The Dallas Mavericks
will go for the season sweep when they take on the Utah Jazz
at EnergySolutions Arena in Salt Lake City.
Saturday's tip-off is set for 6 p.m. (PT) and the game will be available on NBA League Pass.
Dallas erased an early March slide with three wins in its last four games, including a 101-73 victory over Golden State last Sunday as an 8 ½-point home favorite and a 104-96 win over Minnesota Thursday night as a 15-point home favorite.
The Mavericks are now 50-21 straight-up overall and 37-32-2 against the spread. They have a solid hold on the third spot in the Western Conference standings with a 3 ½-game lead over Oklahoma City, but still have designs on moving up to second given they are only a game in back of the LA Lakers.
Dirk Nowitzki continues to lead the way with a team-high 23.4 points and 6.9 rebounds a game, while Jason Terry is averaging 16.3 points and 4.2 assists off the bench. Shawn Marion remains a key contributor with an average of 12.1 points and 6.8 rebounds and Tyson Chandler is the leading rebounder with 9.4 a game.
The Mavericks are ranked 12th in the league in scoring with 100.3 points a game and 10th in points allowed; giving up an average of 96.2 making them one of the more balanced teams in the NBA. Dallas has the third best shooting percentage from the floor, hitting 47.7 percent of its shots and is converting on 37 percent of its attempts from beyond the arc.
Utah appears to be riding out the string with six losses in its last eight games including four straight heading into this game. The Jazz earned a ‘push’ against Oklahoma City in a 106-94 loss this past Wednesday as a 12-point road underdog. Thursday night they dropped a 121-117 OT decision to New Orleans as a five-point home underdog. They are currently in 11th place in the West with an overall record of 36-37 SU (31-40-2 ATS).
There are some injury concerns for the Jazz heading into this game with both Devin Harris and Andrei Kirilenko listed as day-to-day with leg injuries. If they cannot go it will be up to Al Jefferson and Paul Millsap to carry most of the load for the Jazz. Jefferson leads the team with 19.1 points and 9.6 rebounds and Millsap is second with 17.4 points and 7.9 rebounds.
Utah is ranked just above the Mavericks in scoring with 100.4 points a game, but it is giving up an average of 101.8 on the defensive side. It is shooting 46.6 percent from the field but just 34.6 percent from three-point range. The Jazz remain one of the worst rebounding teams in the league with an average of just 39.5 boards a game.
Dallas is 1-3 ATS in its last four road games and 3-7 ATS in its last 10 games overall. The total has stayed ‘under’ in its last three games.
Utah is 3-0 ATS in its last three games at home and 4-1-1 ATS in its last six games overall. The total has gone ‘over’ in six of its last eight games.
Head-to-head, the Mavericks have won five of the last seven games SU including three previous victories this season. They won 93-81 as a four-point road underdog and 103-97 as a 5 ½-point home favorite in December and then rolled to a 118-99 victory on Feb. 23 as a 10-point home favorite to cover the spread in all three games. The total went ‘over’ in the last two games.
This time around Dallas should open as a road favorite. The actual number will hinge on the status of Harris and Kirilenko, but the Mavs remain a solid pick as long as the line stays under six points.