Thursday night features a matchup of one of the hottest teams in the West versus the best team in the East as the Dallas Mavericks (15-15) take on the Philadelphia 76ers (21-11). The 76ers will host this one at the Wells Fargo Center, with tipoff scheduled for 7:00 pm ET.
After a stellar three-pointer by Luka Doncic sealed a win over the Celtics on Tuesday, the Dallas Mavericks have now won six of their last seven contests. In addition to the game-winner, Doncic had 31 points, ten rebounds, and eight assists, continuing a bid for MVP with his stellar play. The Mavs will try to keep it going against the 76ers Thursday.
Speaking of Philadelphia, they currently sit in the top spot in the Eastern Conference, just a half-game above the Brooklyn Nets. Philadelphia is an impressive 13-2 at home and is coming off a 109-102 win over the Toronto Raptors on Tuesday.
Philadelphia is the favorite playing at home. They are -215 to win while the Mavericks’ moneyline sits at +180. The spread features Dallas +5.
By The Numbers
Offensively, Philadelphia has been the slightly better team this season. They rank 11th in scoring averaging 114 points per game. Dallas comes in 17th averaging 112.4 points per game.
Defensively, it is once again the 76ers that hold the edge. They rank 10th in scoring defense, allowing 111.1 points per game to opponents (105.7 points over their last three). Dallas falls to 23rd averaging 113.6 points per game, although they have allowed just 106.7 over their last three.
Mavericks Try To Stay Hot
The Dallas Mavericks hot streak has certainly turned their season around. After starting 9-14, their 6-1 record recently has propelled them to ninth in the West. As they sit within 1.5 games of the next two teams in front of them, the Mavs will look to stay hot as they face the top-seeded 76ers.
The Mavericks are led by Luka Doncic, who is pushing for consideration for MVP this season. He leads the team in points (28.9), rebounds (8.6), assists (9.2), and steals (1).
With Joel Embiid across the way, the Mavericks will host that Kristaps Porzingis and Maxi Kleber will be able to go Thursday. They are both currently listed as probable. Porzingis is averaging 20.5 points and 8.2 rebounds, while Kleber is averaging 6.8 points and 5.3 rebounds this season.
Philadelphia Hopes To Stay Dominant At Home
The 76ers come into this one, having won three of their last four games and are now 13-2 when playing at the Wells Fargo Center. They will hope that some home cooking will help cool off the Mavericks.
The 76ers have their own MVP candidate in Joel Embiid. He is averaging 29.8 points on 52.7% shooting. He is also averaging 11.3 rebounds, 3.1 assists, and 1.3 steals per game.
Philadelphia has two other stars that have been significant contributors as well. Forward Tobias Harris is averaging 20.7 points, 7.7 rebounds, and 3.4 assists per game. Ben Simmons has been averaging 15.7 points, 8.3 rebounds, 7.9 assists, and 1.6 steals per game.
Taking Dallas And The Points
This one is a tough one to call. The Mavericks have been one of the hottest teams in the league, while the 76ers have been stellar at home. With both teams playing well, I lean towards taking the points. While the 76ers may ultimately win, I like Dallas being spotted five points.
Prediction: Dallas +5.00 Points