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Golden State Warriors at Dallas Mavericks Game 3 Betting Preview

The Dallas Mavericks have been here before, down 0-2 in their Western Conference semifinals matchup with Phoenix before winning two home games and tying the series up 2-2. That will be the Mavs’ goal once again when the Golden State Warriors visit the American Airlines Center on Sunday night.

The Warriors have a 112-87 and a 126-117 win this series to take a 2-0 lead. Dallas put up a much tougher fight in Game 2, leading 72-58 at the half, but Golden State turned it on for a 68-45 margin after the break. Can the Mavs turn their fortunes around now back at home?

Interesting Series for Warriors

When you think of Golden State, you think of great perimeter shooting, but the Warriors have actually dominated in the paint through the first two games.

Kevon Looney had 21 points in Friday’s win, while Steph Curry, of all people, was the leading rebounder in the series opener with 12 boards. The Warriors have outscored Dallas by 44 points in the paint so far (106-62).

Make no mistake, just because they’re having success on the interior doesn’t mean Golden State isn’t lighting things up on the outside. The team has shot 56% from the floor in each of the first two games, with seven players scoring in double figures in the opener and seven reaching 10+ points on Friday night.

Golden State had the #2 defensive efficiency rating in the NBA this season, a very underrated part of their game with such an explosive offense. That defense was on full display Friday night when Dallas shot just 26.3% in the decisive third quarter.

No Worries for Dallas?

The Mavericks lost by 7 and 20 points in the first two games of the Western Conference semifinals in Phoenix before coming back home to get a 103-94 and a 111-101 win to even the series up 2-2. Having been in this situation, the last round has to be a huge advantage for Dallas heading into Sunday night’s meeting.

Dallas showed they can compete with the Warriors racing off to the big lead in Game 2; now it’s just time to finish things out. One has to wonder how much more production the Mavs can get, though, compared to Friday night’s matchup where Luka Doncic scored 42, Jalen Brunson 31, Reggie Bullock 21, and Dallas still lost by 9 points.

Warriors/Mavericks Betting Prediction

This feels like a game where it wouldn’t hurt to take a flier on the Warriors getting the +2.5 points. This is the first time this postseason that Golden State has been an underdog, which would seem to create instant value.

This line has to be set where it is for a reason, though, and the Mavericks were really good at home vs. Phoenix, especially in Game 6, where they piled on a 27-point win. The Dallas crowd had Chris Paul flustered in each of the games at American Airlines Center, and they just may do the same to Curry and company on Sunday night.

Pick: Dallas -2.5

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