It’s time for another TNT doubleheader, with the New Orleans Pelicans hosting the Dallas Mavericks at 4:30 p.m. (PDT) and the Phoenix Suns hosting the Golden State Warriors at 7:00 p.m. (PDT). One of these matchups looks a bit lopsided due to injuries. The other? Well, it could be an all-out battle from the opening tip. Let’s have a look at where to put your money!
First, let’s explore Dallas-New Orleans.
DAL Spread: -5.5 (-110) Moneyline: -215
NOLA Spread: +5.5 (-110) Moneyline: +185
Despite playing on the road, the Mavericks are the favorites for a few reasons:
1) Zion Williamson’s OUT status. Williamson took a nasty fall against the Utah Jazz on Sunday, sustaining a bruised hip. He did not return to the contest. While he avoided any serious injury, he could still miss a game or two if New Orleans decides to be cautious.
2) Brandon Ingram’s OUT status. In the same contest, Ingram sustained a concussion. Having since been placed in the NBA’s concussion protocol, Ingram will sit this one out. He has a few hurdles to clear before he can return to game action. In the meantime, Trey Murphy is likely to receive heavier minutes in Ingram’s stead.
3) Herbert Jones’ OUT status. Jones had an MRI on his right knee on Sunday, revealing no structural damage. While excellent news for the Pelicans that another serious injury was avoided, his absence could be the death knell for Tuesday night. Jones is considered a high-level defender.
Without Ingram’s or Jones’ length at the wing, the Pelicans will be hard-pressed to contain perennial MVP candidate Luka Doncic, who has scored 30+ points in each outing this season. The task may have to be a team effort.
Main takeaway: Put your money on the Mavericks. Bet the moneyline if you’re okay with a lower payout, but Dallas should be able to cover the spread. That’s a shaky “should,” however, as the Pelicans will be a bit unpredictable with new faces in the starting five.
Now let’s look at Golden State-Phoenix
GSW Spread: +1.5 (-105) Moneyline: +105
PHX Spread: -1.5 (-115) Moneyline: -125
Warriors-Suns is a bit more straightforward. With no major injuries impacting the odds, there are still a few things to consider.
1) First things first, the Warriors are on the road. That’s the main reason we’re seeing the Suns as the favorites here, frankly. It doesn’t matter who you are, if both squads are healthy, it’s difficult to take a win in someone else’s house.
2) The Suns and Warriors played each other four times last year, splitting the season series 2-2. Neither team overmatches the other. Even though the Warriors’ aging core is one year older, their new wave of players has made the team one of the deepest in the league – and that “aging core” is still the defending champions.
3) Suns guard Devin Booker and Warriors guard Stephen Curry are both scoring exceptionally well right now. Each player has led their team on the scoreboard, averaging 32.0 and 33.3 points respectively. Look for them to set the tone early.
Main takeaway: This one is a toss-up. Personally, I’d favor the Suns here, but only because they are defending their home court.