The Dallas Mavericks and the Toronto Raptors will each look to avoid losing three games in a row when they meet for the second time this season this Sunday. Will Luka Doncic lead the way for the Mavs? Or, will the Raptors win as home underdogs?
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Away: Dallas Mavericks (9-8/1-5 Away)
Projected Starting Five:
- PG: Luka Doncic
- SG: Spencer Dinwiddie
- SF: Reggie Bullock
- PF: Dorian Finney-Smith
- C: Dwight Powell
The Mavericks have lost their last two games. They were defeated by the Denver Nuggets last Monday at home (98-97) before losing to the Boston Celtics on the road (115-112) last Thursday. Moreover, Dallas is just 1-3 straight up in its last four outings. However, the Mavs beat the Raptors back on Nov. 5 at home, 111-110. Luka Doncic led the way for the Mavs in that game with 35 points, 8 rebounds, and 6 assists, while Spencer Dinwiddie had 21 points.
Doncic is the be-all and end-all for the Mavs, but to say that is also to risk overlooking the fact that the Mavs have an astounding defense, one that is arguably the best in the league. After all, the Mavs are tops in NBA with just 106.5 points allowed per game. That doesn’t bode well for Toronto, which shot just 44.3 FG% in the first meeting against the Mavs and is fourth-worst overall with a 50.5 eFG%. The Over is 4-1 in the Mavericks’ last five road games.
Home: Toronto Raptors (9-9/6-2 Home)
Projected Starting Five:
- PG: Fred VanVleet (questionable)
- SG: Gary Trent Jr.
- SF: O.G. Anunoby
- PF: Thaddeus Young
- C: Christian Koloko
Toronto is a bit banged up. Pascal Siakam is still not available to play. Scottie Barnes has been ruled out of Sunday’s game, while Fred VanVleet is questionable, as of this writing. Health has been a big issue of late for the Raptors, who are coming off a 112-98 loss to the Brooklyn Nets at home Thursday. They also lost to the Atlanta Hawks prior to that in heartbreaking fashion, 124-122 (OT). However, OG Anunoby has capitalized on the extra load he’s been given due to his teammates’ absences. Over the last five games, he’s led the Raptors with a 23.8 points average.
Veteran forward Thaddeus Young has also stepped up, putting up 12.6 points on 64.4 FG% in that span. Anunoby churned out 27 points against Dallas, while Toronto’s bench got 17 and 15 points from Chris Boucher and Precious Achiuwa, respectively. Achiuwa’s not playing this Sunday as well, but Toronto still has Christian Koloko in the frontcourt. Raptors bettors can draw confidence from the fact that the Mavs are not so good on the road. The Mavs are 1-5 straight up in games away from Dallas this season and they’ve covered just once in those games. Meanwhile, Toronto is 5-3 ATS at home this season, thus far.
Spread: The Raptors (+2.5) cover the spread.
Over/Under: The total (216.0) hits the Over.