Dallas Mavericks vs. Oklahoma City Thunder Game Preview – March 11, 2021

By Dean McHugh in NBA
| March 11, 2021 5:28 am PDT

The Mavericks travel to Oklahoma hoping to silence the Thunder tonight. The Mavericks continue to improve night upon night and are now in reaching distance of the automatic promotion places. Unfortunately, the Thunder has been little more than a rumble this season, and they are beginning to come adrift from the pre-playoff spots.

Dallas has enjoyed playing the Thunder as of late as they have won three of the last four meetings, including the previous two. The last of those was around a week ago when the Mavericks won one of the season’s lowest-scoring games, 87-78. It was a terrible game where both teams shot miserable on the night. They both had a field goal percentage of under 40% and a success rate of less than 25% from the three-point range.

The games in Oklahoma have been a lot more, even with both teams winning three of the last six encounters.

Here are the game odds, my team analysis, and betting prediction.

Mavericks vs. Thunder Match Odds

Mavericks -6.5-110
Thunder +6.5-110
Mavericks To Win-270
Thunder To Win+225
Over 219.5 Points-110
Under 219.5 Points-110

The spread seems about right for this one. It’s perhaps a point more than I expected, but nothing too out of the ordinary. The points total has been cut by three points since the betting opened but still looks a little on the high side, considering they have averaged only 205 points between them over the previous ten matchups, and they only combined for a meager 165 points only one week ago. However, it is nearly the same tonight as it was that night, so this shockingly low score hasn’t influenced the bookmakers.

Mavericks News

The Mavericks are in a rich vein of form, having only lost three of their last 14 games, making them arguably the best team in the NBA right now. They have won their previous four games in a row and will be confident making it five here tonight.

Their form on the road is decent as they have won nine and lost eight of their 17 Road trips this season. This includes winning three of the last four away fixtures, with their only loss coming against the 76ers, who top the Eastern Conference.

Here are the latest betting trends for Dallas:

Bet Type Trend
ATS They have only lost two of their previous seven matches.
Total Six of their last seven games have gone under the betting total.
SU Dallas has won six of their previous seven games.
ATS The Mavericks have only lost two of their last ten matches against the Thunder.
SU They have won five of their previous seven games against Oklahoma.
Total Four of their last six away fixtures have gone under the points total.
SU Dallas is 6-14 in their previous 20 matches they have played in Oklahoma.
ATS The Mavericks have only lost one of their last five games played against teams in the Western Conference.
ATS They have won only one of their previous six matches against teams based in the Northwest Division.

The signs point towards another low-scoring game tonight, much like last week’s game.

The Mavericks have a sub-standard offense that has shot reasonably well from close this season. However, they only have a success rate of 35% from distance which will need to improve as we begin to come into the later stages of the season. Because of this, they have tended to drive the ball to the basket more often than not.

Their defense has been much the same as their offense this season, with their rebounding being their many concern defensively.

They also haven’t made many steals this season which, when your rebounding stats aren’t reading that great, can become an issue as you will see less and less of the ball.

Slovenian Luka Doncic remains the star of the show for the Mavericks, and he will be eager to play tonight, given he missed last week’s encounter with a back injury. You could tell he was still feeling the effects of that injury when he failed to shine in the All-Star game for Team Durrant. However, he did play reasonably well last time against the Spurs, so perhaps he is beginning to return to full fitness.

Dallas only has one player listed as questionable to play tonight, and that man is point guard Terry, who has been suffering from sickness recently.

Thunder News

The Thunder continue to struggle for consistency this season, but they beat the Spurs last time out, just as their opponents tonight did in their previous game. The Thunder’s win over the Spurs wasn’t quite as convincing as the Maverick’s win over them, and in all truth, the Spurs will wonder how they lost the game. Regardless the win for Oklahoma ended a run of two straight defeats, and they will be hoping to begin their own winning streak tonight.

However, they will have to overcome a poor home record which is amongst the worst in the Western Conference. They have only won six of their 17 home fixtures so far this season. The Thunder will want to put their 30 point loss against the Nuggets in their previous home game to the back of their mind.

Here are the latest betting trends for Oklahoma:

Bet Type Trend
Total Nine of their last 12 games have gone under the betting total.
Total Six of their previous seven matches against Dallas have gone under the points total.
Total Only three of their last nine home games have failed to go under the betting total.
SU The Thunder is 2-7 in their previous nine matches against Western Conference opponents.
ATS Oklahoma has only won five of their last 15 games played in March.
ATS They have lost six of the previous nine games that they have entered as the underdogs.

You cannot ignore that these trends point to another low-scoring game with the Mavericks.

Oklahoma has one of the worst offenses in the league, and like their opponents tonight, they have also struggled from three-point range this season. In all truth, they have struggled from all over the court, including the free-throw line.

This has led them to average only 105 points per game which is the fourth-lowest average in the league and only a point higher than Cleveland’s average, which is the worst in the NBA this season.

However, they will be encouraged because they appear to overshadow the Mavericks when it comes to rebounding in defense, which could undoubtedly be their key to victory tonight.

The Thunder have a good defense that presses their opponents all over the court, and they certainly give their opposition a full workout. They all seem to be well drilled, and all know the part they have to play defensively, which sets them apart.

However, for as good as they are rebounding in defense, they are considerably worse in attack as they have some of the lowest figures in the league this season. Their blocking has been an issue for them also.

They haven’t defended as well at home, which may have something to do with their poor home record. They are conceding, on average, four more points at home which need addressing.

The Thunder knows they need to improve, and they don’t have the players at their disposal right now to achieve this. That is probably why they are eyeing up a move for Sacramento’s Marvin Bagley, who has endured a frustrating time with the Kings this season. Despite that, he has still had a reasonably good year which proves that he has a good attitude, something the Thunder would welcome with open arms.

Oklahoma has three players listed as missing tonight, and they are Ariza, Hill, and Diallo.

Mavericks vs. Thunder Betting Pick

Pick
  • Under 219.5 Points
    -110

I was tempted to pick the Mavericks minus the handicap tonight as they look flawless right now, and the Thunder are certainly lacking. However, for those readers who follow my picks, they will know that I tipped up under the points total last week when these two met, and I see no reason to change that here. The bookmakers have been kind enough to offer a very similar total, and I, for one, will not turn their charity down.

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