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Bryan Power

Bryan Power

(557) Dallas Mavericks at (558) Oklahoma City Thunder

(557) Dallas Mavericks at (558) Oklahoma City Thunder
May 7, 2024 9PM EDT
Play Rating:
4% – Oklahoma City Thunder -3.5 (-110)

4% Oklahoma City (9:30 ET): We look to bounce back in the NBA Playoffs Tuesday with the Oklahoma City Thunder, the top seed in the Western Conference, who swept their way (past New Orleans) through Round 1. It won’t be that easy in Round 2 against Dallas but the Thunder are being undervalued IMO coming into this series. There is no denying the Mavericks had a tremendous second half to the season (and are now 20-6 ATS L26 games, including the first round series win over the Clippers). But as I’ve discussed previously, before the playoffs began they had just ONE win against a Top 6 team in the West and that was by 2 at home (on a last second Kyrie Irving basket). 

Furthermore, it’s worth noting the Mavs caught a big break in Round 1 with Kawhi Leonard being injured for the Clippers. They only managed to split the four games where Leonard did not play and trailed by 29 and 31 in the two losses. Now you could point to the fact Zion Williamson was hurt for the Pelicans as a similar first round break for the Thunder, but at least they swept the series. Turning to how the Mavs and Thunder match up, one big difference that Dallas is about to experience (relative to Rd 1) is how - unlike LA - OKC will be able to successfully attack the paint. The Clippers didn’t take many shots at the rim and shot a low percentage. As a result, they averaged just 42 PPG in the paint. The Thunder lead the league in drives to the basket per game. 

Even though his 1st round numbers (27.3 points, 5.0 assists, 47.6 FG%, 29.4%) were considered disappointing and below what he averaged for the season, I am projecting a big series from SGA here. Conversely, a clearly hobbled Luka Doncic is going to have to deal with Lu Dort. The Thunder have the depth advantage in this series. Dallas was terrible in Round 1 when either Doncic or Kyrie Irving were off the court. OKC was #1 in the league in 3-point shooting, something to watch as well. I simply believe the Thunder to be the better team and think this line should be several points higher. Lay the points. 4% Oklahoma City (Play to -5.5) 

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