Update: Lively has been ruled out, while Kleber, Green and Grant Williams are in for the Mavericks. Ingram, McCollum and Murphy have all been ruled out for the Pelicans. The line is now Mavericks -6 and the total is 227.5. I like Mavericks -6 and the over on the new total, even with New Orleans missing its top offensive options.
Update: Williamson has been ruled out, while Ingram, McCollum and Murphy are all listed as questionable for New Orleans. Lively has been downgraded to doubtful, while Kleber has been upgraded to probable for Dallas. The Mavericks are now 4-point favorites and the total is 229.5. I’ll wait for the final statuses of Ingram, McCollum and Murphy before an updated pick.
We have a Southwest division showdown Saturday evening when the New Orleans Pelicans (23-16) face off against the Dallas Mavericks (23-16). It’s the second night of a back-to-back set for the Pelicans, who are coming off a loss to the Nuggets Friday. The Mavericks have won four of their last five games. This will be the third meeting between these teams this season, with New Orleans and Dallas each winning one head-to-head contest so far.
Zion Williamson, Brandon Ingram, CJ McCollum and Trey Murphy all popped up on the injury report Friday, and I expect the Pelicans did that to allow them to sit in this game if needed. The Mavericks have ruled out Luka Doncic and Dante Exum, while Josh Green, Maxi Kleber and Dereck Lively are all listed as questionable.
The Mavericks are 3-point favorites according to DraftKings Sportsbook, with the total set at 230.5. Dallas is -148 on the moneyline, while New Orleans is +124.
Pelicans vs. Mavericks, 8:30 p.m. ET
Pick ATS: Mavericks -3
New Orleans and Dallas are right next to each other in the standings, and both have been good against the number. The Pelicans are 22-16-1 ATS on the season, while the Mavericks are 22-17 ATS. New Orleans is 3-2 ATS on no rest and 2-3 ATS with a rest disadvantage.
Doncic being out is a big miss for the Mavericks, who nearly blew a big lead against the Knicks in the last game. Dallas is 2-3 straight up without the superstar point guard but Kyrie Irving is still in the fold. I like the Mavericks to win and cover in this game.
Over/Under: Over 230.5
This line could change depending on how New Orleans manages its players. Both previous matchups went over this mark and even with Doncic ruled out, I like Dallas to keep its offense humming. As long as the Pelicans’ top guys play, this game should go over on the total.