The quest to edge past the Philadelphia 76ers before the All-Star break will be a little tougher for the home team tonight. The highly-anticipated Dallas Mavericks vs Brooklyn Nets matchup will still be exciting, but it will take place without Kyrie Irving.
With Irving out tonight, the Nets are no longer a strong favorite to score their ninth straight win. But while only one of their Big Three is suiting up tonight, the Mavs are not guaranteed to stroll.
Dallas Mavericks (15-16) vs Brooklyn Nets (22-12) Preview
Mavs Warming Up Before All-Star Break
The Mavs entered the NBA season with high expectations after an impressive season last year. But a terrible two-week stretch spanning the end of January and the start of February, which culminated in a 31-point home loss to the Warriors, saw them drop to 9-14.
That rout at the hands of the Warriors must have set something off in the Mavs, as they are 6-2 since then. They fell by 14 at Philadelphia on Thursday night, but there is reason to believe that it is more of a setback as opposed to a step back. However, it was only their second road game of the month compared to nine home games. So this will be a tough test for the Mavs’ mettle.
Can the Nets Extend Their Streak Without Kyrie?
Not only have the Nets survived without Kevin Durant, they have thrived. Of the eight straight games the Nets have won, Durant was on the floor for only one of them. And not only have the Nets won eight straight, they have covered in all eight wins.
But how will they fare without Kyrie available as well? Kyrie has missed ten games this season, with the Nets posting a 6-4 record in those games. The most recent of those games came 11 days ago on the road against the Phoenix Suns. In that game, James Harden took over to lead the Nets on an epic second-half comeback in a 128-124 win. The other game this month was a 124-108 loss at Philadelphia three weeks ago.
With the Nets down two superstars, it is understandable that the under has the edge among popular betting picks. Another notable factor is the recent defensive play of both teams.
The Nets are pouring in the points with reckless abandon, even without KD. However, their defense has been less than stellar for much of the season. But after allowing 110 or more points 21 times in their first 30 games, the Nets have allowed under 110 points three times in their last four games. On the other side, the Mavs have stepped it up as well. They allowed 111 or more points 22 times in their first 28 games, but in their last three games, they have surrendered 92, 107, and 111.
The post With Kyrie Out, The Under Has the Edge in Nets-Mavs first appeared on Betting News.