Jan 8, 2020; Dallas, Texas, USA; Dallas Mavericks forward Luka Doncic (77) drives to the basket past Denver Nuggets center Nikola Jokic (15) during the first quarter at the American Airlines Center. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports
The Denver Nuggets seek their sixth straight win as they visit the Dallas Mavericks
Dallas has reeled off four wins in their last five contests
The odds and matchups can be found below with a prediction
Two of the top teams in the Western Conference square off on Monday night, when the Denver Nuggets visit the Dallas Mavericks.
Denver (9-4) will be playing their second game in consecutive nights, after dispatching Portland Sunday to finish off a perfect 5-0 homestand.
Dallas (8-4) has been off since Friday after a convincing victory over the Spurs.
That was their fourth win in five games, and oddsmakers have pegged them as 4-point favorites Monday. The game tips off at 8pm ET at American Airlines Arena, and can be seen live on NBA TV.
Nuggets vs Mavericks Odds
Ov 209 (110)
Un 209 (-110)
Odds as of Nov 14 at FanDuel
Mavericks Powered by Doncic
The early season run for Dallas has been centered around the excellent play of MVP candidate Luka Doncic.
He’s at his usual stellar stats, averaging 25.1 points on 43.8% shooting from the floor, while adding 8.3 rebounds and 7.7 assists. Perhaps the only knock on his all-around game is his subpar shooting from beyond the arc, currently at a 30.9% clip.
Luka gets to his spot.
Luka steps back.
Luka over 3 defenders.
Luka with the #TissotBuzzerBeater.#ThisIsYourTime, Luka Doncic❗️ pic.twitter.com/5oByDpVNuH
— NBA (@NBA) November 7, 2021
Doncic ripped the Spurs last time out with a monster triple-double of 32 points, 12 rebounds and 15 assists.
He’s been helped by the return to the lineup of Kristaps Prozingis, who missed games with a bad back since a win over Houston on October 26.
This duo cannot be stopped tonight 🔥@luka7doncic ✖ @kporzee pic.twitter.com/ARmyjnYgyz
— NBA on ESPN (@ESPNNBA) November 13, 2021
Since returning, he’s scored 20+ points in three of four games, as the Mavs have gone 3-1 in those contests. Porzingis’ best game of the season was the last game out against the Spurs, where he finished with 32 points on 12-for-22 shooting, to go along with seven rebounds and three blocks.
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Nuggets Powered by Jokic
The reigning MVP Nikola Jokic has done a bunch of heavy lifting early in the season, as the Nuggets have not had their full compliment of players, including star guard Jamal Murray, who’s yet to return to play after tearing his ACL late in the regular season last year.
The @nuggets go 5-0 on the home stand! The 🃏 with 28 points, 9 assists, 9 rebounds on the night.
Listen to Nikola Jokic’s reaction to tonight’s game 🔊 @VicLombardi | #MileHighBasketball pic.twitter.com/uYFYDaBJQx
— AltitudeTV (@AltitudeTV) November 15, 2021
He’s averaging 25.1 points, 14.1 rebounds and 6.1 assists per game, while shooting a crisp 59.3% from the field and 35.4% from deep.
Jokic held court Sunday night against the visiting Blazers, scoring 28 points on 11-for-17 shooting, while adding nine rebounds and nine assists as the Nuggets hammered Portland 124-95.
One of the biggest reasons for the Nuggets’ success has been their work on the defensive end. Their win against Portland was the fifth straight game they’ve held an opponent under 100 points.
🚨 JOK3R 🚨 pic.twitter.com/OHtAjNv4RE
— Denver Nuggets (@nuggets) November 15, 2021
Denver is the only team in the NBA to hold opponents under 100 points per game this season, at 98.3. That includes holding teams to 44% shooting from the field (9th) and 32% from three-point range.
That’s a big jump from last year, when they were 11th in scoring, 18th in field goal defense and 11th in opposition three-point percentage.
Nuggets vs Mavericks Notable Injuries
Denver could be notably short-handed for this one. Michael Porter Jr (back) has already been ruled out for Monday night and coach Michael Malone expects him to be gone for the foreseeable future.
Austin Rivers just went back to Denver’s locker room after the Nuggets’ last timeout. Nuggets VP or Sports Medicine Steve Short followed him.
— Harrison Wind (@HarrisonWind) November 15, 2021
Wil Barton (back) is also out against the Mavericks, while Austin Rivers, who started for Barton against the Blazers, left the game early with an undisclosed injury, and is questionable for Monday.
On the Dallas side, they will be without big man Maxi Kleber, as he deals with an oblique issue.
What’s the Best Bet?
Here’s an anomaly that somehow needs to be acknowledged: Denver is 20-8 ATS in their last 28 Monday games. Dallas, meanwhile, has not been a great betting choice, as they are 4-8 ATS — the fourth lowest success rate in the NBA, and they’re just 2-4 ATS at home.
Two days rest hasn’t been that much of an advantage for the Mavs, either, as they are just 2-5 ATS in that scenario.
I know Joker had 28-9-9 tonight in just three quarters.
But @nuggets coach Michael Malone is more impressed with his defense.
“If you have the #2 defense in the NBA, Nikola must be doing something right. He’s the anchor of our defense.”
— Vic Lombardi (@VicLombardi) November 15, 2021
The Mavericks are also surprisingly one of the lower scoring teams in basketball, pumping out just 104.5 points a game, which ranks 23rd in the NBA, and that doesn’t bode well going against a strong defense.
But while most signs point to the Nuggets as a pick, the limited roster around Jokic is a concern, and Denver hasn’t been great so far in the second half of back-to-backs. Even though they’re 1-1 in those two games, they have averaged only 90 points per contest.
The Pick: Under 209 points (-110)