The Golden State Warriors sent a reminder across the nose of the remaining NBA playoff teams in Game 1 of the Western Conference finals: Don’t forget, we’re the favorites.
Golden State crushed the Dallas Mavericks 112-87 on Wednesday, cooling off the hottest team in the postseason and the hottest player, checking Mavericks star Luka Doncic to only 20 points on 6 of 18 shooting.
That effort has tacked an extra point on to the Game 2 spread, with the Dubs giving 6.5 points Friday night. Here are our free NBA picks and predictions for Mavericks at Warriors on May 20.
MAVERICKS VS WARRIORS GAME 2 ODDS
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Following the Game 1 blowout, oddsmakers installed Golden State as a 6-point home favorite which quickly jumped to -6.5 as of Thursday morning. The total opened at 214 points – a half-point lower than the opening total for Game 1 which was bet up as high as 216.5 before the teams combined for only 199 points in the series opener.
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MAVERICKS VS WARRIORS GAME 2 PREDICTIONS:
Prediction: Warriors -5 (-138)
Prediction: Under 214 (-110)
Best bet: Curry Over 5.5 asts (-110)
Predictions made on 5/19/2022 at 1:00 p.m. ET.
Click on each prediction to jump to the full analysis.
MAVERICKS VS WARRIORS GAME 2 INFO:
• Location: Chase Center, San Francisco, CA
• Date: Thursday, May 20, 2022
• Tip-off: 10:00 p.m. ET
MAVERICKS VS WARRIORS SERIES ODDS
MAVERICKS VS WARRIORS GAME 2 BETTING PREVIEW
Mavericks: Tim Hardaway Jr. G (Out).
Warriors: Gary Payton Jr. G (Out), Andre Iguodala F (Out), James Wiseman C (Out).
MAVERICKS VS WARRIORS GAME 2 PICKS AND PREDICTIONS
Our side and total predictions are based upon our analysis of the line and total in this game. Our best bet is our favorite pick across all markets.
The Mavericks’ momentum from their stunning series win over the top-seeded Phoenix Suns couldn’t make its way to the “City by the Bay” for Game 1 of the Western Conference Finals.
Instead, the once-scorching shooting clip of this Dallas team dropped to sub-zero temperatures, with the Mavs making just 36% of their looks from the field including a chilly 11-for-48 from beyond the arc Wednesday night.
Golden State flexed its defensive muscles, getting great one-on-one play from Andrew Wiggins who was assigned to slowing down Doncic. His quickness and length checked Doncic to a playoff-low 20 points, and the rest of the Mavs players didn’t fare much better.
The Warriors made Dallas work on both ends. Not only did the Dubs’ defense wear out the Mavericks but their cut-heavy offense kept Dallas’ wheels spinning trying to keep track of all of Golden State’s scoring options.
The Warriors are one of the best off-the-ball offenses with continuous motion through cuts and screens, and that produced a 56% success rate from the floor with 24 assists on 46 makes. Golden State finished with seven players in double figures and overwhelmed Dallas with its depth, pulling 37 points off the bench in the win.
I do expect Doncic to bounce back with a better effort in Game 2 and the Mavericks’ role players have performed at a higher standard in the postseason, so I’ll give them the benefit of the doubt, but is that enough to close what looks to be a massive gap between these two teams – even with the spread puffed up to Mavericks +6.5?
The biggest strength Dallas had coming into this series was momentum (the reason I bet it at +5 in Game 1) after two incredible games to send the Suns packing. That momentum is now long gone. Doncic also presented a rarity for the Warriors, who usually have the best player (or players) on the floor each game, but Golden State’s collective wealth of talent is greater than that one superstar, no matter how well Luka is playing.
Depth is Dallas’ disadvantage in this series, especially with the way the Warriors make you run on both ends. The Mavs will battle for every shot and then must come down and chase the Dubs around on every Golden State possession, lacking that true big body to protect the rim.
Golden State scored 44 points in the paint, grabbed seven offensive rebounds which led to 14 second-chance points, and connected on 68% of its 2-point field goal attempts – more than half of which were created by assists.
That puts Jason Kidd in a tough spot in terms of his rotation: stick to the small-ball that got the Mavs here and hope shots drop or throw a big body in the paint and pray it doesn’t hurt Dallas’ offensive flow on the other end. Either way, we’re siding with the Warriors in Game 2.
PREDICTION: WARRIORS -5 (-138 AT 888SPORT).