The Dallas Mavericks will host the Golden State Warriors tonight in the NBA.
Regarding my bet here, there’s no point going deep into team analysis, form, matchup or other details, because it is irrelevant.
The only thing that matters here is that the Warriors have all three centers injured (Chris, Wiseman, and now Looney as well). They were already one of the smallest teams in the league, but now the situation is downright dramatic, if not laughable.
The Warriors have no player taller than 6’7″ available for this game. What’s worse, they will take on a Dallas team which has Porzingis (7’3″), Boban (7’4″) and Cauley-Stein (7’0″).
Given these circumstances, I feel that there’s value in the bet for Dallas to score the first points of the game. They are virtually assured to have the first posession, which would give them a 45.8% chance of scoring according to their field goal percentage for the year.
I think it’s fair to estimate Dallas’s chance to win the tip off at 90-95% (you’re almost tempted to say 100%). Porzingis will jump for them and he is almost 20 centimeters taller than anybody on the Warriors. It would take something like a cheeky uncalled foul or a blunder from Porzingis for the Warriors win the tip off.
So a 90-95% chance for Dallas to win the tip off and a roughly 46% chance for them to score on their first possession – I think it worth taking a chance on Dallas to score first at odds 1.67. This, of course, is an oversimplified scenario. The Mavs could miss their first shot and still score first – by rebounding (again, height advantage), or by the Warriors missing themselves (they have often been slow starters this season).
If you can’t find this bet, you may want to think about other options involving Dallas’s big men. Tip off winner (that would be amazing if you can find it), maybe Porzingis to cover his points total or Dallas to cover the rebounding line / spread. Whatever you think makes sense given the information presented in this preview.