Jalen Brunson is banged up and might not play tonight after the Knicks completed a couple of trades. Down a few other bodies, they welcome a mostly complete Mavericks team that is starting to gel. Can a depleted lineup put up a fight?
The New York Knicks are making moves during Thursday’s trade deadline. Nothing splashy, but they are filling out the roster nicely.
Unfortunately, that won’t help them when they host Luka Doncic and the Dallas Mavericks. Despite entering this game playing some of the best basketball in the NBA, the Knicks are going to be shorthanded between the injury report and players being moved out via trade.
Most notably, star point guard Jalen Brunson is questionable after he rolled his ankle. So, it’s no surprise the NBA odds have Doncic and Co. as the favorites here. But is there any value in the Knicks as home underdogs?
I break down this matchup and bring you my best bet, plus a same-game parlay, in my NBA picks and predictions for Mavericks vs. Nets.
Mavericks vs Knicks odds
Mavericks vs Knicks predictions
The New York Knicks are playing terrific basketball, having gone 16-3 straight up and 14-5 against the spread while leading the NBA in net rating since trading for OG Anunoby at the start of January all while Jalen Brunson looks like a legitimate MVP candidate.
That just might not matter tonight.
Let’s start with the injury report. Brunson is questionable after rolling his ankle vs. the Memphis Grizzlies. And I wouldn’t be surprised if the New York brass sees the writing on the wall and holds him out until the reinforcements arrive.
That’s because Julius Randle and Anunoby are already out and Quentin Grimes has been traded. That means the Knicks could be looking at a starting lineup of Isaiah Hartenstein, Precious Achiuwa, Josh Hart, Donte DiVincenzo, and Miles McBride, maybe?
Meanwhile, Luka Doncic, Kyrie Irving, and the Dallas Mavericks have struggled to find consistency this season. They are 28-23 for the season while ranking 11th in offensive rating, and 22nd in defensive rating.
The Mavs are trying to address that by swapping out Grant Williams for P.J. Washington from the Charlotte Hornets. But, at least for tonight, they have more of an ability to dress what will resemble an NBA team.
Doncic and Irving combine to score 60 points per game and the Mavs are one of the best 3-point shooting teams in the NBA. Dallas takes and makes the second most threes per game and ranks 10th in 3-point shooting percentage. That should be an edge against New York.
Perimeter defense is the one area the Knicks could improve a bit on. They rank 14th in opponent 3-point shooting percentage and 13th in opponent made threes per game. That is made worse with no OG in the lineup. So, Dallas could let it fly from deep tonight.
Once again, this is just a bad spot for the Knicks. A team with Doncic and Irving should be more than able to handle this shell of a team.
My best bet: Mavericks -3.5 (-112 at FanDuel)
Mavericks vs Knicks same-game parlay
I like the Mavericks to let it fly from downtown tonight and Doncic is on fire from beyond the arc heading into this matchup. Doncic is shooting 37.8% from 3-point range over his last seven games hitting four or more threes five times over that stretch.
And while Irving has also been hot from three, I also like him to be a facilitator in this matchup. Irving averages 5.4 assists per game this season but that number bumps up to 6.4 over his last seven games, where he has dished out six or more dimes five times. Look for him to find his teammates a bunch vs. a shorthanded Knicks team.
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Mavericks vs Knicks spread and Over/Under analysis
The Mavericks opened as 4.5-point road underdogs, but the Knicks have seen the early money, moving the spread to Dallas -3.5. I’m not sure I get that but I’ll happily take the lower number.
The New York bench will be extremely short, especially if Brunson ends up sitting. On top of that, these teams played not that long ago, with the Mavericks winning 128-124 as 4.5-point underdogs against a completely healthy Knicks team in Dallas on January 11.
There is some value with the Mavericks even if Brunson plays.
The total hit the board at 229.5 and has been bet down slightly to 228 as of Thursday afternoon.
Both Dallas and New York have been great Under bets, with the Mavs going Under in eight of their last 10 and the Knicks staying below number 16 times in 19 games since the start of January.
In matchups like these, where so many players are missing, I tend to lean Under. Anyone can play high-energy defense. Not everyone can shoot.
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Mavericks vs Knicks betting trend to know
The Under is 16-3 in the Knicks’ last 19 games overall and the Under is 8-2 in the Mavericks’ last 10 games overall. Find more NBA betting trends for Mavericks vs. Knicks.
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Mavericks vs Knicks game info
|Madison Square Garden, New York, NY
|Thursday, February 8, 2024
|7:30 p.m. ET
Mavericks vs Knicks latest injuries
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