Thursday’s NBA schedule consists of just a single game: Mavericks-Pistons.
This cross-conference clash hardly deserves the island treatment it’s getting. Detroit has the worst record in the NBA and Dallas has had an underwhelming start to the season after its run last season to the Western Conference Finals. But Luka Dončić, the league’s leading scorer, is always appointment viewing, even against a Pistons team that will be without Cade Cunningham and Jaden Ivey.
Dallas has dominated the recent series history against Detroit with five wins in a row dating back to 2019—all have been by double digits. Interestingly enough, though, the Mavericks have the worst record against the spread in the NBA and this isn’t a small line to cover on the road.
Dallas Mavericks vs. Detroit Pistons Odds
Time: 7 p.m. ET (NBA TV)
Spread: Mavericks -7.5 (-118) | Pistons +7.5 (+100)
Moneyline: Mavericks (-333) | Pistons (+260)
Total: 221.5 — Over (-110) | Under (-110)
Mavericks Betting Profile
Straight-Up Record: 10–10
Against The Spread Record: 5–14–1
Over/Under Record: 12–8
Points Per Game (Rank): 109.4 (24)
Points Allowed Per Game (Rank): 107.6 (4)
Pistons Betting Profile
Straight-Up Record: 5–18
Against The Spread Record: 11–10-2
Over/Under Record: 13–9–1
Points Per Game (Rank): 109.1 (26)
Points Allowed Per Game (Rank): 117.7 (29)
Spread Bet: Mavericks -7.5 (-118)
The Mavericks have been absolutely dreadful away from the American Airlines Center. They’re 1-7 on the road straight up and 2-6 against the spread. The last two weeks have also been tough for Dallas, which is 1-4 over its last five with its only victory coming Tuesday at home against the Warriors. It took a 41-point triple-double from Dončić to make that happen.
The Pistons have been even worse. They’ve dropped three in a row including a season-worst outing in a 140-110 blowout at home against the Knicks on Tuesday. Without Ivey or Cunningham, Detroit lacks the ball handling and playmakers to be competitive.
Up against one of the worst defenses in the NBA, Dončić should orchestrate the offense with ease. And the Dallas defense is more than capable of limiting Detroit, especially considering Bojan Bogdanović is the biggest scoring threat it has to worry about. Even though it’s been rough going on the road for the Mavericks, the Pistons are an ideal opponent to get right against. They’ll get their first road win since October and cover as well.
Over/Under Bet: Over 221.5 (-110)
Though both offenses rank in the bottom 10 in the league in scoring, both teams’ games have gone over more often than not. In fact, only three teams see their games hit the over at a higher rate than these clubs. This is a pretty modest total considering the recent offensive outputs for the Mavericks and Pistons and what their defenses have let up as of late. Again, Detroit allowed 140 points and saw 250 total points scored last time out and the last two Dallas games have hit the over as well.
More of the heavy lifting will fall to Dončić and Dallas, which can light it up from deep on any given night.
Prop Bet: Luka Dončić Over 30.5 Points (-133)
It’s more of a surprise when Dončić doesn’t break 30 points than when he does. He’s coming off one of his best games of the season and averages 33.5 ppg on the year. His three-point shooting also improved in November after poor outside shooting in October. So much of the offense runs through Dončić, who leads the league in usage rate, that it’s easy to see him hitting the requisite number of points against a poor defense in a game the Mavericks need to get back up over .500.