2017-18 Dallas Mavericks Predictions and NBA Futures Odds Picks
The Dallas Mavericks were bad last year. Really bad. Their strategy seemed to consist mostly of hoping that Dirk Nowitzki got 10 years younger and a point guard appeared out of thin air. Nether happened. Dirk is pretty good - for a guy who has played 19 years in the NBA. He's not him at him best, though, or anywhere near it. The Mavs are stuck in an arms race in the West, with the Warriors all but untouchable, and Houston, Oklahoma City and Minnesota taking very significant steps to try to get closer to success. Dallas' approach was less impressive - they have drafted a 19-year-old point guard, and they hope that he can work miracles. And in significant terms that is basically it. That doesn't exactly feel like the moves of a team in any hurry to win, does it?
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It's a mystery to me why this team isn't more competitive, with an owner who is incredibly committed and almost infinitely rich as well as a good team-wide reputation to build from. But here we are for another year, talking about a team that just doesn't matter in any real way. It's almost sad.
2017 Dallas Mavericks Betting Storylines
I painted a harsh picture of where the team is at right now. They would likely spin it differently, telling you that they are building a new core for the future, with the leadership of Dirk showing the new guys the way. Top draft pick Dennis Smith Jr. is seen as the potential centerpiece of the team, and guys like Wesley Matthews (if his Achilles' let him come back to pre-injury form), Harrison Barnes, and even Nerlens Noel are to be the core of the next great Mavericks team. I'm somewhat skeptical. Barnes is a nice enough player, but they pay him too much, and I don't see him filling the role of the main man on a team - which is what these Mavs need him to be. Noel is talented, but he's a mental case, and his one-year contract is going to be more of a distraction with each passing game. And I don't see Matthews finding his mojo again in any hurry - at least not at the level of a strong starter. Smith was special in college at N.C. State, but there will be some growing pains working with this group, and there are going to be some real challenges allocating guard minutes as Seth Curry and Yogi Ferrell played well enough last year to earn some significant minutes, J.J. Barea being a valuable piece, and Devin Harris having usefulness as a defender. Outside of maybe Smith, all I see here are some nice enough players, but not a team that is at all close to being a top force.
Though there is a lot that is tough to like about this team, the one thing that is an unquestioned and massive strength is coach Rick Carlisle. The list of guys who are as good or better than him is very, very short - I can think of three off the top of my head, but we won't start any arguments by going further into that (okay, it's Popovich, Kerr and Stevens). Carlisle is coming off the worst season of his 15-year career, but injuries played a major role in that. This is not a strong lineup - at least relatively in this conference - but Carlisle is one guy who can maximize the potential of what is here. Compare Dallas to New Orleans on this front. Both teams have serious flaws and will have to be firing on every cylinder to accomplish anything this year. Dallas has the lesser talent of the two teams, but comparing Carlisle to Alvin Gentry is like comparing a Ferrari to a pedal car.
2017 Dallas Mavericks Additions and Departures
Aside from the addition of Smith, they didn't make hugely impactful additions. They have brought in Maxi Kleber, an undrafted 25-year-old German who has been playing in Europe. They had reasonable luck the last time they brought in a German power forward, so why not try to get lightning to strike twice, I guess. And they added the incredibly fragile Josh McRoberts to the power forward rotation as well, and center Jeff Withey. Neither guy moves the needle.
2017 Dallas Mavericks Futures Odds and Trends
Dallas Mavericks Futures Odds
NBA title odds (from BetOnline ) : +25000
Western Conference title odds (from BetOnline) : +12500
Dirk Nowitzki MVP Odds (from Bovada ) : +25000
Season win total (from BetOnline): 35.5
The team was functionally just a break-even bet last year, going 43-38-1 ATS on the season. At home, though, they were a nicely profitable 24-17 ATS. There was money to be made on the totals, though - they went "under" 46 times and "over" just 34.
2017 Dallas Mavericks Predictions and Futures Odds Picks
This just isn't a playoff team. Not even close. They won just 33 games last year. They should be able to exceed that total this year if they can be healthier, but not by much. That makes it hard to find any value in the season win total or anywhere else. It's going to be a long, painful season for this squad - brightened only by the possibility that Smith could be in the Rookie of the Year race. What I find truly hilarious is that there are odds set for Nowitzki to win MVP. I like Dirk as much as anyone, but you would have to be a special brand of idiot to bet on him at this or any price at this stage in his career.
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Read more articles by Trevor Whenham
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