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Free Pick Breakdown & Prediction: Mavericks vs. Pelicans (10/25/2022)

By Ace Margolis
October 25, 2022

Dallas Mavericks vs New Orleans Pelicans (10/25/22 – 7:30 pm ET)

Line: Dallas -3.5
O/U: 225.5

Dallas Mavericks vs New Orleans Pelicans Overview

The Southeastern Division begins its divisional rivalries this week with the Dallas Mavericks hitting the road to the state of Louisiana to take on the New Orleans Pelicans at the Smoothie King Center. The Mavericks are coming off a 137-96 shellacking of the Memphis Grizzlies while the Pelicans lost Sunday night to the Utah Jazz 122-121.

Dallas Mavericks Overview

The Mavericks have opened their 2022 NBA season with one loss and one win as they head into their third game of the year with a road match against New Orleans on Tuesday night. At 1-1 on the season so far, Dallas has already played one game against the Southeast, beating the aforementioned Grizzlies on Saturday night and will look to go 2-0 against the division when they face the Pelicans. So far, the The Mavericks are a perfect 2-0 against the spread this season and 1-1 agains the over/under.

Dallas got off to a blazing hot start in their opening game of the season at home as they would open up the first quarter with a 32-24 lead en route to a big 62-45 halftime lead over the Phoenix Suns. Unfortunately, the Mavs couldn’t match their first-half energy after halftime where they were outscored 62-43 on their way to a 107-105 loss. They shot 47% but the biggest problem was giving up 56 points in the paint. The Mavs started their road trip at Memphis for their second game of the season and led pretty much entire way, shooting 50% from the floor and an impressive 44% on 17-39 three-pointers.

Beginning his sixth season in the NBA, superstar guard Luka Doncic is averaging 33.5 points a contest through his first two games. Of course, that’s not all with Doncic who also averages eight assists, eight rebounds, a block, and a steal per game on 47.8% shooting. Center Christian Wood has been a great asset off the bench thus far, averaging 25 points and 10 boards a game. As a team, the Mavs are doing well on offense, averaging 121 points a game and shooting 41.9% from behind the arc, good for third-best in the league.

New Orleans Pelicans Analysis

Just when things were going great for New Orleans, their two star players go down with injuries last weekend as Brandon Ingram hits the injured list for a few days with a concussion and Zion Williamson joins him with a bad hip. Both players suffered their injuries in Saturday’s overtime loss to the Jazz with Ingram leaving in the first quarter and Williamson in the fourth. With their absence, the Pelicans couldn’t hold on and lost their first game of the season. They are 2-1 on the season as well as against the spread but are a perfect 3-0 against the over/under.

Most would point to the injuries of Ingram and Williamson and the reason for Saturday’s loss but the team fought back hard and almost won behind C.J. McCollum’s 28 points and 10 assists. The Pelicans shot better than the Jazz, 47% to 44% but still couldn’t beat them in the end. New Orleans played fantastic in their first two games of the season, beating the Brooklyn Nets and Charlotte Hornets by a combined 34 points. Strangely, both of the Pelicans’ two wins have come on the road while their loss came at home where they’ll play the Mavs.

Although Ingram and Williamson are both All-Stars, it’s McCollum that leads New Orleans in scoring with 23.3 per contest as well as in assists with 6.7 a game. Right behind McCollum are Ingram and Williamson at 22 points a game. They’re getting a lot of production out of the center position as Jonas Valanciunas averages 17 points and a hefty 13 boards a contest. As a team the Pelicans are second overall in the league at 125 points a game as well as second in rebounding at 53 boards a contest. New Orleans has also done a good job keeping opponents off the boards, allowing only 40 a game, good for third-best overall.

Free Pick – Dallas -3.5

As of this writing, both Williamson and Ingram are out of Tuesday’s lineup for the Pelicans, making this a tough game for them. Doncic and the Mavs are coming off an impressive 41-point win over the Grizzlies in which they held Memphis to only 27% from the three-point line and 43% from the field. New Orleans is also coming off an exhausting overtime game in which they lost two of their best players. With Doncic at the controls for the Mavericks and the Pelicans lacking two huge parts of their team, Dallas’ defense will do plenty to contain New Orleans and cover the spread. We’re taking Dallas -3.5.

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