The Dallas Mavericks (18-8) go head-to-head against the Boston Celtics (17-7) at the American Airlines Center. The game will air on ESPN at 9:30 p.m. ET on Wednesday, December 18, 2019.
The game’s Over/Under (O/U) has been set at 218.5 points with Boston opening as a 1-point favorite.
Boston Celtics at Dallas Mavericks Free Prediction
The Celtics are hoping to rebound after failing to cover as 1-point favorites in their 115-109 loss to the Philadelphia 76ers in their last game. The combined points for the game (224) came in over the projected point total of 212.5. Making free throws was one of Philadelphia’s largest strengths. They were 19-23 (82.6 percent), while the Celtics were 14-17 (82.4 percent). Kemba Walker led Boston in scoring with 29 points on 8-for-21 shooting.
In the Mavericks’ last game, they beat the Milwaukee Bucks, 120-116, despite being 10-point underdogs. The game’s total points (236) came in over the projected point total of 227. Dallas made good use of their 27 trips to the free throw line, making 22 of them (81.5 percent). Milwaukee, meanwhile, was 17-24 (70.8 percent). Kristaps Porzingis was Dallas’ high scorer with 26 points on 9-for-19 shooting from the field.
This is the second game of the season between these two teams. In the first, the Mavericks lost 116-106, unable to cover as 3-point underdogs. Luka Doncic scored a game-high 34 points and also had nine assists and six rebounds. The game finished with a total of 222 points, which was just 1 points above the projected point total of 221 points. Boston was lights out from beyond the arc (15-35; 42.9 percent). Dallas, meanwhile, had a better turnover percentage (5.6 vs. 8.5).
Boston holds records of 17-7 straight up (SU) and 14-9-1 against the spread (ATS). Vegas has a tendency to set the total high when the Celtics are playing, as 58.3 percent of their contests have gone under the total.
Meanwhile, Dallas is 18-8 SU and 16-10 ATS. Unlike Boston, games involving the Mavericks have typically gone over the total (65.4 percent).
Ball protection could play an integral role in this meeting. Dallas commits the fewest miscues in the NBA (turnover percentage of 11.9 percent), while the pesky defense of Boston forces the fourth-most (opponents’ turnover percentage of 15.1 percent).
Boston Celtics at Dallas Mavericks ATS Pick
Pick: ATS Winner – Mavericks, O/U – Over
Boston is 7-5-1 ATS on the road with 8 unders and 5 overs.
Dallas is 6-8 ATS at home with 9 overs and 5 unders.
Dallas is 3-0 when they allow less than 100 points, while Boston is 6-1.
In games where they score over 100 points, the Celtics are 16-4 and the Mavericks are 18-7.
Boston ranks fourth in fast break points allowed per game (12.0) while Dallas ranks 27th (15.6).
The Mavericks average 40.8 three pointers per game, which ranks second in the NBA. The Celtics rank 23rd in three pointers allowed per game (34.8).
Dallas averages 15.2 second chance points per game, which ranks first in the league. Boston ranks 22nd in second chance points allowed per game (13.7).
The Mavericks rank second in blocks allowed per game (3.6) while the Celtics rank 22nd (5.6).
Boston ranks eighth in steals per game (8.3) while Dallas ranks 27th (6.2).
The Celtics rank ninth in points off turnovers per game (18.0) while the Mavericks rank 25th (15.3).
Boston ranks second in points allowed in the paint per game (42.1) while Dallas ranks 16th (48.3).
The Mavericks rank fourth in rebounds per game (48.1) while the Celtics rank 18th in rebounds allowed per game (46.0).
In its last five contests, Boston is 3-2 ATS with 3 unders and 2 overs.
Dallas is 3-2 ATS with 4 overs and 1 under over its last five games.
The Celtics’ average margin of victory in their last five games has been 8.6, up from 6.8 for the season.
During their last five games, the Mavericks have scored an average of 119.2 points per game (1.0 above their season average) and allowed an average of 108.6 points per game (0.6 below their season average).