Warriors vs. Mavericks NBA Odds and Free Picks for Wednesday

Luka Doncic #77 of the Dallas Mavericks. Justin Ford/Getty Images/AFP

The Dallas Mavericks look like the right NBA pick this Wednesday, but who wants to bet against the Golden State Warriors?

Golden State Warriors vs. Dallas Mavericks

Wednesday, January 5, 2022 – 7:30 PM EST at American Airlines Center

The Golden State Warriors have won titles with less talent than this. Their first championship way back in 1974-75 was a bit of a fluke; the Warriors as we know them today claimed three titles in four years, with the last in 2017-18 coming on a team that wasn’t as loaded as this year’s model.

But the 2021-22 Dubs aren’t quite as good as those other two championship teams – not yet, at least. That could change once Klay Thompson makes his return this Sunday. In the meantime, the Warriors (29-7 SU, 22-12-2 ATS) have a game coming up this Wednesday against the Dallas Mavericks (19-18 SU, 18-19 ATS), and despite the issues, the Mavericks have faced, they should be the right choice as 5.5-point home dogs on the NBA odds board at BetMGM. That’s if you’re willing to bet against Golden State. It hasn’t been terribly profitable thus far.

Check Your Differential

If you look purely at the point differentials for both clubs, the Warriors make sense at –5.5. They’ve outscored their opponents by 9.8 points per game, compared to 1.2 for Dallas; subtract those numbers, give the Mavs a generic three points for home-court advantage, and you wind up with Golden State ahead by 5.6 points.

There’s a problem with that math, though – two problems, in fact. One is that Dallas has had to play 14 games thus far without their floor general, Luka Doncic, who is back in the lineup for now. The other is that home-court advantage isn’t worth what it used to be. Handicappers have whittled that three points down to 2.25 in recent years; since the pandemic struck, it’s been closer to 1.25 points according to Jeff Sagarin’s numbers at The USA Today.

Cooking With Luka

Doncic is obviously the more important factor of the two. This hasn’t been his best season by any means, but he’s picked up the pace after a slow start, improving his true shooting from 54.9 percent in November to 57.6 percent in December.

This isn’t a terribly deep Mavericks team compared to years past, so getting Doncic back in the lineup is paramount. They’ve won back-to-back games since his return, although they had to split the cash after coming within an eyelash of going 2-0 ATS.

Will Kristaps Porzingis be joining him? Porzingis is enjoying a bounce-back campaign this year, but he went on the COVID-19 list on Sunday and is considered day-to-day. If he’s cleared for Wednesday, the Mavs are the obvious choice for your NBA picks at this price. That’s a 7-foot-3 “if” we’re talking about, though.

The Warriors are at close to full strength aside from Thompson, and they’ve obviously made a lot of bettors happy this year – but they also dropped the cash in two of their last three games. Maybe this is finally “sell high” time for the Dubs. Bet accordingly once you find out what’s up with Porzingis.

NBA Pick: Mavericks +5.5 (–110) with BetMGM