Thunder – Mavericks betting tip, prediction & odds NBA 08.05.2024

NBA Playoffs 2023/24, 2nd Round, Game 1, Wednesday, May 08, 2024

There are several teams like OKC that have advanced to the second round of the 2024 NBA Playoffs without losing a single game. Still, that doesn’t mean they’re unbeatable.

In my opinion, the home side will wish they had a little more postseason experience for the first time tonight.

Meanwhile, the focus of my Thunder Mavericks tip for the opening game is primarily on the game’s outcome, which should be characterized by the defensive strength of both teams.

Do you remember how long it’s been since these teams last faced each other in the playoffs? Back in 2016, Oklahoma City defeated the Dallas Mavericks 4-1.

Meanwhile, OKC paved the way for this year’s postseason duel with the Mavs with a clear 4-0 win over the Pels, who were never able to cope with the Oklahoma squad’s stout defense – more on that in a moment!

The Mavs, on the other hand, had to show a little more commitment against the Clippers and endure a total of six games with an ailing Luka Doncic. But in the end, the better team prevailed here too (4:2).

The most unpleasant news for Dallas in recent days is certainly that they will have to do without a key player from now on.

Maxi Kleber may not play the role of Luka Doncic or Kyrie Irving, but his contribution was still of great importance against the Clippers!

The German has been one of the team’s strongest defenders in the playoffs so far and played some of his best basketball of the season until his injury!

In Game 5 against Los Angeles, for example, the world champion hit 5 of 7 threes and played a key role in giving the Mavericks an early lead in that game.

Kleber’s impact on the Mavs’ game continues to be underrated even by experts, but I assure you that his teammates will feel his absence

What sets OKC apart, meanwhile, is their stout defense, which in all likelihood could soon dash the Mavs’ NBA Finals hopes.

When they beat the Pels in the first round, Oklahoma City held New Orleans to just 93.5 points per 100 possessions, the lowest of any team in a playoff series in the last eight years.

The NOP ranked last among all first-round teams in field goal percentage from the paint (47.6%), 15th in effective field goal percentage from outside the paint (43.0%) and last in turnover rate (18.8 per 100 possessions).

They may have started without Zion Williamson, but the Thunder employed the fourth-best defense during the regular season and even stepped it up a notch in the playoffs.

As a result, I don’t think the hypothetical use of superstars from the ‘Pels would have made much of a difference in this series…

However, the Mavericks have two of the best offensive players in the world and therefore pose a bigger challenge for Oklahoma than New Orleans did before. Incidentally, OKC already felt that in their last head-to-head duel.

Dallas’ 146 points on 106 possessions (138 per 100) on February 10 were a feat that impressed Oklahoma, and that was more due to their dominance around the basket (66-34) than lucky 3-pointers.

However, as already mentioned, the Texans will be able to rely less on the latter than against the Clippers. Maxi Kleber’s absence makes the Mavs’ offense more one-dimensional.

Don’t get me wrong: Doncic & Irving can also dismantle a defense in a conventional way, but a sure hand from outside would have made them even more dangerous

Meanwhile, in addition to the Sunmaker bonus, I can also recommend an under 222.5 points, which you can take advantage of with the same provider, but also with most others at odds of currently around 1.53.

The Macericks were rightly criticized for their poor defensive play at the beginning of the season, but they improved drastically towards the end of the regular season and into the playoffs.

Dallas held the Clippers to fewer than 95 points in three games in the first round, although LA had only scored fewer than 95 points three times in the entire regular season (!).

The strong defensive work was therefore decisive for advancing and could now also help my Thunder Mavericks tip to succeed

The OKC win odds of 1.60 traded by sports betting providers are not high enough for me to give them the better chances against two seasoned and experienced superstars like Doncic & Irving, despite their strong defense.

Keep in mind that the Thunder’s 4-0 win over the Pels made them the youngest team to ever win a playoff series in NBA history.

Don’t get me wrong: Their perimeter defense is top-notch with elements like Luguentz Dort and a top-notch rim protector like Chet Holmgren, but this series against the Mavs will be more nerve-wracking than the one against the Pels in more ways than one.

Conclusion: Get ready for some great plays from Doncic and Irving. The constant pressure of the opposing defense alone will not be able to neutralize these two experienced superstars.

As the Mavs’ defensive work at the board has also improved considerably, I feel vindicated in having placed a good basketball bet at decent odds with my Thunder Mavericks tip.

However, the OKC win odds are too low for me to include them on my betting slip as well. The home side do have good depth in their squad, but I want to see if their nerves don’t start to flutter in the opener first …

My Thunder Mavericks prediction: Under 222.5 points!

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