The Portland Trail Blazers (18-24; 16-24-2 ATS) head to American Airlines Center in Dallas on Friday night to meet the Dallas Mavericks for the second time this season. Back in October, the Trail Blazers upset the Mavs 121-119 as 2.5-point road underdogs. The Trail Blazers will search for their third straight victory, while the Mavericks will look for their fourth win in a row, so we expect to see a great game in Dallas this Friday.
Portland is without Rodney Hood (Achilles), Jusuf Nurkic (leg), Zach Collins (shoulder), Skal Labissiere (knee), and Mario Hezonja (back). Dallas misses Ryan Broekhoff (knee), while Kristaps Porzingis (knee) is listed as questionable.
The Mavericks opened as 7.5-point favorites with the total at 228.5 points. Dallas is only 2-7-1 ATS in its last ten outings at home, while Portland is 3-6 ATS in its previous nine showings on the road as underdogs.
What’s at Stake?
The Trail Blazers are a game and a half behind the eighth-seeded Memphis Grizzlies, so every game count for Terry Stotts’ team. It’s a similar story with the Mavericks who sit at the sixth spot, seven games ahead of Memphis but two games behind the fourth-placed LA Clippers. The Mavs need every game in the race for home-court advantage.
Portland is coming off a terrific 117-107 victory at the Houston Rockets this past Wednesday. The Trail Blazers will play back-to-back in Oklahoma City on Saturday night. They are only 1-4 SU and ATS on the first day of the previous five back-to-back sets. Dallas is coming off a 127-123 victory at the Sacramento Kings on Wednesday, and the Mavs will have three days off before they welcome the LA Clippers.
Even if Kristaps Porzingis remains sidelined, the Trail Blazers will have a tall task to slow down the Mavericks’ furious offense. Dallas scores a whopping 117.3 points per 100 possessions (1st in the league) on 46.4% shooting from the field (11th) and 36.3% from beyond the arc, while Portland allows 112.2 points per 100 possessions (23rd) on 44.4% shooting from the field (7th) and 36.4% from downtown (21st).
The Trail Blazers have defeated Houston last time out, but the Mavericks are a completely different team than the Rockets. Dallas averages 24.5 assists per 100 possessions (12th) along with just 12.9 turnovers (2nd), and the Mavs love to get everybody involved. Luka Doncic (28.8 PPG, 9.8 RPG, 9.0 APG) is a key player in this Dallas team, and a 20-year-old Slovenian enjoys making his teammates better players.
On the other side, the Trail Blazers tally 110.2 points per 100 possessions (13th) on 44.9% shooting from the field (20th) and 35.8% from beyond the arc (14th). However, they average only 19.5 dimes per 100 possessions which are the fewest in the NBA. Damian Lillard leads the way for the Blazers with 26.8 points and 7.6 assists per contest, but Portland’s second unit is one of the worst in the league.
The Trail Blazers’ D will be a key factor in this clash. If they manage to stay in front Luka Doncic and defend well at the perimeter, the Blazers will stand a chance against the Mavs. Dallas takes 40.8 attempts from deep per game and only Houston averages more 3-point attempts than the Mavs.
Despite all their defensive woes, the Trail Blazers are a dangerous team. They can beat anyone when Damian Lillard and C.J. McCollum have a good shooting day. However, I think the Mavericks’ offense will be too much for the Trail Blazers, so I’m backing the hosts to cover. Dallas is 12-4 ATS in its last 16 meetings with Portland and is 3-1 SU and ATS in its previous four home encounters with the Trail Blazers. Also, Portland is only 5-10 SU and ATS in its last 15 outings on the road.
When it comes to the totals, I have to suggest you go with the over. The Mavericks are not playing at a fast pace, averaging 98.6 possessions per 48 minutes, but the Trail Blazers like to push up the tempo, recording 101.1 possessions per 48 minutes. Also, both Portland and Dallas are vulnerable defensively. The over has hit in seven of their last ten head-to-head meetings. If you prefer prop bets, I suggest you take Luka Doncic in the over of his point total, as he should dominate the Trail Blazers’ D. Luka scored 29 points in his previous meeting with Portland.