are now laying -5.5 to the Mavericks? That’s an indicator that Vegas knows something we don’t so we will be betting Dallas plus the points. The Mavs have locked up a playoff berth but can also move up in the standings and avoid a possible first round match up with a Los Angeles team. Milwaukee struggled in a pair of losses to Houston and Brooklyn then rebounded with a big win over Miami so the sense of urgency to win has subsided for the Bucks off that win and having the #1 seed clinched in the East. Milwaukee is just 3-7 ATS their last ten games against the spread. Dallas is 1-3 SU in the four Bubble games but two of those losses were by 4 or less points. The Mavs are -7-1 ATS their last 9-games as a dog of 5 or more points. Don’t be surprised if Milwaukee rests starters here and the Mavs win outright.
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With both Memphis & Philadelphia covering yesterday, that leaves Dallas as the only winless ATS team (0-4) left in the bubble. The Mavs have won just the one time (114-110 against Sacramento) and it took overtime. They’ve been in all four games, two of which were two-point losses that saw them blow double digit leads in the second half. Thursday’s 126-111 loss to the Clippers again featured a late-game meltdown. Facing Milwaukee might not seem like the logical time for the Mavericks to turn it around, but we think they will Saturday night. The Bucks certainly proved they aren’t invincible with the 119-116 loss to Brooklyn earlier this week, a game they were favored to win by 19 points. It was the largest upset the NBA has seen, at least when it comes to the pointspread, in the last 27 years. The Bucks shook that loss off by beating Miami 130-116 Thursday, but they’ve now given up 73 first half points in two straight games. They also trailed the Heat with less than five minutes to go in the game. By the metrics, Dallas is one of three teams with a more efficient offense than Milwaukee. The Bucks have a losing ATS record against Western Conference teams this season.
Larry Ness: Larry's NBA 10* Game of the Week (NBA Big Plays 22-10 YTD)
The Dallas Mavericks have lost THREE of their first four games in the Orlando 'bubble.' The team played three straight highly competitive contests (a 153-149 OT loss to Houston, a 117-115 loss to Phoenix and then a 114-110 OT win against SA), before getting blown out 126-111 by the Clippers on Thursday. The 41-30 Mavs are almost 'locked into' the West's No. 7 and their likely first-round opponent will be the Clippers (not exactly something to look forward to). The Milwaukee Bucks are an NBA-best 55-14, although they've played back-to-back 'curious' games. The Bucks lost 119-116 to the injury-riddled Nets on Tuesday, as 19-point favorites (the contest ranks as the NBA's largest point spread upset in 27 years and according to ESPN, teams favored by 19 or more had gone 49-2 SU over the past 30 years). They then fell behind by as many as 23 points to the Miami Heat on Thursday (Heat were without Butler and Dragic), only to come back to earn the 130-116 win (AND cover!). Milwaukee is just 2-2 since the season resumed.
A closer look into that loss to the Nets reveals that Giannis only played the first half as head coach Mike Budenholzer decided to rest some of his starters (no Milwaukee starter played more than 20 minutes against Brooklyn). Not sure I want to guess what Budenholzer's strategy will be these last four games, as the Bucks have wrapped up the No. 1 seed in the Eastern Conference. As for the Mavs, they could sure use a confidence builder. Completing a two-game season sweep of the Bucks may be "just what the doctor ordered." Dallas ended Milwaukee's 18-game winning streak 120-116 back on Dec 16 on the Bucks' home floor. Revenge for Milwaukee? As noted above, do they really have any motivation for that? There hasn't been a better 'one-two punch' in Orlando than Doncic (32.8-11.0-9.8) and Porzingis (30.3 & 10.0) and I'm expecting another OUTRIGHT win. I had OKC plus-6 in that 105-86 of the Lakers on Weds and Boston plus-3 in its 122-100 win over Toronto, last night. Good things always come in threes!
Tim Michael: 10* GAME OF THE MONTH > > SICK 10-3 NBA STREAK!
The Bucks have earned top spot in the East after starting 2-2 in the Bubble. Milwaukee would have seen Toronto take the foot off the gas last night as well, so with nothing to play for here, I believe the Bucks will indeed simply "go through the motions" this afternoon. The Mavericks will also be in the playoffs, but they so far haven't played up to expectations and I think they are the much more motivated dog in this fight. Dallas is just 1-3 so far in the bubble, but it can still improve its positioning with a few more wins. I'm grabbing the points, but wouldn't be shocked by an outright!
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The set-up: With a win in their last game, the Bucks have now clinched the top spot in the East. Everything from here on out is to work on playoff strategy, so don't expect to see much of Giannis Antetokounmpo in this one if you're a Milwaukee fan.
The pick: The Mavericks on the other hand have lost five of their last seven, most recently getting blown out by the Clippers. Dallas is still in a fight for positioning and it absolutely needs to start playing better if it has any shot at advancing in the postseason. So far it's been a letdown for Luca Doncic and company in the bubble, but a game vs. the Bucks' "B-Team" is just what the doctor ordered to get back on track. Outright victory?! Of course! That said, let's grab the points.
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Best of luck!
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