Mavericks vs. Warriors Game 1 Betting Odds, Picks, Predictions – May 18, 2022

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Ray BelkoraMay 18, 2022 at 05:37 PM

Mavericks vs. Warriors Game 1 Odds

Mavericks Moneyline+198
Warriors Moneyline-225
Mavericks Win Percentage32.65%
Warriors Win Percentage67.35%
Mavericks Spread+5.5
Warriors Spread-5.5
Mavericks-Warriors Over / Under214.5
Game Date & TimeMay 18, 9 p.m. ET
Odds from OddsJam Perfect Line

Mavericks vs. Warriors Game 1 Betting Preview

Game 1 of a series is always a feel-out game where players and coaches are trying to figure out matchups and ways to attack over the course of the series. 

The biggest thing to watch will be how the Warriors defend Luka Doncic. Will Draymond Green guard him on the ball? If so, that means Kevon Looney will have to start and play a lot of minutes to defend the paint with Green out on the perimeter. More likely, Andrew Wiggins will see the most time on Luka. 

In the past when the Warriors have been tasked with defending a ball-dominant superstar like Lebron James in the Finals or even Ja Morant for the first part of the second round this year, Golden State has taken the approach of letting the star put up some numbers and limit the supporting cast. 

Role players typically don’t play as well on the road and I don’t anticipate the likes of Spencer Dinwiddie following up on the Game 7 performance. Luka will get his numbers, but the Mavericks will be held to around 100 points.

Dallas Mavericks

The Mavericks have exemplified resilience throughout the playoffs. In the first round against the Utah Jazz, Doncic missed the first three games with an injury but Jalen Brunson and company stepped up to win two of those three. The Mavericks actually lost in Luka’s return in Game 4, but took care of business in Games 5 and 6 to move on to the second round.

After falling behind 2-0 to the top-seed Phoenix Suns, Dallas rallied to win both of Games 3 and 4 at home, as well as Game 6 to force the decisive Game 7 in Phoenix, where I’m not sure the Suns even showed up. 

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Luka will handle most of the offense for the Mavericks and I don’t think the Warriors will overly help on him or send double teams. Their mentality with superstar opponents seems to be that if that player can single-handedly beat them then head coach Steve Kerr will tip his cap. 

The Warriors just don’t want double teams creating wide open threes and layups for the Mavericks role players to get hot. Doncic is an elite passer and with his size can easily pass over those incoming doubles, so I don’t expect the Warriors to send many of them in Game 1. 

Defensively, the Mavericks have their hands full with Golden State on the perimeter. Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson, Jordan Poole, and Andrew Wiggins can all create their own shot and the Warriors are great and run a motion offense to create switches which result in mismatches. 

Golden State Warriors

Speaking of the Warriors, Golden State took care of the Denver Nuggets in five in the first round and the Memphis Grizzlies in six in the second. 

Both of these squads fit the Mavericks mold in that there is one ball dominant MVP-caliber superstar. The Warriors put Draymond Green and Kevon Looney on Nikola Jokic at various times during the series. 

Like Luka, Jokic is an incredible passer especially out of double teams so the Warriors chose to live with him getting his points but refused to give up wide open buckets created by Jokic passing out of doubles.

It was a similar story with Ja Morant. Although he and Doncic technically play the same position, they could not be more different in terms of style. Doncic is much bigger and a better passer and shooter, while Morant is explosive and thrives on getting to the rim.

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The Warriors’ achilles heal so far in the playoffs (and really for the last decade) has been turnovers. Throughout the Memphis series there were countless lazy or errant passes. 

I don’t think that’s a problem that can be solved overnight. Remember, Curry, Thompson and Green barely were on the court together at all during the regular season so they are still re-learning how to play with each other and that has led to some sloppy mistakes.

The new addition to the core, Jordan Poole, has been prolific in the early parts of both rounds so far but was slowed down as the two series progressed and teams have learned his tendencies. 

I expect that trend to continue with a big Game 1 from him while the Mavericks have their defensive gameplan centered around the Splash Brothers. 

Mavericks vs. Warriors Game 1 Betting Pick

My official NBA betting pick is for Game 1 to stay under the total. 

Pick: Under 214.5 | -110 at Caesars

Mavericks vs. Warriors Game 1 Prediction

The Warriors are undefeated at home during the playoffs and I don’t see that changing. Although the Mavericks just proved they can win in dominant fashion on the road, I see the Warriors taking Game 1 106-98.

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