Game: Dallas Mavericks @ Utah Jazz
Time: 10:00 p.m. ET
Odds: Mavericks +1, Jazz -1
Dallas has won three of the last four games in this series and can end it tonight in Utah with a win. The Mavs haven’t advanced to a conference semifinal series in over a decade. If the Dallas defense puts on the vise grip like it did in Game 5, the Jazz should start packing right now. The Mavs held Utah to just 77 points. Donovan Mitchell shot 4-of-15 and finished with nine points. The Jazz shot 37.7 percent from the floor and hit only three three-pointers.
Mitchell played Game 5 with a quad injury. He is listed as probable for tonight, but he will not be playing at 100 percent. That is going to be a problem for Utah as they do not have another player capable of going off for 30 points a game. Mitchell scored 30-plus points in Games 1, 2, and 3 and had 23 in Game 4. Jordan Clarkson had 20 and Rudy Gobert scored 17, but neither player is capable of carrying Utah the way Mitchell can.
Luka Doncic is averaging a double-double for the Mavs since returning to the lineup after straining a calf muscle in Dallas’ regular-season finale. Doncic is averaging 31.5 points and 11.5 rebounds. The 31.5 points is the most by any player in this season’s playoffs. The Dallas offense runs through Doncic, but the Mavs defense is the key to winning this series.
Aside from a 126-118 win over the Jazz in Game 3, Dallas allowed Utah 99, 104, 100, and 77 points. Even with the Game 3 total, Dallas is allowing Utah just 99.6 points per game. The Mavs defense ranks No. 1 in points allowed (104.4) this season and it definitely showed in Game 5. Dallas is especially good on the perimeter. They held Utah to 3-of-30 shooting from three-point range in Game 5. The Mavs are also No. 1 in the NBA in opponent three-point field goal percentage allowing teams to shoot just 33.6 percent from behind the arc.
Dallas has had tremendous success recently and against Utah. The Mavs are 7-2 SU in their last nine games. They are 5-2 SU in their last seven against Utah. Dallas has covered the spread in each of the last four games in this series. That gives the Mavs a 9-1 ATS record in the last ten games against Utah. The only issue for Dallas is playing Utah on the road.
The Jazz are 12-2 SU in their last 14 games against the Mavs at home. Overall, Utah has won 15 of its last 18 home games. What the Jazz don’t do is cover the spread consistently. They are 1-4 ATS in their last five games. For the season, Utah is 34-50-3 ATS overall and 17-24-2 ATS at home and we know that the Jazz has only covered once in the last ten games against Dallas.