7 p.m. ET – Dallas Mavericks at Philadelphia 76ers (-5) at Dallas Mavericks O/U: 229½
|Teams||Spread||Money Line||Total Points|
|Dallas Mavericks||+5 (-110)||+165||O 229½ (-110)|
|Philadelphia 76ers||-5 (-110)||-195||U 229½ (-110)|
The Mavericks (15-15) travel to Philadelphia to take on the 76ers (21-11) on Thursday night. On the surface, the most entertaining aspect of this matchup is Dallas star Luka Doncic vs. Philly stud Joel Embiid, two of the most dynamic players in the NBA. This is the first matchup between them and their two teams this season, and only the second time in their brief careers Doncic and Embiid have squared off on the court.
The Sixers thus far have been the class of the Eastern Conference and are difficult to beat at home, where they are 13-2 this season. But overall, they are just 5-5 in their last 10 games, while the Mavs are 7-3 over their last 10 and have been able to be very competitive even when away from home. They are 7-7 and have been outscored by the average of just 1.2 points per game on the road.
Delving closer into the Doncic vs. Embiid dynamic of this contest, it makes for must-watch TV if nothing else. Embiid enters ranked third in the NBA in scoring with an average of 29.8 points per game. Doncic comes in at fifth in the league, averaging 28.9 points per contest.
For Dallas, Doncic also averages 8.6 rebounds and 9.2 assists. He has been assisted himself of late by teammate Jalen Brunson, who has averaged 13.7 points while shooting nearly 54 percent from the field as the Mavs have come out on the winning end of seven of their last 10 games. Listed as doubtful and likely out for tonight as he continues to nurse a back injury that sidelined him the previous two games is 7-foot-3 center Kristaps Porzingis. His presence certainly would have helped against the formidable Embiid, who is a 7-footer himself. Guard Maxi Kleber also is out for Dallas with a sprained ankle.
For Philly, it’s mostly about Embiid. With Porzingis likely out, Embiid won’t have to work as hard on the defensive end and will be more difficult to handle on the offensive end. Embiid is not just an inside threat, either, as he’s hitting 39 percent from 3-point range on the season. In addition to Embiid, guard Tobias Harris has been hot recently, averaging 20.8 points on nearly 53-percent shooting over the last 10 games. Sharpshooting guard Seth Curry is out tonight with an ankle injury.
*Odds courtesy of MyBookie