Charlotte Hornets vs. Dallas Mavericks: Spread, Line, Odds, Predictions, Picks and Betting Preview
CHARLOTTE HORNETS VS. DALLAS MAVERICKS GAME INFORMATION
Time: 8:30 p.m. ET
Venue: American Airlines Center
TV Coverage: NBA League Pass
CHARLOTTE HORNETS VS. DALLAS MAVERICKS MONEYLINE, SPREAD, TOTAL, AND ODDS
Moneyline: Hornets +295 | Mavericks -370
Spread: Mavericks -8.5
NBA Championship Odds: Mavericks +2500 | Hornets +24000
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CHARLOTTE HORNETS VS. DALLAS MAVERICKS NEWS AND NOTES
Both of these teams are dealing with an injured big man at the moment.
Cody Zeller is out for at least the next four weeks for the Hornets, which leaves them without their starting center. Bismack Biyombo has started the past two games in his absence, and he’s played about 30 minutes in both contests. The Hornets were slightly better with Biyombo on the court than Zeller last season (per Cleaning the Glass), so that’s probably a negligible difference.
The Mavericks’ injury to Kristaps Porzingis is much more significant. He’s their clear No. 2 option offensively, and the team took flight when he was playing full-time minutes next to Luka Doncic. The Mavericks increased their Net Rating by +3.6 points per 100 possessions with Porzingis on the court last season, and his absence has clearly been felt to start the new season.
Additionally, Josh Richardson could also miss Wednesday’s contest vs. the Hornets. He popped up on the injury report with a calf strain and is currently listed as questionable. He ranks second on the team in minutes and points per game this season, so his absence would create another sizable hole in their rotation.
CHARLOTTE HORNETS VS. DALLAS MAVERICKS PREVIEW AND PICK
The Mavericks are clearly the better team at full strength, but they’re not at full strength at the moment.
They’ve started the year with a tough schedule, but they sit at just 1-2 through their first three games. Their only win came against a Clippers’ squad that was missing Kawhi Leonard, and their two losses were to the Lakers and the Suns.
The biggest problem in their two losses has been their offense. This team was absolutely elite on that end last season, leading the league with an average of 117.5 points per 100 possessions. That wasn’t just the best mark in the NBA last season, but it was one of the best marks in basketball history.
They averaged just 108.9 points per 100 possessions through their first two games, which represents a significant decrease. They were able to rebound in their last game vs. the Clippers, but it’s hard to take that game seriously with Leonard out of the lineup.
Doncic has also taken a step back this season. He vowed to stop taking so many bad 3-pointers in 2021, and he has lived up to that promise. He’s averaged just 5.3 3-pointers per game this season, which is well below his average of 8.9 from last year. That said, the lack of volume has come with a price. He’s posted an effective FG% of just 46.0 through his first three games, which would be the worst mark of his career. There’s still plenty of time for him to turn it around, but Doncic passing on some of the 3-pointers he attempted last year has hurt the offense.
The Hornets have also been frisky to start the year. They’re just 1-2, but they own an average margin of victory of just -2.33 points. They lost by seven points in Cleveland on opening night but have followed that up with a two-point loss to the Thunder and a two-point victory over the shorthanded Nets.
Their roster should keep them competitive for most of the season. Their salary cap situation is a complete joke, but a core of Gordon Hayward, Terry Rozier, and Devonte’ Graham is not terrible. Add in some production from young players like P.J. Washington, Miles Bridges, and LaMelo Ball, and this team should be competitive on a night-to-night basis.
Overall, this seems like too many points given the current state of the Mavs’ roster.
The Pick: Hornets +8.5