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Mavericks vs. Thunder 2024 NBA Playoffs Odds & Game 1 Preview

By Hank Blaine

The Oklahoma City Thunder swept through their first-round Western Conference playoff series against a short-handed New Orleans team, but things get much tougher in the West semifinals starting Tuesday night against Luka Doncic, Kyrie Irving and the visiting Dallas Mavericks in Game 1.

The Thunder had a 3-1 record against the Mavs this season, but Doncic and Irving only played in one of those four games together. And the Mavs blew out the Thunder in that contest, 146-111, on Feb. 10, with those two combining for 57 points, 14 rebounds and 17 assists.

Dallas ranked just 27th in the NBA in free throw percentage. If the Mavs are to stand a chance against the Thunder, they’ll need their role players to increase that efficiency. OKC, on a per-field-goal-attempt scale, sends opponents to the charity stripe at the eighth-highest rate in the NBA.

Dallas Mavericks vs. Oklahoma City Thunder 2024 NBA Playoffs Game 1 Info

  • When: Tuesday, May 7th, 2024, 9:30 PM ET
  • Where: Paycom Center, Oklahoma City, OKY
  • TV: TNT, truTV
  • Radio: 97.1 The Eagle FM (Mavericks) // WWLS-The Sports Animal 98.1 FM (Knicks)
  • Stream: NBA League Pass
  • NBA Odds: Mavericks (+3.5) // Thunder (-3.5)

Why bet on the Dallas Mavericks?

Dallas took out the LA Clippers in Game 6 in Round 1 on Friday, 114-101. It obviously helped that the Mavs didn’t see Clippers star Kawhi Leonard much in that series due to injury. Luka Doncic had a brilliant series despite playing through a knee injury and illness and finished with 28 points, 13 assists and seven boards in Game 6. He averaged 29.8 points, 9.5 assists and 8.8 rebounds per game in the first round, posting four double-doubles and one triple-double in the process.

Kyrie Irving had 30 points, six rebounds and four assists in the close out game, with Irving reaching the 30-point mark in three of the six outings in the first-round series against the Clippers. In his first playoff series as a Maverick, he averaged 26.5 points. This was the 18th playoff series he’s been a part of. Only three other series has he averaged more points.

Rookie center Dereck Lively II said he and his teammates have learned how to spot Irving’s hot streaks coming.

“Getting hot? For sure,” he said. “You can sense whenever he’s really locked in. Sometimes, it just takes a missed shot, maybe a layup or even an assist, and you can just start to see how in-tune he is to the game and how locked in he is trying to find his spots. He’s not rushed. He’s one of the most controlled players I know.”

Dallas will be without one reserve for the series in big man Maxi Kleber. He has been diagnosed with a right shoulder AC joint separation and will be re-evaluated in three weeks. The team’s No. 1 reserve, guard Tim Hardaway Jr., sprained his right ankle during Game 2 of the opening-round series against the Clippers and missed the final four contests but is trending to a possible return on Tuesday.

Hardaway was one of the best sixth men in the NBA for much of the regular season, but his production tailed off later in the year. Over his last 20 games, Hardaway averaged just 8.7 points on 37.8 percent shooting (33.0% 3-point shooting).

On Monday, the Mavericks signed coach Jason Kidd to a contract extension, amid reports the Lakers were looking at possibly hiring them for their opening.

Why bet on the Oklahoma City Thunder?

This marks Oklahoma City’s 12th postseason appearance in the last 15 seasons, second most in the NBA. This past regular season, the Thunder became the youngest team in NBA history to win 55 games and secure a No. 1 seed in either conference. The 2023-24 Thunder also became the youngest team to clinch a playoff berth, breaking both records which were set previously by Thunder teams in 2010 and 2011, respectively. OKC became the youngest team to ever win a playoff series after its 4-0 win in round 1 versus New Orleans.

The Thunder might be rusty Tuesday considering they finished off the Pelicans back on April 29. Star Shai Gilgeous-Alexander totaled 24 points and 10 rebounds in the clincher. Gilgeous-Alexander struggled with his shooting touch in this one, but he crashed the boards for a series-high 10 rebounds, marking his first double-double of the 2024 postseason. SGA appeared to tweak his ankle but is fine as the MVP finalist led OKC to their first playoff series win since 2016.

The 93.5 points per 100 possessions that the Pelicans scored in the first round was the lowest mark for any team in a playoff series in the last eight years. It was also 23 fewer per 100 than New Orleans scored in the regular season (116.5, 11th). The Pelicans ranked last in the first round in field goal percentage in the paint (47.6%), 3-point percentage (26.7%) and turnover rate (18.8 per 100 possessions) against that OKC defense.

As they did in the regular season, the Thunder led all teams in the first round in 3-point percentage (38.7%), with Lu Dort (12-for-23) and Josh Giddey (9-for-18) setting the tone. Those 18 attempts accounted for 47% of Giddey’s total field goal attempts, up from 29% in the regular season. The Thunder offense was at its best (118.7 points scored per 100 possessions) with Giddey on the floor.

If the Thunder have a weakness, it’s rebounding. OKC was tied for third worst in the league in rebounding rate (48.4%) and finished fourth worst in defensive rebounding rate (69.8%) during the season. The Thunder were 26-3 in games during which they nabbed more than 45 rebounds; they were just 5-6 in games when they got fewer than 35.

Mavericks vs. Thunder Betting Trends

  • Dallas is 4-1 ATS in the last 5 games.
  • Mavericks are 4-1 SU in its last 5 games.
  • The total went under in 14 of Dallas’ last 20 games.
  • Oklahoma City is 7-1 ATS in the last 8 games.
  • Thunder are 9-0 SU in its last 9 games.
  • The total went under in 4 of Oklahoma City’s last 5 games.

Mavericks vs. Thunder 2024 NBA Playoffs Game 1 Prediction

Oklahoma City takes the first win to lead the series.

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This is just one of the many sports betting guides that you can read here at Nitrobetting news. Stay tuned for more 2023-24 NBA season previews and articles, and don’t forget to check out the latest basketball betting odds on our online crypto sportsbook.

*All odds stated are subject to change without prior notice.

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