Finding Value In Warriors-Mavs Western Conference Finals

Written By Eli Hershkovich on May 18, 2022 - Last Updated on May 23, 2022
NBA Betting

The 2022 Western Conference Finals begin on Wednesday night. Below is my NBA betting plan for Warriors-Mavericks — from a single-game and series perspective. Click the odds below to place a bet.

NBA Finals Promo - Bet $10 Win $200
Bet $10
Win $200
New Customers Only
NBA Finals Promo: Bet $10 Win $200
If Any Team Hits a 3-Pointer
To Claim: Click Play Now

NBA Betting: Warriors-Mavs’ Series Odds

Although the news surrounding Marcus Smart (foot) and Al Horford (COVID-19) may alter my Heat-Celtics series approach, I’m expecting a similar to start to the Western Conference finals. Keep in mind, teams coming off a Game 7 win are 32-50 straight-up (39.0%) in the first matchup of the following series.

Despite Dallas’ blowout win over Phoenix in their finale of the semifinals, along with an extra day of rest in comparison to Boston, there were still a handful of physical games overall. Therefore, Luka Doncic & Co. could undergo a slow start offensively, especially from behind the arc.

The Suns primarily run a drop pick-and-roll coverage, allowing the Mavs’ perimeter attack to space the floor to the tune of a blistering 40.0% clip in the series. In particular, Doncic’s prowess for creating off of the bounce was the difference.

Nevertheless, the Warriors exhibit a switching defense — especially with their small-ball lineup — which won’t produce nearly as many clean looks for Doncic’s running mates. They’ve even yielded the league’s lowest open 3-point rate (via ShotQuality).

While Dallas’ offense efficiency in the postseason (1.15 points per possession) sits a tick above Golden State, Steve Kerr and his staff will likely be the first take away the 3-point line. With that said, there isn’t enough value in the Game 1 spread to bet on the home favorite.

Why Dallas Could Pull Off NBA Betting Upset

Expect Jason Kidd’s ball pressure-packed defense to give the Warriors issues over the course of the series, though. In the regular season, Golden State tallied the second-highest turnover rate (15.0%) — behind only the Rockets — and it’s increased by almost a full percentage point in the playoffs.

A perfect example of that is Memphis, as its swarming coverage improved significantly against Kerr’s offense in the Western Conference semifinals after Ja Morant (knee) went down.

Dallas should also pre-switch Doncic before Steph Curry and his fellow shooters expose him with their ball-screen sets, employing them at the most frequent rate in the NBA. On the flip side, the Mavs could unmask Curry’s susceptible defense in the same fashion as they did with Chris Paul. That was a constant factor in Paul wearing down in a few of their second halves.

Arguably the most critical factor will be Dallas’ transition defense, which is surrendering the lowest fast-break scoring frequency in the postseason (41.7%). A key to that success has been their ability to slow down the overall tempo. Look for the Mavs to establish just that as the series moves along, assuming they turn the Warriors over enough.

In the end, my NBA betting card will include a Game 2 spread bet on Dallas, as long as it falls behind, and a likely a series wager too. I’ll take my shot with Doncic asserting himself if the proper adjustments are made.

Continue the discussion in our Discord betting chat, where bettors discuss all of their favorite NBA futures bets and daily wagers. You can also follow TheLines on Twitter.

Exclusive Sportsbook Promos And Bonus Codes

UP TO $1,050 FREE
New User Bonus. T&Cs Apply.
UFC 276 Optin Promo: Bet $5, Get $100
PLUS $50 Free On Deposit
PLUS Up to $1,000 Deposit Bonus
To Claim: Click Bet Now
Risk Free Bet
Up to $1,500 Risk Free Bet
Weekly Odds Boosts
Use Promo Code: LEGAL15
No Sweat First Bet
Up to $1,000 in Free Bets if You Lose Your First Bet
Available on iOS, Android & Desktop
To Claim: Click Bet Now
Risk Free Bet
Exclusive Offer:
$100 Risk Free Bet
Use Promo Code: BETBONUS

Eli Hershkovich Avatar
Written by
Eli Hershkovich

Eli Hershkovich is a lead sports betting writer with TheLines and Catena Media, formerly with Audacy and The Action Network. His goal is to provide you with data and information to lead you to winning bets. Eli is an avid college basketball gambler — among many other sports — and still hasn't forgiven Virginia for ruining his 2018-2019 Texas Tech futures.

View all posts by Eli Hershkovich