NBA Betting – New Orleans Pelicans at Dallas Mavericks

Written by:
Phil Simon
Published on:

The future of the NBA is in good hands. Just how good? Last season’s Rookie of the Year Luka Doncic and the Dallas Mavericks host the league’s No. 1 overall pick and possible successor to the ROY trophy Zion Williamson and the New Orleans Pelicans on Wednesday night. Since Zion made his NBA debut near the end of January the Pels are 9-8 and have climbed within sniffing distance of the final playoff spot in the Western Conference. And he’s coming off the highest scoring game of his brief career after dropping 35 in a loss to the Lakers on Sunday.

New Orleans Pelicans at Dallas Mavericks

Date and Time: Wednesday, March 4, 2020, 9:30 p.m. ET

Location: American Airlines Center, Dallas, TX

Opening NBA Odds: Dallas -6: Line Moved to -5.5 By Late Morning - Live Odds Here

Pelicans at Mavericks TV Coverage: ESPN

Odds Analysis

Both teams are coming off frustrating losses in games they thought they should have won. Those types of games have a more profound impact on the Pelicans, who are struggling to stay relevant in the playoff race. A home loss to Minnesota on Tuesday was the Pels second straight and third in four games dropping them further off the pace. They are 26-35 overall, 4.5 games behind Memphis for the final playoff spot. Barring an epic collapse over the final few weeks, the Mavericks are a lock for the playoffs. Looking to move 14 games over .500 for the first time this season the Mavs fell in Chicago, 109-107, on Monday. They are 37-25 on the year but just 16-14 SU and 12-17-1 ATS at home.

New Orleans Pelicans

The haul they got from the Lakers in the Anthony Davis deal and drafting Zion has set the Pelicans up well for the future. Alvin Gentry wants this to be a team of the present. The results have been better since Williamson made his debut. The Pels are 9-8 since that day in January as opposed to being 10 games under .500 before Williamson arrived. They’ve had two three-game winning streaks since, but they also have three two-game losing streaks, including one that they are currently on.

While they certainly are a talented group the Pelicans are nowhere near being a threat, yet. Prior to Tuesday’s setback the Pels previous six losses were to teams that are all currently at least 13 games over .500. There’s no shame in losing to the Lakers, Bucks, Rockets, Nuggets and Thunder. To become a playoff team they will need to win a few of those matchups and not succumb to clubs like Minnesota. Zion scored 25 and four starters topped the 20-point mark, but the Pels decided not to play defense in the 139-134 loss.

“Hopefully, this is a game that we understand and we learn from because we can’t afford not to be locked in,” Gentry said after the Wolves game. The Pels shot themselves in the foot against a team that entered with just two wins in its last 22 games. They committed 15 turnovers, missed 11 of 27 free throws and continually broke down defensively.

Dallas Mavericks

The Mavs got some good news relating to Doncic. After injuring his thumb in a loss to the Heat and skipping a win over the Timberwolves, he returned to the floor Monday in Chicago. His presence wasn’t enough to lift the Mavs to a victory, though. Dallas played without Kristaps Porzingis, who doesn’t play in back-to-backs to give his achy knee a break. Seth Curry experienced tightness in his back and was shelved for the evening.

Those guys are expected back on Wednesday and they can’t wait to face one of the worst defensive teams in the league. The Mavs averaged 123.7 points in taking the first three games of the season series. Those were before the arrival of Williamson, but the results were drastic nonetheless.

Doncic is doing it all this season and is a candidate for NBA MVP honors. He tallied 23 points and nine assists against the Bulls but hit just 1 of 8 three-pointers. The thumb surely played a role in that. KP is back on Wednesday bringing a healthy 27.3 scoring average over his last 11 games with him. Luka and KP form a powerhouse duo, they just haven’t been on the floor together all that often.

Bet Pelicans at Mavericks at BookMaker.eu

Both teams can score the basketball. The difference is that the Mavs have defended better throughout the season. The Pelicans haven’t figured out how to beat winning teams going 8-26 against them. That’s something that hasn’t improved since Williamson joined the rotation. Porzingis will play, Curry should join the mix, and Doncic’s thumb is getting better. That trio will do damage against the Pels’ soft defense.

NBA Score Prediction: Dallas 123, New Orleans 115

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- Phil Simon, Gambling911.com

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