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The top two players in the 2018 NBA draft class face off in a high-profile spot on Thursday. Luka Doncic leads the Dallas Mavericks into Atlanta to face Trae Young and the Hawks in the season opener for both squads. Doncic begins the season as the betting favorite to win the 2021-22 NBA MVP award, and he bolsters a dynamic offense. Young led the Hawks to the Eastern Conference Finals a season ago, and he looks to follow that up with improved regular season success for Atlanta.

Caesars Sportsbook lists Atlanta as a two-point home favorite, and tip-off is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. ET. The total number of points Vegas thinks will be scored, or the Over-Under, is 224.5 in the latest Mavericks vs. Hawks odds. Before making any Hawks vs. Mavericks picks, be sure to see the NBA predictions and betting advice from SportsLine's proven model

The SportsLine Projection Model simulates every NBA game 10,000 times and has returned almost $9,000 in profit on its top-rated NBA picks over the past three seasons. The model finished up almost $600 on its top-rated picks last season and enters the 2021-22 NBA season on a stunning 100-66 roll on top-rated NBA picks against the spread. Anyone following it has seen huge returns.

Now, the model has set its sights on Mavs vs. Hawks and just released its coveted NBA picks and predictions. You can head to SportsLine now to see the model's NBA picks and analysis. Now, here are several NBA odds and betting trends for Hawks vs. Mavs:

  • Mavericks vs. Hawks spread: Hawks -2
  • Mavericks vs. Hawks over-under: 224.5 points 
  • Mavericks vs. Hawks money line: Hawks -135, Mavericks +115
  • DAL: The Mavericks are 23-17 against the spread in the last 40 road games 
  • ATL: The Hawks are 27-17 against the spread in the last 44 home games
Featured Game | Atlanta Hawks vs. Dallas Mavericks

Why the Mavericks can cover

Dallas is one of the NBA's best offensive teams, headlined by Doncic. The Mavericks finished No. 8 in the NBA in offensive rating last season, scoring nearly 1.15 points per possession, and Dallas produced nearly 1.17 points per possession in the second half of the 2020-21 campaign. Doncic is the engine that makes the team run, but the Mavericks are also fantastic at avoiding turnovers, committing a giveaway on only 12.3 percent of possessions. Atlanta was a bottom-five team in turnover creation defensively last season, further bolstering the Mavericks' position. 

On the defensive side, the Mavericks are solid, including top-three marks in the NBA in assists allowed (22.7 per game) and points allowed off turnovers (14.6 per game). Dallas will wall off the paint, with the No. 7 mark in the NBA in points in the paint allowed (45.2 per game), and the Mavericks have the athletes to contest shots at a high level all over the floor.

Why the Hawks can cover

Atlanta operated as a top-10 offense a season ago, scoring 114.3 points per 100 possessions. Those numbers were even better after a midseason coaching change, and the Hawks are one of the best teams in the NBA at taking care of the ball (13.3 percent turnover rate) and grabbing their own misses on the offensive glass (28.4 percent offensive rebound rate). That gives the Hawks extra possessions to work with, and Atlanta is a quality shooting team, posting a 58.1 percent true shooting mark last season.

Defensively, Clint Capela was dominant last season, including the NBA's best mark in grabbing 14.3 rebounds per game. The Hawks finished in the top ten in defensive rebound rate at 74.2 percent, and Atlanta was very strong in transition, allowing only 11.8 fast break points per game. Slowing Dallas from beyond the three-point arc will be paramount for the Hawks, but Atlanta can rely on the NBA's No. 3 mark in three-point accuracy allowed (34.9 percent) last season.

How to make Mavericks vs Hawks picks

SportsLine's model is leaning under on the total, projecting that the teams will combine for 221 points. The model also says one side of the spread hits in almost 60 percent of simulations. You can only get the model's Hawk vs. Mavericks pick at SportsLine.

So who wins Mavericks vs. Hawks? And which side of the spread hits in almost 60 percent of simulations? Visit SportsLine now to find out which side of the Hawks vs. Mavericks spread you need to jump on Thursday, all from the model that has crushed its NBA picks, and find out.