Western Conference NBA action resumes on Monday night with the stage set for another great matchup between the Dallas Mavericks and the Denver Nuggets, and VI is getting you prepared with more Best Bets and Game Previews to help handicap Monday’s NBA board.
Betting Odds - Nuggets vs. Mavericks
Subject to Change
The Nuggets are undeniably the hotter team coming into this contest, coming off wins in four of their last five games.
This has resulted in the books rolling out the Nuggets as a 1.5-point road favorite over Dallas heading into Monday’s matchup.
While the total for this contest currently sits at OU 222 – after cashing ‘over’ tickets in each of Dallas and Denver’s last three contests.
The Mavericks seek their second victory against the Nuggets when they meet on Monday. (AP)
Nuggets-Mavericks Current Form-Last Game
After losing four out of their first five games start the season, the Nuggets have completely flipped the script in recent weeks – now winning and covering in four of their last five games, bringing Denver’s record up to 9-7 on the year.
In the Nuggets’ most recent affair, regulation concluded with Jamal Murray burying a buzzer-beating three-pointer to send the game into overtime, which in turn led to Denver pulling out a 120-112 victory after two additional 5-minute periods.
While on the other hand, after building an impressive five-game winning streak without Kristaps Porzingis in the lineup (including a win over Denver), the Mavericks have lost four of their last six games since his return – dropping contests against the Rockets, Raptors, Bulls, and Bucks over that span.
Dallas’ most recent contest resulted in a loss to the skidding Rockets, 133-108, but Porzingis opted to sit out during that contest as the Mavericks continue to manage his workload coming off knee surgery.
Nuggets vs. Mavericks Head-to-Head
The first matchup between Denver and Dallas this season was all about each team’s respective superstar, as Luka Doncic and Nikola Jokic racked up 38 points apiece on a combined 50.9% from the field in an overtime win over the Mavericks, 124-117.
During last year’s regular season, the Mavericks got the best of the Nuggets in two out of three contests – with all three of those matchups staying 'under' 221 total points.
The first matchup between these teams also concluded regulation under 221 total points, but five minutes of overtime allowed these teams to send it 'over' that mark pretty easily.
(SU-Straight Up, ATS - Against the Spread, OU - Over-Under)
Nuggets Betting Outlook
Inside the Stats (2020-2021)
Denver played virtually no defense in their first five games to start the year – allowing 117.4 points per game while losing four contests against relatively mediocre competition across that stretch.
They have bounced back defensively in their recent games though, holding four of their last five opponents to 110 points or less while currently riding a 3-game winning streak.
The ‘over’ may have cashed in Denver’s last three contests, but it is important to keep in mind that the ‘over-under’ for a Nuggets game hasn’t been set above 220 since they played the Warriors back on January 14th and that total went ‘under’ (114-104).
Mavericks Betting Outlook
Inside the Stats (2020-2021)
On the other hand, the Mavericks have really struggled offensively in their recent affairs – scoring less than 110 points in four of their last six contests while losing all four of those games.
When the Mavericks put everything together on offense sometimes it appears like they cannot be stopped, but the reality of the situation is that Dallas has been rather pedestrian scoring the ball – ranking 20th in points scored per game (109.4) 18th in effective field goal percentage (52.4%).
Dallas’ offensive numbers should continue to climb as Porzingis continues to get his feet back under him, but I still believe the Mavs rank a tier below the Nuggets in the NBA’s hierarchy based off what we have seen from them so far this year.
Porzingis sat out during the Mavericks’ loss to the Rockets this past Friday but is expected to be back and fully healthy for Monday’s matchup with the Nuggets.
Dallas also has a bunch of crucial rotational pieces listed as questionable due to COVID-19 protocols, but recent reports have come out indicating that there is a good chance several of those guys could return to the lineup for this contest.
Player Prop Best Bet
Kristaps Porzingis – Over 8.5 Total Rebounds (-110)
Since returning from injury and assuming a typical minutes load (25+ minutes), Porzingis has grabbed eight or more boards in five straight games while averaging 9.6 rebounds across that stretch.
In his lone matchup against the Nuggets last year, Kristaps really struggled to get into the flow of the offense, shooting 4 for 14 from the field and 1 for 8 from 3-point territory in a 3-point win over Denver.
But he still managed to remain active in other aspects of the game, especially on the glass – tallying 14 rebounds and three assists across 33 minutes.
Back Porzingis to grab at least nine boards in another tough matchup against Jokic and the Nuggets on Monday night.
The Nuggets come into this game bearing all the momentum, following back-to-back overtime wins in Phoenix this past weekend and victories against Western Conference opponents in four of their previous five contests.
Back the Nuggets to make it wins in five of six games against a Mavericks team still trying to figure out how to operate with Porzingis back in the starting lineup again.
Score Prediction: Nuggets 114, Mavericks 109