If the Utah Jazz are supposed to be tanking, they’re doing it wrong. At 6-2, they visit the Dallas Mavericks (3-3) at 8:30 p.m. ET on Wednesday at the American Airlines Center in Dallas.

Despite the great start, Jazz odds show them as underdogs. The Mavericks are favored by 5.5 points with an over/under of 221.5. The Jazz moneyline is +185, while the Mavericks are -225.

Not all records are created equal this early in the season, though, which is worth considering when making Jazz vs Mavericks predictions. In fact, the early Mavericks matchups have been fairly difficult, with games against the Phoenix Suns, Memphis Grizzlies, New Orleans Pelicans, and Brooklyn Nets – all suspected playoff teams.

Last Game Records

But the NBA schedule has softened for the Mavericks, who beat the Orlando Magic 114-105 on Sunday. Luka Doncic is on a tear to start the year and continued that with 44 points on 17 for 26 shooting to go with five assists. Tim Hardaway Jr. scored 21 points off the bench, while Dorian Finney-Smith added 13 and Spencer Dinwiddie 12 more.

Meanwhile, the Jazz won consecutive games over the Memphis Grizzlies, beating them 124-123 on Saturday and 121-105 on Monday, with both games at home. In the latest game, the Jazz had six players in double figures, led by Lauri Markkanen, who had a double-double with 31 points on 11 of 15 shooting and 11 rebounds.

Matchup Information

Utah Jazz vs. Dallas Mavericks Betting Analysis

Jazz vs Mavericks predictions are somewhat difficult because of the surprise the Jazz have offered with their strong play against a relatively difficult NBA schedule. But credit to them as they haven’t fallen flat on their face after trading away Donovan Mitchell and Rudy Gobert.

They are 5-3 against the spread and 3-5 on overs. Playing it straight up, though, they are 4-0 at home and 2-2 on the road.
Meanwhile, the Mavericks are 3-2-1 against the spread and 5-1 on overs. They are 2-1 at home and hope to end their three-game homestand with another victory.

History suggests the Jazz may win outright with 106 wins to the Mavs’ 77 in 183 regular season meetings. Of late, though, it has been the Mavericks dominating. They’ve posted a 5-1 record against the spread in the last six meetings in Dallas and a 10-1 record against the spread in the last 11 meetings, regardless of location.

The under is 5-1 in the last six meetings in Dallas and 6-2 in the last eight meetings, regardless of location.

Utah Jazz Preview

The Jazz have been strong offensively, NBA team stats show. They are 10th in scoring at 117.5 points per game, though only 19th in field goal percentage at 46% and 13th in 3-point percentage at 36.3%. They are also 24th in free throw percentage at 73.3%.

They play with a quick pace, as displayed by their poorer shooting percentages and higher points output. Another way that is explained is by ranking 10th in rebounding at 45.4 per contest while having the fifth-worst rate in allowing 48.3 rebounds per game.

Plus, they have better defensive efficiency than the points they allow. The Jazz rank 17th in allowing 113.6 points per game. However, they are 10th in forcing opponents to convert 45.6% of field goal attempts and are fifth with a stingy perimeter defense which allows 32.8% on 3-pointers.

NBA player stats show their top six scorers – who all average double figures – are expected to be healthy and available: Markkanen, Jordan Clarkson, Kelly Olynyk, Collin Sexton, Malik Beasley, and Mike Conley.

Dallas Mavericks Preview

It should be a fast-paced game, as the Mavericks have played most of the year, but the difference may be their stingy defense, per NBA team stats. They are ninth defensively in holding teams to 110.5 points per game and seventh in perimeter defense in forcing opponents to convert 33.3% of 3-pointers. However, they are 24th in allowing teams to convert 48.1% from the field.

There aren’t many rebounds to go around, either. They are second in holding teams to 39 per contest but have the fifth-worst rebounding rate, pulling down 42 per game.

Offensively though, they are fifth in scoring 117.8 points per game. They convert 47.6% of field goal attempts, ranking 11th, but only convert 36% of 3-pointers, near the middle of the pack 16th. Somewhat troubling is their 74.9% free throw rate, which ranks 21st.

At some point, somebody is going to have to step up and help Doncic. The superstar’s NBA player stats are 36.7 points, 9.5 rebounds, 8.7 assists, and 1.7 steals per game. Wood is averaging 16.7 points and 8.7 rebounds per game, while Dinwiddie is at 16.2 ppg and Hardaway 14.4 ppg.

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It appears some illness is making its way around Utah’s locker room. The NBA injury report shows Rudy Gay and Walker Kessler are probable with illnesses, while Leandro Bolmaro and Simone Fontecchio are out indefinitely with illnesses.

The NBA injury report shows Davis Bertans (knee) and Frank Ntilikina (ankle) out indefinitely for the Mavericks, while Christian Wood (illness) is questionable Wednesday.

Utah Jazz vs. Dallas Mavericks Betting Preview

This game is an intriguing one because Mavericks matchups don’t necessarily favor them, though they do have the best overall player. Utah’s guard play has great depth, and they can go small at any point to try and push the pace even faster than what the Mavericks would like to play at; plus, they have Markkanen, who presents a unique skill set the Mavs will have to defend.

But the Jazz don’t have anybody who can take Doncic defensively and square up against him, so his passing may be more of a factor as he can get the other Mavericks involved when help comes on his drives.

If public Jazz vs Mavericks predictions are any indication – it’s 67% on the Mavericks to cover and 63% on the over – Dallas will defend its home court.

Utah Jazz vs. Dallas Mavericks Betting Prediction

But that’s a tough sell with a Jazz team that has played well against predicted playoff teams. Though the league’s surprise should struggle against Doncic, and the Mavericks have displayed a stingy defense, we’ll take Mavericks -5.5 and under 221.5.