NBA Game Preview: Dallas Mavericks at New Orleans Pelicans

Mar 8, 2023

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Game: Dallas Mavericks @ New Orleans Pelicans

Time: 7:30 p.m.

Odds: Mavericks -2.5, Pelicans +2.5

Total: 233.5

The Dallas Mavericks (34-32 SU, 23-40-3 ATS) have been underperforming as of late. They will try to break their cycle of inconsistent play as they travel to New Orleans (31-34, 29-35-1) tonight. In their last six games, Dallas is 3-3 SU, while New Orleans has won just two of its last nine contests.

Just last night, the Mavericks defeated the Utah Jazz 120-116 thanks to a strong performance by Kyrie Irving, who tallied 17 of his 33 points in the fourth quarter. In the victory, Luka Doncic scored 29 points and had 10 rebounds. In his last three games, Irving has really stepped up. He is scoring 35 points per game on 61 percent shooting from the field. He’s also hitting an amazing 56 percent from three-point range.

Dallas has scored 128.3 points per game on average over those last three games. If this pattern continues, the Mavs should be tough to beat. They may cash more Overs as well.  (and cashing plenty of OVERs). That is interesting because the Mavs had been one of the stronger defensive teams in the league last year and for much of the first half of this season. Currently, Dallas has the fourth-highest Over percentage (56.9%, 37-28-1) in the league.

New Orleans will have the benefit of rest. They were off last night and on Monday, the Pelicans lost to the Sacramento Kings 123-108, suffering their second straight loss. Brandon Ingram led the Pelicans with 24 points and four other players scored in double figures for New Orleans.

Since mid-January, New Orleans has had a lot of difficulty, going 5-17 in its previous 22 games, a stretch that began with a 10-game losing streak. Throughout their last nine games, the Pelicans have averaged just 105.2 points, which is a major factor in why they have only managed to pick up two victories.

The Pelicans lost their most recent encounter with the Mavericks on February 2, but they did so in a close game, going down 111-106. Again, the offense fell short, but they held Dallas under their average, which is what matters tonight. The Pelicans’ defense is going to have to do its best to limit Doncic and Irving to less than 60 combined points.

Ingram and CJ McCollum will need to have strong offensive performances for New Orleans because they probably won’t get much support. McCollum is averaging 21 points per game this month and Ingram averaged over 28 points per game in February. He’s hovering around that mark again in early March.

On the other end, the duo of Irving and Doncic is the key for Dallas. Irving has scored 25 or more points in six of ten games and the pair have combined for 73 points a game in March. With their sudden rise in scoring, seven of the past ten Mavs games have gone Over. New Orleans is the opposite. Their lack of scoring has contributed to an O/U record of 2-8 in their last ten games.

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