Mavericks Great Upset Pick Against Warriors in Western Conference Finals

May 15, 2022; Phoenix, Arizona, USA; Dallas Mavericks guard Luka Doncic (77) against the Phoenix Suns.
May 15, 2022; Phoenix, Arizona, USA; Dallas Mavericks guard Luka Doncic (77) against the Phoenix Suns. / Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Does the road to the NBA Finals end here for the upstart Dallas Mavericks?

Luka Doncic's stardom was on full display as the Mavs upset the No. 1 seed Phoenix Suns in the Western Conference semifinals, and I got news for you. Dallas is going to take down another title favorite in the Golden State Warriors and advance to the NBA Finals.

The Mavericks are +185 at WynnBET Sportsbook to pull another upset this postseason and I see plenty of reasons to bet them. Check out the YouTube Short below for more:

Luka Doncic is the Most Impactful Player on Floor

Doncic is the most used player left in the postseason, posting a 40.6 usage rate, and it's not a matter of if it's a matter of when he torches the opposing defense. 

The Warriors are being fairly overrated after beating an undermanned Denver Nuggets team in 5 games and the banged up Memphis Grizzlies in a competitive 6 game series. Despite getting the respect in the market -- Golden State is listed as the title favorites at WynnBET-- I think there are plenty of reasons to be concerned around the Warriors Championship aspirations.

For starters, the team struggles protecting the ball and generating turnovers this postseason. The team is 12th in turnover rate and are 10th in forcing TO's. 

This can be problematic against Doncic and the Mavericks, who are playing at the third slowest pace in the postseason. If the Warriors aren't going to cause turnovers and are careless when they have the ball, a lower possession game can get away from them when a player like Doncic can hunt mismatches. 

The Warriors may look to deploy their offensive powerhouse lineup of Stephen Curry, Jordan Poole, Klay Thompson and two other forwards to counter the Mavericks 5-out offense. However, that lineup hasn't been as successful as the highlights may make it seem. 

That 3-man lineup has compiled a -2.1 net rating in 129 minutes per and has the fourth worst defensive rating of any 3 man Warriors lineup that has played more than 100 minutes in the postseason, allowing at 108.1 points per 100 possessions. 

Doncic will be able to hunt mismatches against any of those three (Thompson has looked slower footed on defense this postseason) and generate good looks for himself and others. Keep an eye on the Mavs' guard ability to get the smaller Curry or Poole on him and initiate contact to get to the free throw line as well. 

Mavericks Defense Able to Defend Warriors

For starters, if Draymond Green is going to continue to not look to score, it lets the Mavericks keep some of their lesser defensive players out there that can spread the floor around Doncic (like Davis Bertans).

Outside of a 14 field goal attempts in Game 6 against the Grizzlies, he averaged less than 4 shots in the first 5 games (including one game he was ejected in). If Green isn't hunting for his shot, the Mavericks can sag off and focus on the more dangerous perimeter threats. 

Overall, the Mavericks found something by running the Suns off the 3-point line, making this a math problem for Phoenix. The Suns were dynamite early in the series from 2-point range, but the Mavericks were taking the shots that tipped the scales in their favor, posting the highest 3-point rate in the playoffs of nearly 50%. 

Dallas can do something similar in this series. Looking at the regular season, the Mavs allowed the 6th lowest 3-point frequency per The team also yielded the 3rd lowest 3P% in the regular season. Meanwhile, the Warriors were bottom third in 3-point frequency allowed, but let up the fourth lowest percentage. 

When to Bet Dallas

You may want to wait before jumping in on the Mavericks as the team is in a difficult spot on Wednesday in Game 1. Teams off of a Game 7 victory are 32-50 dating back to 1989 following the series opener. If you think the Mavs are live to win on the road despite the quick turnaround, now is the time to pounce, but I would save part of my bet in the event they do in fact lose Game 1.

I see post-Game 1 the right time to strike. We saw the Boston Celtics fall off in the second half of Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Finals and we can see a similar outcome at the Chase Center Wednesday. Even if Dallas takes Game 1, there's a chance you are looking at a near pick 'em price on this series, which will be far too low given that the Mavs will have stolen home court.

There are plenty of advantages for Dallas to win this series on both sides of the ball. I think Doncic has the most impact on this series and the Mavericks defense can keep up with the Warriors (the team went 3-1 against the Warriors in the regular season if you subscribe to that type of content as predictive), and he can hunt mismatches en route to victories. If the Warriors don't clean up their turnover issues on both ends, Doncic will propel the Mavs to another victory. 

People are giving Golden State unwarranted praise after beating outmatched opponents. While I think more value will show after Game 1, the Mavs are primed to win this series in a matchup that is closer than this line indicated. 

PICK: Mavericks to Win Series +185

You can find all of Reed's bets HERE!