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First-overall pick Victor Wembenyama will make his NBA debut on Wednesday as the San Antonio Spurs host the Dallas Mavericks in an in-state showdown.
The Mavericks capitulated after trading for Kyrie Irving around the midpoint of last season and failed to make the playoffs just one year after they reached the Western Conference Finals. On the other side, the Spurs only won 22 games and had the worst record in the entire Western Conference.
With Luka Doncic entering the year as one of the top MVP favorites and Wembenyama already being called a Hall of Famer in wait, this is the game to see on Wednesday. As we continue, we’ll react to betting odds and share our best bets for the matchup.
Luka is questionable with a calf problem and said that he won’t force himself to play if he isn’t ready. His status will heavily influence the betting odds, which are as follows as of Wednesday morning.
|Dallas Mavericks||-3.5 (-112)||-162||Over 229.5 (-110)|
|San Antonio Spurs||-3.5 (-108)||+136||Under 229.5 (-110)|
The Mavs blew a golden opportunity last season and ultimately ended up tanking as Luka and Kyrie Irving sat out the final few games of the year. The pair are back in the backcourt together to start the year but are surrounded by players who aren’t as proven as other would-be contenders in the West.
Grant Wiliams was the team’s marquee offseason acquisition and will start alongside rookie Dereck Lively II and Josh Green. Tim Hardaway Jr. will lead the shock troops for a team that has a very defined system of playing slowly, shooting threes, and using either one of their superstar guards to create for their teammates.
The Spurs are going to be a fun team to watch, even if they are bad once again. Wembenyama used the Summer League and preseason to show that he can score at all three levels, can handle the ball, and can even set up teammates with nice passes.
Devin Vassell and Keldon Johnson averaged 40.5 points between them last year and are second and third in the pecking order in San Antonio. Both are young and athletic and would be welcomed onto contending teams, but the jury is out on them being the second and third-best players on a team that does any better than reaching the play-in tournament.
The Mavs have won nine of their last 10 matchups with the Spurs. We advise all bettors to check Doncic’s health status before placing their best, or waiting until an update is revealed.
It’s the first game of the year for two teams that missed the playoffs last year. It’s hard to predict exactly what they will look like, the Mavs because of their rapid fall from grace and the Spurs because their best player has never played a second in an NBA regular-season game.
The Mavs are going to test Wembenyama’s ability to switch onto the perimeter. Doncic and Irving are as shifty and tough to guard 30 feet from the basket as anybody in the league, and they can shoot, attack the lane, or kick it out to their teammates in the corner.
That said, the pair will have their defensive intensity and interest tested all season long. They’re also relying on Lively II to give them great defensive minutes just like he did at Duke.
Ultimately, our favorite bet—assuming Doncic plays—is the Mavericks’ spread. They’re the superior team and should have the two best players on the court.
We also like Wmebenyama over 1.5 assists as a player prop. He only hit the over one time in four preseason games but played limited minutes and will be let off the leash now that the season started. He already has a couple of highlight-reel assists and can put the ball on the floor when attacking the rim, and he’ll have open teammates to pass to as opponents heavily shade over to him.
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.More info on Grant Mitchell
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