Dallas Mavericks (19-43) at Chicago Bulls (20-41)
We took a tough beat last night when we backed the Cleveland Cavaliers at home against the Philadelphia 76ers. Lebron had his usual night, the king went for 30/9/8. But the rest of the team struggled as they got outrebounded by a wide margin, especially on the offensive glass.
The youngster in Philly both excelled as Ben Simmons flirted with a triple-double, scoring 18 points, grabbing 9 boards, and dishing out 8 dimes. He also added in two steals and a block. The rookie big man is really starting to come into his own as a player, and he fits perfectly with the other Philly big man, Joel Embiid. Embiid was great too, he scored 17 points while also bringing down 14 rebounds in the Philly 108-97 win.
All night long it looked like Cleveland would make a run to take control, but the Sixer matched every run and wouldn’t let the Cavs close the gap. This win cannot be overstated for Philadelphia. They were able to stop a two-game skid and pick up a big win on the road. This has to give these young guys confidence that they can go into Cleveland in the playoffs and win games.
Today I will look at two of the worst team’s in the NBA as the Dallas Mavericks play the Chicago Bulls.
The Dallas Mavericks will take their tanking show on the road tonight as they head to Chicago to play a similarly imploding Bulls team. The Mavericks have very openly been trying to lose, and they have done a great job doing just that. Dallas has lost fifteen out of its last nineteen games.
For Chicago, they are on a similar path, the Bulls have lost five straight games themselves. The Mavericks are -1.5-point road favorites. The game total over-under is set at 213.5 points. Tipoff is scheduled for 5:00 PM PST from the United Center.
Somebody has to win this one, right? The NBA has a tanking problem, and these two teams are perfect examples of it. Neither of these teams are going to want to win tonight. Commissioner Adam Silver says he has a close eye on all tanking teams, but what can he really do? Tanking works. One of these teams is going to end up with a player like a Dandre Ayton or Marvin Bagley, you can’t blame them for trying to lose.
Mavericks owner Mark Cuban recently got fined 600k for admitting that losing is the right thing for his team right now. Why fine him when it is clearly true? He is just saying what a handful of other owners and GM’s are thinking. Cuban is just playing the game by the NBA’s rules. Until they fix the system, you can’t blame these teams for tanking.
They are trying to fix this a little bit next year by evening out the lottery, but there still is a major incentive to lose, and until that is gone completely, teams are going to continue to tank.
For tonight’s game, there really isn’t much to separate these two teams. Both are playing their young guys in an attempt to both evaluate future talent while losing and moving up the draft boards. I just can’t at all comprehend why the Mavericks are favorites in this game. The Mavericks 9 wins are the second-lowest total in the NBA, trailing only the Orlando Magic and the Memphis Grizzlies by one game.
And on the road? Dallas only has 7 wins. They are dreadful on the road this year, no matter what lineup they have been using. When they were trying to win road games they couldn’t, what makes people think they can now that they are trying to lose?
It is not that Chicago is much better. But they are a decent home team this year. They don’t win many games, but when they do, it’s at the United Center. They seem to try at least somewhat to win games on their home court, and that is what I am banking on tonight.
You are always going to be playing with fire a little bit when you bet two teams that are absolutely terrible. There are just so many unexpected things that can come up when two terrible teams play each other.
Both of these teams have incentive to lose this game, but somebody has to win tonight. I just can’t imagine backing the Mavericks on the road as favorites against anybody at this point. With all other things seemingly equal I will back the home team, getting points.
Give me the Chicago Bulls at home as underdogs, getting +1.5-points tonight from Chicago.