Dorian Finney-Smith resuscitated the Dallas Mavericks' season Tuesday night with a 23-point performance while shooting 9-of-13 from the floor. The Mavericks' secondary scorers finally found their stroke in a decisive 119-109 victory. It was the type of win we have seen from the Mavericks time and time again this season, showing the resiliency that has driven them to defy the odds on numerous occasions.
The same question from Tuesday night faces bettors in Game 5. Can we count on some Mavs magic one more time? Beating the Warriors with your back against the wall is one thing, but doing it in Golden State in front of Dub Nation would cause a severe shift in the series. After being on the wrong side of Game 4, I decided to attack Thursday night's game in a few different ways. Here are my three favorite bets for Game 5.
Dallas Mavericks at Golden State Warriors — Over 215.5 (-110)
It may have taken three games, but Luka Doncic is finally getting some help. If the Mavericks are making buckets from beyond the arc, we should be able to hit this over. If we chalk up their low output from Game 1 to Dallas coming off a seven-game series, the last three games landed on 243, 209 and 228 points. If Finney-Smith, Reggie Bullock, and Jalen Brunson can carry over some success, I think they will keep it competitive enough to push this over the total. Luka's off-ball movement exposed some cracks in the Warriors' zone, and I think it will show up again in Game 5.
Luka Doncic Assists + Rebounds — Over 17.5 (-130)
The Mavs committed to going small Tuesday night, and Luka realized he would have to contribute in multiple ways. His 30-14-9 stat line highlights how he not only filled a void on the glass but how he made everybody better. In addition, Doncic's commitment to attacking the rim reduced the pressure on his teammates' to win off the dribble. Golden State will undoubtedly counter, but I am confident we will see another well-rounded performance from the NBA's rising star.
Halftime/Final: Dallas Mavericks/Golden State Warriors (+450)
If I were writing the script, the final chapter would be titled "Game 7: Luka in the Bay." But that's not how this thing works. There is a reason the price on the Mavericks at +2.5 games in the series was +500 when they were down 3-0. Few expect them to survive this game. The +500 odds imply a 16.7% probability of Dallas making it out Game 5. The market has properly adjusted off a Mavs win, but they are still hefty +240 dogs on the money line in Game 5. If you are firmly convinced the Warriors will end the series on Thursday night, the halftime/final market might be worth a small stake. Dallas is +28 in the first half in Games 2-4, including hanging 72 in the first half of Game 2 in Golden State. I will take my chances at +450 that the Mavs get the best of the first two quarters before Steph takes over and seals the series.