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Brooklyn, Dallas Still Have Plenty to Play For

Luka Doncic and the Dallas Mavericks are favorites over the Brooklyn Nets.

Playoff berths are well in hand for the Nets (43-23 SU, 33-33 ATS) and Mavericks (37-28, 31-34), but both are battling for seeding in their respective conferences. Brooklyn enters Thursday just one game ahead of Milwaukee for second in the East, while Dallas is fighting for a top-six seed in the West.

Brooklyn Nets vs Dallas Mavericks
  • Date/Time: May 6, 7:30 p.m. ET
  • Arena: American Airlines Center
  • TV Coverage: TNT
  • Opening Odds: Nets -4 | O/U 233.5 (Line History)
  • Nets vs Mavericks Matchup Report

Opening Odds Analysis

Dallas opened as a 4-point home underdog, marking just the second time all season that the Mavs have been underdogs of 4 or more. Dallas was a 1-point favorite when the teams met two months ago in Brooklyn, but the Nets were without Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving in that contest.

Brooklyn News & Notes

In less than a week, the Nets have gone from leading the East to trying to hold on to the conference’s second seed. Brooklyn lost its third straight game Tuesday in Milwaukee, but coach Steve Nash seemed more concerned with how the Nets lost than the fact that his team’s lead over the Bucks for second in the East has dwindled down to one game.

“There’s no excuse for not trying to match or be more physical than the other team,” Nash told the New York Post after seeing his team get outmuscled during a Milwaukee 18-1 fourth-quarter run that keyed the Bucks’ 124-118 win. “That’s something we’ve got to emphasize and continue to grow into.”

Brooklyn was also crushed on the glass, getting out-rebounded 55-39 by the Bucks overall and 15-6 in offensive boards.

Durant is the least of Nash’s worries these days, having scored at least 32 points in three of his last four outings. Irving led Brooklyn with 38 points on Tuesday, when no Nets player other than Durant scored more than a dozen points.

Dallas News & Notes

Tim Hardaway Jr. is coming off his second huge offensive performance in his last three games, tying the Mavericks’ franchise record with 10 three-pointers in Tuesday’s 127-113 victory in Miami. Hardaway finished the game with 36 points in 33 minutes, less than a week after scoring a career-high 42 points against Detroit.

Luka Doncic also turned in another solid outing Tuesday, coming within two assists of a triple-double despite not playing the final six minutes of the game after Dallas had built a 26-point lead. Doncic has scored at least 22 points in five straight games and 19 of his last 20.

Dallas has now won seven of its last nine games and can’t afford to take its foot off the gas as it battles with the Lakers and Trail Blazers for a top-six seed in the West. But the Mavs will be without two key members of their frontcourt once again vs Brooklyn as Kristaps Porzingis (knee) and Maxi Kleber (Achilles) have already been ruled out of Thursday’s contest. Dallas is 13-12 SU in 25 games this year without Porzingis.

Betting Pick: Nets -4

Expect increased intensity at both ends of the floor from the Nets after getting called out by their coach.

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Shark Bites
  • The total has gone UNDER in 6 of Brooklyn’s last 8 games.
  • Dallas is 2-7 ATS in its last 9 home games.
  • Brooklyn is 1-4 SU in its last 5 games vs Dallas.