Tuesday officially marks one week since the NBA’s opening night tip-off. With the regular season in full swing, tonight’s games will feature an exciting pair of matchups as the New Orleans Pelicans play against the Dallas Mavericks and the Phoenix Suns take on the Golden State Warriors – both games airing on TNT.
The first of these Western Conference showdowns is a battle between the Pelicans and the Mavericks. Both teams are loaded with superstar talent headlined by Dallas’ Luka Doncic and New Orleans’ dynamic duo of Zion Williamson and Brandon Ingram. However, injuries will have a big impact on this game as Ingram has been ruled out due to a concussion, while Williamson is listed as questionable with a hip injury.
Health permitting, this will be just the third game between these two teams where Doncic and Williamson are both active. Their latest matchup was played on Feb. 12, 2021 in a high scoring affair which saw Williamson score 36 points versus Doncic’s 46 points as the Mavericks went on to beat the Pelicans, 143-130.
The two highly-touted young players made an early impact in their careers as both were seen as the future faces of the league. Doncic has lived up to the hype, while Williamson has shown flashes of his dominance when healthy.
The second matchup of tonight’s slate is also expected to be a good one between two Pacific Division rivals. Last season, these two teams seemed destined to duke it out deep into the postseason. However, as the Warriors awaited them in the Western Conference Finals, the Suns were eliminated in the second round after a seven-game series against the Mavericks. The Warriors went on to win the championship as the Suns watched from home.
This season, the Warriors and Suns both enter the game with a record of 2-1 and have been considered, once again, among the elite teams contending for a championship this year. Both teams are similarly built with dynamic backcourt scorers, a litany of depth and defensive players, and a pair of well-regarded coaches. With all this in mind, expect another thrilling matchup in this revived rivalry.
According to the latest DraftKings odds, Dallas is the moneyline favorites in their game against New Orleans at -175. This game was previously projected to be a high-scoring matchup between two of the league’s best offenses to start the season. However, given the injury statuses of their stars Williamson (questionable with a hip injury) and Ingram (out due to a concussion), the Pelicans may not be able to live up to their part of this high-scoring affair. To make things worse for New Orleans, the Mavericks currently have the third best defensive rating in the league at 103.6 according to NBA.com.
Putting all of that into consideration, a -4.5 spread at -105 for the Mavericks should make for a solid play.
Meanwhile, the Suns are the moneyline favorites to beat the Warriors at -140. While the Suns have gotten off to a 2-1 start to begin the season, the Warriors have proved in their previous matchups that they are more than capable of beating them. Last season, the Warriors and Suns played each other four times with each team winning two games apiece.
Aside from inconsistent performances from their bench unit, Golden State still looks like the juggernaut team that won the championship last season. This is especially true of their starting unit of Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson, Andrew Wiggins, Draymond Green, and Kevon Looney. The perfect fit and the chemistry they have built playing together has this lineup crushing their counterparts as they are a plus-43 as a unit to start the season.
With 92% of the money and 88% of the total bets leaning towards the Warriors to win, Golden State at +120 should be a fine moneyline bet to make.