NBA

NBA Betting Guide for Friday 5/20/22: Can the Mavs Even the Series?

The Golden State Warriors blew out the Dallas Mavericks in Game 1. Should we expect another smashing by the series favorites, or can the underdogs respond in Game 2?

Betting on the NBA can be tricky, but you can rely on numberFire to help. We have a detailed betting algorithm that projects out games to see how often certain betting lines hit. You can also track spread bet percentages at FanDuel Sportsbook.

Where do our algorithm, our power rankings, and the betting trends identify value in tonight's games? All odds are from FanDuel Sportsbook, and all ratings are out of five stars.

Mavericks +6.0 (-110) - 1 Star

It feels a bit silly to take Dallas' spread again after they lost by 25, but they'll absolutely play better contests in this series.

Their entire offense is predicated on three-point shooting around Luka Doncic, and all parties involved stunk it up. Doncic was 3-for-10 from deep, and the Mavs' others were just 8-for-34 (23.5%) on catch-and-shoot three-point attempts. They're shooting 39.7% in the playoffs on that type of open three.

Absolutely, the Mavs should be better from deep, and that'll go a long way to keeping this one more competitive. Golden State also shot 56.1% from the field overall, which was their second-best mark of the playoffs against the best defense they've faced thus far. That included an absurd 36-for-53 inside the arc (67.9%).

Shooting regression can make all the difference. Our model has its heels dug in on taking the Mavs' spread, and I concur. It predicts Dallas covers a six-point margin 55.8% of the time, beating the 52.5% implied odds on a -110 bet.

Under 214.0 (-110) - 3 Stars

The blowout contributed immensely to a total of just 199 points in Game 1.

Yet, our model had a four-star conviction on the under, it comfortably hit, and it's dropped to just a three-star conviction on Friday. What gives?

Well, a giant part of that is the expectation for regression with the three-ball for both teams. Not only should Dallas be better, but Golden State's 34.5% rate from deep wasn't up to their playoff standard (37.4%), either. The Warriors should be more efficient from three (and less efficient from two) moving forward.

The pace handicap on this series from Wednesday was appropriate, though. Even the three-quarter pace of Game 1 was just on track for 209.3 points. The market may still be slightly inefficient on the fact Golden State (99.54 PACE in the playoffs) just doesn't play as fast as those old title teams used to.

Until this number moves significantly, our model -- and yours truly -- are going to stick with the under. It might change moving to Dallas with another low-scoring affair on Friday.

Swaim-Game Parlay (+418)

Mavericks +6.0
Dorian Finney Smith 2+ Threes Made
Reggie Bullock 2+ Threes Made
Draymond Green 6+ Assists

Just one game a day means it's Same Game Parlay season now more than ever on FanDuel Sportsbook. For some fun, I drop 0.25 units a day on one to see if it hits. Feel free to tail mine...or create your own!

Today's lay is going all-in on regression. In fact, regression of three-point shooting for both squads has me more confident tossing the Mavericks +6.0 (-110) in as the foundation instead of taking the under. If three balls start raining, a 214.0-point total isn't that large.

But, with Dallas' wretched shooting effort noted, I'm banking on both of their spot-up shooters bouncing back. Dorian Finney-Smith has averaged 2.6 threes per game on 6.1 attempts in the playoffs so far, so I love Dorian Finney-Smith 2+ Threes Made (-260) as an inclusion that will cash if he bangs in a couple. That's different than his over/under (2.5).

In that same vein, Reggie Bullock has been even more voluminous from deep. He's scored 2.7 triples per contest on 7.1 attempts. His inclusion came with a higher price, but Reggie Bullock 2+ Threes Made (-350) still made a contribution.

Speaking of regression, Draymond Green is averaging 6.3 assists per game in the playoffs, but even that mark is underperforming a bit. He's seventh in the entire NBA this postseason averaging 13.5 potential assists per contest. Considering numberFire's model also posts him for a median projection of 7.5 assists, Draymond Green 6+ Assists (-180) is a comfortable way to target improved shooting from the Warriors' side.