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Mavericks vs. Bulls Prediction: Which Team Will Climb Out of the Play-In?

Written by: Grant Mitchell
Published March 11, 2024
10 min read

The Dallas Mavericks (36-28) are looking to build on back-to-back wins after a tough stretch of games as they face the Chicago Bulls (31-33) in the Windy City on Monday evening. 

The Mavs seemed to have greatly improved their roster with a couple of moves before the trade deadline that inspired them to a seven-game win streak. However, they then lost five of six games and are now stuck in the eighth seed in a highly congested Western Conference.

The Bulls did well to climb out of an early hole but could be stuck in the ninth seed as they are four games behind the eighth-place Miami Heat. That’s despite impressive play from Coby White and Ayo Dosunmu in the absence of the injured Zach LaVine.

Here, we will go over the betting odds and share our favorite pick for the Mavericks vs. Bulls matchup.

Mavericks vs. Bulls Prediction

Mavericks vs. Bulls Betting Odds for Monday, March 11

The Mavs are 34-30 (53.1%) against the spread and, despite only being 17-13 straight-up on the road, are 13-3 (81.3%) ATS as a road favorite.

Chicago is 33-30-1 (52.4%) ATS and 8-5-1 (61.5%) ATS as a home underdog.

Teams Spread Moneyline Total
Dallas Mavericks -4.5 (-105) -190 Over 233.5 (-105)
Chicago Bulls +4.5 (-115) +155 Under 233.5 (-115)

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Mavericks vs. Bulls Prediction

Dallas Mavericks Preview

The Mavs are in a precarious position. They made the Western Conference Finals a couple of years ago but missed the playoffs last season and are still yet to surround Luka Doncic with a great supporting cast. They also owe the Slovenian superstar a ton of money and can’t afford to have another premature exit from the postseason.

Dallas’ recent slump is not a reflection of Luka’s efforts on the offensive end. He just became the first player in NBA history to record four straight 35-point triple-doubles and averaged 37.6 points, 10.8 rebounds, and 10.6 assists for the month thus far.

The Mavericks rank third in points per 100 possessions since the All-Star break, which means that their issue is not putting the ball in the hole—instead, they struggled in the other phases of the game.

The team is 27th in rebound rate and last in defensive efficiency since the intermission, even behind teams such as the Washington Wizards and the Utah Jazz. The most concerning part of this is that they showed signs that they were a strong defensive team after the trades and have the potential to be much better than they have been.

Dallas’ home net rating of +3.2 falls to -2.2 when on the road. They’re also just 4-5 straight-up with a -4.9 net rating since the All-Star break.

The only previous matchup between these two occurred on Nov. 1 in Dallas in the fourth game of the season. The home team won 114-105 despite Kyrie Irving sitting and Doncic only managing 18 points on 5-16 shooting, yet they still went 20-48 from three.

Chicago Bulls Preview

The Bulls are in no-man's land in the ninth spot in the East, but that doesn’t mean that they haven’t shown glimpses of being a team that could potentially cause trouble for a first-round opponent if they’re able to successfully navigate the Play-In Tournament.

In the same way the Mavs’ net rating falls on the road, the Bulls’ increases from -3.4 away from home to +0.3 in their building. Despite that, they’re just 1-3 straight-up with a -7.8 net rating since the All-Star break.

Chicago played at the second-slowest pace for the season as a whole but is up to 17th since the return of regular play. That’s allowed them to become more effective in transition and to take advantage of more mismatches when defenses aren’t set but they still haven’t improved their overall numbers, as they’re 16th in defensive rating and 21st in offensive rating during that time.

DeMar DeRozan upped his play after a slow first few months of his campaign. He averaged 26.8 points, 5.5 assists, and 5.1 rebounds since the start of February, while Ayo Dosunmn and Coby White also provided important guard play. 

Nikola Vucevic also managed at least 22 points and 11 rebounds in three straight games, which could be crucial against a Dallas team that has been atrocious on the boards and on defense.

Regardless of how bad the Mavs’ defense might be, the Bulls are going to need to hit their threes to keep pace on offense. They’re 22nd, shooting just 35% from range since the All-Star break, whereas Dallas is ninth, shooting 37.8%.

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Mavericks vs. Bulls Betting Pick

This matchup is tough to predict. While Dallas is the better team, they have not played well recently and are markedly worse when they go on the road.

Chicago has put impressive stretches of play together but is playing at a new tempo, which has not been great for their defense. They also don’t have the offense to keep pace in the event this game turns into a shootout.

Although it's risky to trust Dallas with the points on the road, that’s our favorite play here. Luka is too hot, and their roster is far more talented than it's shown recently.

How to Watch Mavericks vs. Bulls

  • When: Monday, 7:00/8:00 p.m. CT/ET

  • Where: United Center, Chicago, IL

  • TV: NBA League Pass

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AUTHOR

Grant Mitchell

480 Articles

Grant is a sports and sports betting journalist who prides himself on delivering breaking news and insightful analyses of the industry. Grant graduated from Virginia Tech in 2021 and is feverishly pursuing his ambitions in the sports betting field.

In his free time, Grant can be found passionately watching sports, doing a workout, or searching for adventure with his friends.

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