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Mavericks, Grizzlies Battle for Playoff Positioning

Dallas Mavericks vs Memphis Grizzlies Preview

After shooting up the Western Conference standings with a five-game winning streak, Dallas (29-24 SU, 26-27 ATS) has lost three of its last four. The Mavericks try to right the ship when they visit the Grizzlies (27-25, 32-20), who have covered 11 of their last 14 and are just 1.5 games behind Dallas for seventh in the West.

Dallas Mavericks vs Memphis Grizzlies
  • Date/Time: April 14, 9:30 p.m. ET
  • Arena: FedExForum
  • TV Coverage: TNT
  • Opening Odds: Mavericks -2 | O/U 228 (Line History)
  • Mavericks vs Grizzlies Matchup Report

Opening Odds Analysis

Dallas opened as a 2-point favorite, 2.5 points less than the Mavericks were favored by when these teams met last month in Big D. The Mavericks won that game 102-94 despite being without Kristaps Porzingis.

Dallas News & Notes

Luka Doncic grumbled to reporters this week about Dallas potentially having to participate in a play-in tournament if it finishes seventh or lower in the West, but that might be a reality for the Mavs if they don’t turn things around quickly. Following a season-high five-game winning streak, Dallas has lost three of its last four, including a nine-point loss to the woeful Rockets and an 18-point defeat Monday at home against Philadelphia.

Dallas’ lack of big men was exposed by Joel Embiid and the Sixers in Monday’s contest as Embiid scored 36 points in just 25 minutes. Porzingis sat out for the Mavs on the second night of a back-to-back and Maxi Kleber committed two early fouls, leaving smaller players to guard Embiid for much of the first half. Fortunately, Porzingis is expected back in the lineup Wednesday to guard bruising Grizzlies center Jonas Valanciunas.

As inconsistent as the Mavericks’ results have been lately, they’ve consistently gone UNDER the total for more than a month. Monday’s game stayed below the total by 10 points as the Mavs have gone UNDER in seven of their last eight and 19 of their last 26. Dallas also tends to play better defensively following a SU loss, going UNDER in eight of its last nine coming off a defeat.

Memphis News & Notes

Valanciunas continues to be a monster in the paint for the Grizzlies, following up a 34-point, 22-rebound effort Sunday in Indiana with a 26-point, 14-rebound performance in Monday’s 101-90 win over the Bulls. The Lithuanian center, who scored 10 points in the fourth quarter to help the Grizzlies outscore Chicago 31-16, has now recorded a double-double in a franchise-record 15 consecutive games.

Monday’s victory also snapped a brief 0-2 SU and ATS skid for the Grizzlies, who had covered 10 of their previous 11 games before losing to the Pacers and Knicks. Memphis overcame its 20 turnovers by limiting the Bulls to 41 percent from the field and holding an opponent under 100 points for the first time in nearly a month.

Although the Grizzlies have gone OVER the total in nine of their last 13 games, several recent trends point to this contest being a lower-scoring affair. Memphis has gone UNDER in nine of its last 13 games as an underdog and is 14-2 to the UNDER in its last 16 home games against teams with winning records on the road.

Betting Pick: UNDER 228

With Dallas coming off a poor performance and the Grizzlies in the underdog role, expect both teams to prioritize the defensive end in an important battle for playoff positioning.

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Shark Bites
  • The total has gone UNDER in 19 of Dallas’ last 26 games.
  • Memphis is 11-3 ATS in its last 14 games.
  • Dallas is 5-1 ATS in its last 6 road games vs Memphis.