Dallas Mavericks vs. Denver Nuggets – NBA, January 7, 2021

By Dean McHugh in NBA
| January 7, 2021 5:16 am PDT

Both of these two teams head into this game with identical records of three wins and four defeats from their seven games played.

They also have the same record over the last five games with three wins from their last five match ups.

They also both sit second in their respected divisions and a win for either of them could send them to the top spot.

The head to head record against each other is much like their overall record this year, close, with the Nuggets edging the last five games three too two. However in Denver the Nuggets have won seven of the last eight. The only encouragement that the Mavericks can take from that record is that their one win was the most recent game played.

Mavericks vs. Nuggets Odds

Mavericks (+3.5) -110
Nuggets (-3.5) -110
Mavericks To Win +145
Nuggets To Win -165
Over 225.5 Points -110
Under 225.5 Points -110

Their isn’t any surprises when looking at the betting here as the Nuggets edge the market having home court advantage along with a superior record against the Mavericks in Denver.

Mavericks Analysis

After losing their first two games of the season the Mavericks have alternated victories with defeats as they struggle for consistency.

On the road their form has been exactly the same, losing their first two games before alternating wins and losses.

Against the spread the Mavericks have been poor losing 10 of their last 15 games. This trend continues on the road as they have only won four of the last 14 matches. However they have been good against Denver winning seven of the last ten between the two teams. They also like facing teams from the Northwest Division having won four of the last five.

Their games have been low scoring this season as four of the last five have gone under the betting total. This is the same record against teams from the Western Conference.

With so many games going under the betting total it is no surprise then to see that the Mavericks have struggled in attack this season averaging 107 points per game. They have also been good in defence this year which combined with their poor offence makes for a lot of low scoring, close games.

Despite their good defence this year they would hope to improve on the number of blocks they are making per game as they currently only average three which is the second lowest in the league. They also need to show more discipline, especially when they fall behind as they appear to lose their heads. This is reflected in the number of personal fouls they have made, the fifth highest in the league.

One of their main struggles offensively this season has been their three point shooting as they are scoring at just 32%, which is only marginally better than two other teams in the league. They also haven’t moved the ball around well enough as they have the lowest number of assists in the NBA to date.

This is a surprise as they have the fourth lowest number of turn overs this season so in actual fact they are passing the ball well but just not in key areas of the court.

The Mavericks have a clean bill of health heading into this game.

Nuggets Analysis

After a couple of defeats the Nuggets season has taken a turn for the better with two back to back thrashing wins against the Timberwolves.

At home the Nuggets have a negative record of two wins and three defeats from their five games played.

Much like the Mavericks the Nuggets have also been poor against the spread this season losing six of their last eight games, which coincidently is the same record against teams from the Western Conference. However when you dissect that and look at the games against teams from the Southwest Division they have won five of the last seven.

They also appear to like playing in January having won four of their last five games played in that calendar month.

Their games this season have been explosive with nine of the last ten going over the betting total and six of the last seven played in Denver following suit. However only one of the last five games against the Mavericks have gone over the betting line.

With so many points being scored its easy to tell that the Nuggets must have a good offence and a poor defence which certainly is the case. They currently average ten points more per game than their opponents here but are conceding 11 points more also. They are averaging 117 points per game which is the fifth highest this season.

They have the second highest field goal percentage in the league scoring almost one of every two shots taken which if they can maintain that and improve their defence will see them go far this year. They move the ball around the court quick and accurately and they have the third highest average number of assists made per game.

This is largely down to their Serbian Sensation Nikola Jokic who leads the league in assists and has the fifth highest number of defensive rebounds. He is not only being dubbed the best passing big man in the league, many are questioning whether he is the best passer period. Here he is threading the needle against the Timberwolves last time out.

One area that would certainly help their defence would be to make more defensive rebounds as they currently have the second lowest in the NBA to date despite Jokic’s good return. Their offensive rebounding isn’t much better however as they have the fifth lowest combined total also.

The Nuggets have a couple of players who are doubtful but apart from that they have no serious concerns.

Mavericks vs. Nuggets Pick

The Nuggets seem to be starting to play some decent basketball and if they can sort their leaky defence out they could start to make great strides this season.

Taking that into consideration and the fact that they have a far superior record against the Mavericks I have to take the Nuggets to win this. They are scoring at such a good rate at present I just can’t see the Mavericks keeping pace with them.

Pick
  • Nuggets To Win
    -165

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