Dallas Mavericks vs. Golden State Warriors Game 1 Betting Preview

The Dallas Mavericks and the Golden State Warriors will kick off the Western Conference Finals this Wednesday night at 9:00PM ET on TNT. Both squads advanced behind statement closeouts victories, and this could be the best Western Conference Finals in years. The Warriors come into this one as four-point favorites.

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Dallas is 4-3 straight up over their last seven games. The Mavs eliminated the Phoenix Suns in seven games with a personal beatdown in Game 7. Despite falling behind 2-0, Dallas won four of the final five games, advancing to their first Western Conference Finals since their 2011 Finals run. The Mavericks covered in all five wins, and were one of the best teams in the NBA against the spread this season, posting a strong 52-34-2 record. 

Golden State is also 4-3 over their last seven games, but the former world champions only needed six of them to prevail last round over a feisty Memphis Grizzlies team. A physical series, that led to suspensions and absences, was ended behind a vintage effort from Klay Thompson in Game 6. Golden State covered in three of the four victories, 

This will mark the first time these two teams have met in the postseason since the iconic “We Believe” upset, when the eighth-seed Warriors dispatched a Dirk-led Dallas team in the first round of the 2007 NBA Playoffs.

Why Dallas can cover

Dallas has thrived as an underdog this season, and it continues to be on display as the playoffs grows on. A final regular season game injury to Luka Doncic put a cloud over postseason aspirations, but they managed to defeat the Utah Jazz in 6, despite missing the 3x All-Star. The Mavs followed that up by upsetting the top-seeded Phoenix Suns in 7, and it’s been proven they can't be counted out.

Jason Kidd has been strong and vocal here in his first season at the helm in Dallas, posting a 52-30 record, earning his first 50-win season as a coach. The Mavs score 107.8 points per game, while allowing a league-best 104.3 points per game.

Luka Doncic has been electric this postseason, and his Game 7 performance in Phoenix may turn out to be the turning point in his career. Doncic represents the best player left in the field, and arguably the league as a whole. There’s a very good chance he keeps things going against a vulnerable Golden State team. Doncic’s over sits at a daunting 33.5 (-113), but he’s cashed that four of the last five games, and been arguably the most reliable player this postseason to bet on.

Jalen Brunson’s improvement under Jason Kidd has been tremendous as well. Brunson has stepped up and finally given Dallas a running mate to pair with Luka, and he’s averaging 22.9 points per game this postseason. Considering his volume, Brunson’s over at 19.5 (+100) has a lot of value on it.

Dorian Finney-Smith and Reggie Bullock have been reliable for three-point bettors this season, and both of them hit three or more in eight of the 13 games this postseason. Bullock’s and Finney-Smith’s three-point makes are set at over 2.5, with the latter carrying a bit more value at (+125) for this one, and they both feel like safe bets.

Why Golden State can cover

Golden State has been here before and their postseason experience can’t be overlooked here, even with Luka looking like the next face of this league. Steph Curry, Klay Thompson, and Draymond Green are just two years removed from a span of five straight Finals appearances, and they’ve got a good shot to come out and set the tone early with a Game 1 home victory.

Steve Kerr got the Warriors back on track this season, posting a 53-29 record, earning his sixth 50-win season in eight years at the helm in the Bay. The Warriors score 110.8 points per game, while shooting 47.1% from the field, and allowing 106 points per game.

No LeBron, no Durant, and no Giannis means Stephen Curry truly has the stage to himself here. A big Game 1 at Chase feels ideal, and Curry could quickly remind why he’s the most lethal offensive player of all-time with a standout performance here. Curry’s over opens at 27.5 (-113), a number he’s hit in three of his last four outings. 

Klay Thompson’s Game 6 performance felt inevitable, to a point where even his cold streak shouldn’t have scared bettors at all. Klay starred in his vintage Game 6 spot, scoring 30 points and hitting eight threes along the way. Thompson’s over currently sits at 21.5 (+100), which could come down to a matter of buckets.

The pick: Golden State -4.5

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Dallas Mavericks guard Luka Doncic (77) reacts after a play during the third quarter against the Phoenix Suns in game seven of the second round for the 2022 NBA playoffs at Footprint Center.
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