Dallas Mavericks vs. Sacramento Kings – NBA, April 26, 2021

By Dean McHugh in NBA
| April 26, 2021 6:51 am PDT

The Mavericks will look to dethrone the Kings tonight at the Golden One Center in this Western Conference matchup. The game has a slight David and Goliath feel to it, given the Kings are rock bottom of the Pacific Division and the Mavericks are riding high at the top of the Southwest Division.

However, all the pressure will be on Dallas tonight as they are the only team who have anything to play for as the Kings can’t qualify for the playoffs. The Mavericks have a whole host of teams in hot pursuit for the final automatic playoff berth, so every game is a must-win one.

With that added pressure, they will then perhaps not want to face a team that they lost to by 14-points around a week ago. The loss was made even worse because the Kings had been beaten in their previous nine games before that one. However, before that, Dallas had beaten Sacramento on the three occasions they met previously. They have also won on their last two visits to the Golden One Center, so perhaps the defeat was a one-off.

Look for the Kings to start fast tonight as they did a week ago. They lead by 17-points at halftime on that night, and they have averaged five more first-half points than the Mavericks over their previous ten encounters.

Here is my Mavericks vs. Kings betting preview.

Mavericks vs. Kings Odds

Mavericks -5.5 -110
Kings +5.5 -110
Mavericks To Win -210
Kings To Win +194
Over 226.5 Points -110
Under 226.5 Points -110

The spread and the points total both look about right at first glance tonight. When they met a week ago, the spread was set at eight and a half points which the Kings won with after claiming the straight-up victory.

The points total was almost six points higher than it is tonight, making it a more realistic target for those that like to bet on over the points total.

Mavericks Asssessment

The Mavericks are rising to the pressure of clinging on to that final automatic playoff spot as they have put a run together if three straight wins following the disappointment at losing to the hands of the Kings. This includes beating the Lakers back to back, who are now narrowly above them in the standings.

Their form on the road has been good this season as they have won 17 and lost 12 of their 29 road trips. They have only dropped one of their last six away fixtures, which came against the struggling Rockets. That will be a concern as there appears to be a theme developing where they are losing against the so-called weaker teams in the league, and you have to question the Maverick’s focus going into these games—primarily seen as the Rockets came into the game having lost their last five matches.

Here are the latest betting trends for Dallas:

Against The Spread

  • They have lost six of their last eight matches.
  • Dallas is 1-6-1 in their previous eight games with the Kings.
  • The Mavericks have only won two of their last six matches against teams in the Western Conference.

It would appear that either the bookmakers are heavily overestimating the Mavericks right now, or they are getting over the line by the smallest of margins. I suspect it’s the first of those two.

Points Total

  • Four of their last six games have gone over the betting total.
  • Only one of their previous five matches against teams based in the Pacific Division has failed to go under the points total.

There isn’t anything to go on here.

Other Pointers

  • Dallas is 10-5 in their last 15 games.

This proves the Mavericks are playing well despite losing so many games against the spread recently.

The Mavericks have a sub-standard offense this season that has only averaged 111-points per game.

While their shooting can be excellent, more often than not, it isn’t awe-inspiring, which is highlighted by their average-looking field goal percentage of 46%.

Dallas has also rebounded poorly in attack this season, averaging only eight offensive rebounds per game, which is amongst the worst figures in the league. This is predominantly the result of them driving the ball to the basket more often than not, which is backed up by the fact they don’t make any assist or turnovers.

Their defense has been superb this season and the catalyst behind many of their victories. However, there are areas for improvement, like making more steals, as they currently have the lowest average in the league.

Their offense and defense are performing marginally better on the road this season, which is terrible news for the Kings tonight.

Unsurprisingly the talk is continually revolved around Luca Doncic when you discuss the Mavericks and rightfully so as he sits fourth in the rankings for both points scored and assisted this season. This shows he can do it all, and he is happy to sacrifice any personal gain for the team’s good. He illustrated this perfectly last time out against the Lakers as he was often double-teamed on the night. Instead of letting that affect his game, he made any assists that evening and helped his team pick up the win.

However, he is listed as questionable to play tonight, and if he does miss out, it will be interesting to see how the Mavericks deal without him. They also have Porzingis, Richardson and Kleber listed as questionable to feature. Terry will undoubtedly miss out tonight for personal reasons.

Kings Assessment

Although the Kings have struggled for consistency, having now won back-to-back games since the end of March, the two wins they recorded from their previous four games at least halted a run of losing games.

The Kings have been poor at home this season, having lost 17 of their 30 games in Sacramento. Their win over the Timberwolves in their previous home fixture ended a run of five straight defeats. The Kings got off to a fast start that night, and given their good starts against the Mavericks recently; they will be hoping to continue that trend tonight. The last time they won a home game, they went on to win the next four, so they will be hoping for more of the same this time around.

Here are the latest betting trends for Sacramento:

Against The Spread

  • Sacramento is 4-10-1 in their previous 15 matches played in April.
  • They have only won two of their last six games played on a Monday.

These stats don’t bode well for the Kings and suggest taking them on with the handicap.

Points Total

  • Four of their last five games against teams from the Southwest Division have gone under the betting total.
  • Only one of their previous five matches they have entered as the underdog has failed to go under the points total.

All signs point to a low-scoring game tonight with defenses coming out on top.

Other Pointers

  • The Kings have only won two of their last 13 matches.
  • They have lost four of their previous five home games against Dallas.

The stats strongly suggest the Kings are up against it tonight, despite their win over the Mavericks recently.

Despite the King’s poor record this season, they have an excellent offense inspired by some deadly field goal shooting. However, their shooting cannot be considered lethal from all areas of the court as they have one of the lowest success rates from the free-throw line, suggesting they don’t cope well under pressure. But they do have someone who can shoot from deep consistently in Buddy Hield. Hield is ranked second in the league for three-pointers made this season, and he was in great form last time out against the Warriors, where he made six of his eight attempts.

They have the worst defense in the league, which will probably not come as any great surprise. Trying to find positives about their defense is very hard as they are terrible in almost every department. They are conceding on average 118-points per game which is largely down to them, allowing their opponents to score nearly 50% from the field goal range.

To add to that, they have the lowest average number of defensive rebounds in the league. When you allow your opponents to score at almost 50% and then give them a high number of second chances, it means they will score on virtually every attack against you.

The Kings will is Fox and Bagley tonight, while Woodard remains questionable to play due to a bad back.

Mavericks vs. Kings Pick

Pick
  • Mavericks -5.5
    -110

For me, the Kings are a bit of a lazy team, and they are coming up against one of the hardest working teams in the league tonight. It’s been well documented that the Mavericks have struggled against the lesser teams recently, but they should be refocused tonight, not least by the fact they will want to gain revenge for last week’s loss.

The only thing the Kings have is a great offense, and they are coming up against a superb defense that could smother them tonight. Take a fired-up Mavericks to win minus the handicap tonight.

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