The Dallas Mavericks will try to get on track before the start of the NBA playoffs when they square off with the team with the NBA's best record, the Milwaukee Bucks, on Saturday night at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex near Orlando, Fla. Since the NBA restarted last week, the Mavericks (41-30) have gone 1-3. Their only victory was a four-point win against the Kings, the Western Conference team in the bubble with the worst record. Meanwhile the Bucks (55-14) have clinched the No. 1 seed in the Eastern Conference.
Tip-off is at 8:30 p.m. ET. William Hill lists Milwaukee as a 5.5-point favorite in the latest Bucks vs. Mavericks odds, while the over-under, or total number of points William Hill thinks will be scored, is 233. Before making any Mavericks vs. Bucks picks, check out the latest NBA predictions from the SportsLine Projection Model.
The SportsLine Projection Model simulates every NBA game 10,000 times, and it's already returned well over $4,200 in profit on its top-rated NBA picks this season. It entered the week on a blistering 54-32 run on top-rated NBA spread picks, returning almost $1,900 on those picks alone. Anybody who has followed it has seen huge returns.
- Bucks vs. Mavericks spread: Milwaukee -5.5
- Bucks vs. Mavericks Over-Under: 233 points
- Bucks vs. Mavericks moneyline: Milwaukee -215, Dallas +185
- MIL: Giannis Antetokounmpo ranks second in the NBA in rebounding (13.7 per game)
- DAL: Luka Doncic ranks third in the NBA in assists (8.8 per game)
Why the Bucks can cover
Milwaukee is the best defensive team in the NBA. The Bucks are allowing 102.1 points per 100 possessions this season. When combined with its solid offense (112.1 points per 100 possessions), Milwaukee owns the top net rating in the league (10.2).
In addition, the Dallas defense has been missing since the restart. The Mavericks are allowing 126.5 points per game in the bubble and have conceded at least 110 points in all four games. Their defensive efficiency of 117.9 since the restart is third-worst among the 22 teams in the bubble.
Why the Mavericks can cover
Dallas, however, has much more incentive to win than Milwaukee. The Mavericks are desperately trying to move up in the Western Conference standings. They're currently the No. 7 seed, which would pit them against the Clippers in the first round. Meanwhile, the Bucks have already locked up the No. 1 seed in the Eastern Conference and don't have much to play for until the playoffs start.
In addition, Dallas has the ability to take advantage of the one weakness in Milwaukee's defense: 3-pointers allowed. Because the Bucks like to pack the paint, they allow the most 3-point attempts per game (39.3). That should benefit the Mavericks, who rank second in the NBA in 3-point attempts taken per game (41.5). The team that leads in the NBA in 3-pointers taken, the Rockets, beat Milwaukee earlier this week using a heavy 3-point attack.
How to make Bucks vs. Mavericks picks
SportsLine's model is leaning under on the total as both Doncic and Antetokounmpo score under their season average. It also says one side of the spread hits in 60 percent of simulations. You can only get the pick at SportsLine.
So who wins Bucks vs. Mavericks? And which side of the spread hits 60 percent of the time? Visit SportsLine now to see which side of the Mavericks vs. Bucks spread to jump on, all from the advanced model that is up over $4,200 on its NBA picks this season, and find out.