West Finals, Game 5: Dallas at Golden State

Dallas star Luka Doncic had 30 points, 14 rebounds and nine assists to help his club stave off elimination in Game 4.

Golden State Warriors vs. Dallas Mavericks

Line: Warriors -7

Total: 215.5

Where: Chase Center

When: Thursday, 5/26 at 9:00 p.m. ET

TV: TNT

Golden State will have another opportunity to close out Dallas and book its spot in the NBA Finals when these teams meet for Game 5 of the Western Conference Finals tonight.

The Mavericks kept their season alive with a 119-109 win on Tuesday, covering the spread as 1.5-point home favorites. They will be up against a tougher test in Game 5, as Golden State is on a 10-game home winning streak.

Oddsmakers opened the Warriors as six-point favorites, but that number quickly climbed to -7. Tonight’s total opened at 215.5 points which is where it remained as of early Thursday morning.

One Caesars Sports bettor will be hoping that Dallas can stave off elimination once again. The customer placed a $50,000 bet on the Mavericks to win the series at 30-1 odds prior to Tuesday’s Game 4. He or she also wagered $10,000 on Dallas to win the NBA title at 75-1 odds, so the bets would cash for a combined $2.25 million if the Mavericks were to pull off a miracle.

No team has ever erased a 3-0 deficit in an NBA playoff series. There have been three teams to force a seventh game after trailing 3-0, with the most recent being Portland against Dallas in the first round in 2003.

If the Mavericks are going to send this series to a Game 6, they will need another hot shooting game from the perimeter. They knocked down 20-of-43 attempts from 3-point range in Game 4, while Golden State went just 10-of-28 from downtown.

Star point guard Luka Doncic led Dallas with 30 points, 14 rebounds and nine assists. Small forward Reggie Bullock drilled six 3-pointers on 10 attempts after going 0 of 10 from the floor in the previous game. Small forward Dorian Finney-Smith had 23 points and six rebounds, as the Mavericks took a 29-point lead into the fourth quarter and cruised to the finish line.

Golden State held a 31-29 lead late in the first quarter, but it was all downhill from there. The Warriors shot 48.8 percent from the field—Dallas shot exactly 50 percent—but Golden State was just 65.4 percent at the charity stripe.

The Warriors chose to rest their starters for most of the second half, as their backups made a late push that eventually came up short. They still lead the NBA in points per game (114.1 PPG) during the postseason, while Dallas ranks ninth (106.1 PPG). The Mavericks have been slightly better defensively at sixth among playoff teams (104.8 PPG)—Golden State ranks eighth (109.0 PPG).

Dallas has now covered the spread in 12 of its last 18 games against Golden State, but it is 1-5 ATS in its last six road games. The Warriors have covered in four of their last five games overall. These teams have gone ‘over’ in 14 of their last 20 head-to-head meetings, including Game 2 at the Chase Center.

On the injury front, small forward Otto Porter Jr. is ‘questionable’ with a foot issue for Golden State. Porter Jr., who was held out of Game 4, is averaging 5.5 points and 4.1 rebounds this postseason.

The pick: Mavericks +7

Golden State was favored by 5.5 points in Game 1 and 6 points in Game 2, immediately creating some value on Dallas as a 7-point underdog in Game 5. The Mavericks were finally able to execute their game plan in Game 4—they knocked down open 3-pointers that were created by Doncic’s ability to space the floor. Their poor shooting numbers earlier in the series were not caused by a great defensive effort from Golden State, it was simply a regression from the Mavericks role players. They will enter Game 5 knowing that there is still a long road ahead, but they will also be more confident than they were earlier in the series. Dallas has been the better side to back when these teams have met in recent seasons (12-6 ATS in last 18 meetings), so I see no reason to take the Warriors at an inflated price on Thursday night.

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