The NBA season is winding down, and the race for the playoffs is heating up. DraftKings have you covered as we look at the ESPN Wednesday night matchup.
Our doubleheader on ESPN carries enormous implications for the Western Conference playoff race. In the early game, the Golden State Warriors, who recently snapped an 11-game road losing streak, travel to Dallas to take on the Mavericks. The Warriors currently sit in sixth place out west, only a game and a half ahead of the 13th-place Los Angles Lakers. The Mavericks, who have been without Luka Doncic the last few games, is in seventh, a half-game behind the Warriors.
In our nightcap, we have another important game as the Phoenix Suns travel to LA to take on the Lakers. The Lakers are currently on the outside looking in for the playoffs as they are in 11th place, a half-game behind the Utah Jazz for the final playin spot. The Suns are in a better position in the fourth spot but not out of danger. The Suns are only three and a half games ahead of the Lakers in the tightly packed Western Conference.
Warriors vs. Mavericks
Spread Mavericks +2 Warriors -2
Spread Mavericks +110 Warriors -130
The Mavericks and Warriors have been hovering around the .500 mark for most of the season. Even after the Mavericks blockbuster trade where they landed All-Star point guard Kyrie Irving, they have struggled to string together wins. Irving returned from a three-game absence to help the Mavericks come away with a win vs. the Grizzlies on Monday night. Irving was spotted in a walking boot after the win, and he said it is "just precautionary" and hopes to play Wednesday. Luka Doncic, however, has missed the last five games but could return for Wednesday's critical matchup.
The Warriors finally snapped their 11-game road losing streak with their victory over the Houston Rockets Monday night. The Warriors made no huge trades but have struggled to be on the road all season. They are only 8-29 on the road, one of the worst marks in the entire NBA. However, they have dealt with their injuries and the pressure to be the defending champs.
The availability of Luka Doncic makes a huge difference. It seems he is trending toward playing, but just like most of the Mavericks games since the Irving trade, it is a chance that Irving and Doncic will not take the floor together. If either Irving or Doncic doesn't play, that makes the Warriors job much more manageable.
The Warriors have struggled defensively all season long. They are currently 25th in points allowed per game and bottom 10 in opponent 3-point percentage. With the Mavericks missing one of its stars, they could double-team the other and force players like Christian Wood or Maxi Kleber to beat them.
The Warriors would be able to load up, and as of 7 AM CT, Doncic and Irving are questionable to play in the Wednesday night matchup. It goes without saying( but I will say anyway) that if either or both miss the game, the betting line for this contest will change.
If both can play the Mavericks, they have the advantage. Even with the Warriors breaking their road losing streak Monday night vs. the Rockets, they are still one of the worst road teams in the NBA. Doncic and Irving haven't been on the court a lot together, but when they are, the Mavericks are a tough team to beat at home.
As mentioned earlier, the current DraftKings odds could change drastically depending on the injury report, but we will go by the current line for now. The Mavericks are a +2, meaning you can either bet the Mavericks will win outright in that case, the +2 doesn't matter, or you can still bet the Mavericks will lose but lose by less than two points (in this case, lose by 1 point). Again, assuming Irving and Doncic play, I am going with the Mavericks winning outright. Take the Mavericks in the spread.
Over/under is a lot more straightforward. You will bet the teams
combine for more or less than the points provided for that particular game. This game has an over/under of 234.5, which tied for the second-highest of the night. With this line, I don't think it matters if the Mavericks big two play tonight. I expect this to be a fast pace game considering the Warriors are one of the highest turnover teams in the league and force you to play uptempo.
Take the over in this game and feel confident in your bet
The money line is placing a bet on the team you think will win. But you also have to factor in the odds you are giving for that winning team. For example, in this game, the money line is Mavericks +110 and Warriors -130. That means if you bet on the Mavericks, you would have to bet 100 dollars and win 10. If you think the Warriors will win, you bet 130 dollars to win just 100. If the team you think will win is a minus anything, stay away from that bet.
I have the Mavericks winning this game outright, so I would feel confident betting the money line on the Mavericks playing at home vs. one of the worst road teams in the league.
Suns vs. Lakers
Spread Suns -1 Lakers +1
MoneyLine Suns -115 Lakers -105
Both teams come into this matchup, still fighting to stay in the playoff picture. I am sure you are saying, "Suns are in 4th. They aren't fighting to stay in the playoffs". In an average year, yes, but this season, the fourth and 12 spots in the Western Conference are separated by only 3.5 games. The Lakers have been teetering on the edge of the playoffs all season and currently are on the outside looking in but are only a half-game behind 10th-place Utah.
The Suns, of course, are still without their significant trade deadline acquisition Kevin Durant and the Lakers are still without LeBron James. But, even with both superstars out, plenty of talent still exists to make for a competitive game.
Both teams have been playing at close to or right at a .500 pace for the last ten games. The two teams haven't matched up since Dec 19th, 2022, in a game where the Suns dominated, won by 26 points, and took a 2-0 season series lead. Of course, the Lakers have overhauled their team since. Out Russell Westbrook and Patrick Beverley in. D'Angelo Russell, Malik Beasley, and Jarred Vanderbilt.
Even without LeBron, the Lakers are a more talented team than the one the Suns faced in December. But, even with that said, the Suns still have Chris Paul and Devin Booker. Also, according to the latest injury report, Deandre Ayton is currently out, so that may even the odds somewhat.
The Lakers are a +1, and the Suns are a -1. So if you pick the Suns to win, you have to decide if they will win by more than 1 point. I think, despite missing Ayton, the Suns will win this game comfortably and cover the 1 point.
Take the Suns and the points.
The over/under for this game is 227.5
The Lakers have been under this number in their last three games, but the Suns have been playing in games with much higher combined totals. With both teams desperate for a win, I think this game leads more to a high-scoring affair.
Take the over for this game.
The money line for this game is Lakers -105 and the Suns -115. No matter who you pick, you won't make any money off this money line. So stay away from the money line for this game.