Dallas Mavericks vs Denver Nuggets


Image licensed from USA Today Sports

In a battle of Western Conference teams, the Mavericks prepare to travel to the Mile-High City to take on the Nuggets Saturday night. Dallas went 1-1 in a back-to-back Wednesday and Thursday, and are the NBA’s enigma at this point in the season. They prepare for a Denver team who has really pulled it together after a rough start to the year, as they went 4-0 before the All-Star break and are a dark horse contender, led by their star duo of Nikola Jokic and Jamal Murray. Saturday’s game will be the first time back home for them in quite some time, and they hope to earn a win against a Dallas team who no one knows what to expect from on any given night.

Mavericks’ defense continues to be a massive weak spot

Last season, Dallas broke some insane NBA record for offensive efficiency led by the heroics of superstar Luka Doncic, but their defense has been poor all the while. Everyone knows that they have the personnel to score, but they have been truly awful in defending the post and creating turnovers on the defensive end. This does not bode well for them Saturday, as they face off against a red-hot team with one of the best and most versatile bigs in the game in Nikola Jokic.

The good news for Dallas though, is that over the last couple of seasons, they have been an Achilles heel for the Nuggets. Denver has not found the recipe to defend their elite offensive play, and have never had an answer for Luka Doncic. This makes for a highly intriguing matchup, as the Mavs hope to have similar success on Saturday night, but then again, this is not the same Nuggets team from January, as they have ironed out a ton of kinks on both ends.

Nuggets have been road warriors, but how will they fare at home Saturday?

Denver’s game against Memphis marks the fifth-straight road game that they have played, and with the All-Star Game in the middle of it, they have not played a contest at Ball Arena in nearly a month. The Nuggets typically have one of the best home-court advantages in all of sports with the altitude playing a factor, but Dallas has found ways to beat them on the road in the past. With this being the second game of a back to back, it is a mystery as to how the Nuggets will come out at home Saturday night.

The good news for them, is that they play through Nikola Jokic, who’s trademark is lulling opponents to sleep on offense, so it’s not like they are a run and gun team who are going to be incredibly fatigued after playing the night before. Denver has been sensational the last month after a very rocky start to their year, and are right back where many thought they would be, which is in contention in the Western Conference. They hope to be able to rack up a ton of offensive production on Dallas Saturday night, and win their first game back in over a month.

The Bottom Line
What to bet on this game.

Full-Game Side Bet

Contrary to most teams, the Nuggets are actually pretty darn good on back to backs, and very good after returning from long road trips. They are the more complete team on both ends in this one, which inclines me to think that they will fare pretty well and get the win back at home. Luka Doncic might be amazing, but Jokic and Murray also have the potential to be as well.

Nuggets to cover

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Full-Game Total Pick

Two great offensive teams, numerous great offensive players in this one. These two have had some absolute shootouts in recent matchups, and there is no way that this game will be any different. Expect a lot of points, a lot of shots, and a lot of fun in Denver Saturday night, in what should be a terrific showdown.