Golden State Warriors vs. Dallas Mavericks Preview and Pick

Golden State Warriors (45-29) at Dallas Mavericks (46-28), 9:30 pm Eastern Wednesday, ESPN
by Zman of

The battle for the last few Western Conference playoffs spots continues Wednesday night when the 9th-place Golden State Warriors visit the 7th-place Dallas Mavericks in the back half of an NBA/ESPN double-header.

NBA Sportsbooks list Dallas as 4 1/2-point home favorites for Wednesday’s game, with a total of 215. Also, the Mavericks are posted at around -220 on various Vegas moneylines, with Golden State getting +190 as road underdogs.

The Warriors and Mavs are two of three teams with the Denver Nuggets involved in a great fight for the last two post-season slots in the West. Going into Wednesday’s game, Dallas holds down 7th place in the West, a half-game ahead of eighth-place Denver, which leads 9th-place Golden State by a half-game. All this, with just eight games remaining in the regular season.

The Warriors lost at San Antonio Tuesday 116-92, their sixth defeat in their last 12 games. GS shot 38% from the field vs. the Spurs, and was held under 100 points for the first time in its last 38 games.

Meanwhile, Dallas beat the Clippers Monday 93-86 for just its second win in its last seven games. The Mavs are now 2-2 without forward Dirk Nowitzki, who’s missed recent action with a injured leg. The big German was expected to miss a couple of weeks, but has been upgraded just in the last 24 hours. Still, his status for Wednesday’s game was very undecided as of Wednesday morning.

A couple of other interesting numbers concerning Dallas is its 11-10 record since acquiring guard Jason Kidd in a trade with New Jersey, and a 10-game losing streak against teams with winning records.

The Mavericks have taken two of three games from Golden State this season, winning by scores of 121-99 and 120-115 earlier on and losing 114-104 in Oakland last Sunday without Nowitzki. So not only will this game have a significant impact on the playoff race, it would also act as the decider in a tie-breaker should these two teams end the regular season with identical records.

Last season, as we recall, the Warriors swept three regular-season meetings with the Mavs, then knocked top-seeded Dallas out of the playoffs in six games in the first round.

Dallas has shot just below 50% from the field collectively in the three games vs. GS this season, the Warriors 48%. And the Mavs have outrebounded the Warriors in those three games by a 45-40 per-game average. Also, all three of those games went over their totals by averaging 224 total points.

Golden State is 33-41 against the spread this season, but a respectable 20-17 straight up and 19-18 vs. the numbers on the road. Meanwhile, Dallas is 31-39 ATS this season, 30-7 SU but just 16-21 vs. the numbers at home.

The Mavs rank 9th in the league in point differential at +4.3 per game, the Warriors 13th at +2.6.

High-flying GS is shooting 46% from the floor this season, 35% from 3-point land and 75% from the free-throw line. At the other end of the court, Dallas is shooting 46% from the field, 35% from long range and a league-best 81% from the line.

And while the Warriors rank 22nd in FG defense at 46.5% and 29th in rebounding at -4.3 per game, the Mavs rank 4th in FG defense at 44% and 6th in rebounding at +2.7 per game.

The Sagarin PREDICTOR ratings at ranks Dallas 9th at 94.6, Golden State 13th at 92.2. Sagarin’s current NBA home-court advantage figure is 3.5.

The o/u in Warriors games this season has gone 41-31 by averaging 219 total points, while the totals are 39-36 in Mavs games, which are averaging 196 points.

Zman’s Pick: We like the Warriors plus the points tonight.