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Free Pick Breakdown, Odds & Prediction: Raptors vs. Mavericks (11/4/2022)

By Ace Margolis
November 4, 2022
Photo by: NBA.com

Toronto Raptors vs Dallas Mavericks (11/4/22 – 8:30 pm EDT)

Line: Dallas -4
O/U: 218.5

Raptors vs Mavericks Overview

The Eastern Conference and the Western Conference go at it on Friday night when the Toronto Raptors travel to American Airlines Center to take on the Dallas Mavericks. The Raptors are coming off a 143-100 blowout over the San Antonio Spurs while the Mavericks escaped a close one against the Utah Jazz by winning 103-100.

Raptors Overview

After a slow start to the season, Toronto is beginning to look like the team many expected them to be. At 5-3 overall, the Raptors are in first place in the Atlantic division and a half-game up on the Boston Celtics and have won four of their last five ball games. Through eight games, Toronto has gone 6-2 against the spread while going even against the over/under at 4-4.

There are many reasons for the Raptors to be excited as their team is young and has a pesky defense that holds teams to 105.8 points a game, which is second-best in the NBA. They also rebound the ball well, snagging 41.3 boards a contest, good for fifth overall. While their offense is merely serviceable at 113.8 points a game (16th overall), they dominated their last two games by beating Atlanta and San Antonio by a combined 70 points. They have won two consecutive games, both in which they were without starting point guard Fred VanVleet who remains questionable for Friday’s contest.

The Raptors have a few studs in their lineup with power forward Pascal Siakam looking like an All-Star so far with averages of 25.6 points, 9.6 rebounds, and 7.9 assists per contest. He leads the team in all three categories and is second on the team in minutes played (36.1) behind VanVleet. OG Anunoby is another versatile player for the Raptors, averaging 14.1 points, 2.9 steals, and a block per contest.

Mavericks Analysis

Dallas has had a so-so start to their 2022 season but has managed to stay above .500 coming into Friday night with a 4-3 record overall, which is tied for second in the Southwest division. After starting the season losing two of their first three contests, the Mavericks have righted the ship lately by winning three of their last four. Dallas has gone 3-3-1 versus the spread and 5-2 against the over/under in their first seven games.

The Mavericks have been scoring the ball well thus far this season with an average of 115.7 points a game, ninth in the NBA while their effective shooting from the field has them at seventh-best overall with 48% as a team. As good as the Mavericks’ offense has been, the defense has been even better, holding opponents to 109 points a game, seventh in the NBA, while their 39.1 rebounds allowed per contest is the best in the league.

As everyone knows, Dallas starts and stops with superstar PG Luca Doncic who is averaging an insane 36.1 points a contest so far. That average obviously leads the Mavericks but Doncic also leads the team in rebounds (8.9), assists (9), and steals (1.7) as he’s been nearly a one-man show so far. Center Christian Wood has been a good addition in the paint as he’s averaged 17.3 points and 8.4 rebounds a game. Backcourt mate Spencer Dinwiddie is adding 16.7 points, 3.9 assists, and 1.3 per game to the fray as well.

Free Pick – Toronto +4

Doncic continues to be one of the most dynamic and prolific stars in the NBA but the team built around him can only do so much. Against offensive-minded teams, the Mavericks are able to put up points but the Raptors are the best defensive team they’ve faced so far and it won’t be easy putting up 115 against them. Toronto has a few defenders they can throw at Doncic, most notably Anunoby who may not be able to stop the Slovenian but can at least make life difficult for him on Friday night. Even with VanVleet listed day-to-day as of this writing, the Raptors will put up enough of a defensive fight to keep Doncic and the Mavs at bay. We’re taking the Raptors +4.

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