|-4 DAL (-110) @ bet365|
8* Take Dallas (#549)
I’ll give Charlotte credit for improved play in 2021, but this Hornets team hasn’t won five games in a row since 2017-18 and that’s what they’re being asked to do tonight. All four recent weeks during this streak have come against struggling teams – the ‘quickly falling apart’ Knicks, the ‘team chemistry challenged’ Hawks and a Pelicans team that has seemingly gotten worse by the game in the Stan Van Gundy era. Dallas is a good notch or two better than any of those teams. It’s surely worth noting that Charlotte has faced a very grueling schedule here in January – this will be their 8th game in 14 nights, including multiple sets of back-2-backs. No surprise here if the Hornets lack energy down the stretch this evening.
Dallas was embarrassed in their home opener, when Charlotte ran them out of the gym 118-99. That game was only two weeks ago; the Mavs haven’t forgotten, with several quotes pointing towards anticipating some meaningful revenge in the rematch. The Mavs defense has improved by leaps and bounds in recent games; a major point of emphasis from Rick Carlisle after their slow start. They’re expected to get Kristaps Porzingas in the lineup today, at least partially making up for the absence of a handful of role players, dealing with COVID protocols. And Dallas has been winning on the highway, knocking off the Clippers, Nuggets and Rockets within their last four tries, primed to deliver a knockout blow this evening. Short chalk worth laying! Take the Mavericks.