Milwaukee at Dallas -6.5 O/U 201.5
Style dynamic has changed for the Mavs over the past couple of games with the absence of starting PG Deron Williams (hamstring) and the insertion of backup J.J. Barea. Barea’s constant attacking, up-tempo mentality has resulted in a pair of monster individual efforts and 118.5 points per game for Dallas. If we exclude the overtime session in their 119-118 win at Brooklyn on Friday night, Dallas games have produced 216 and 229 total points with Barea running the offense. Tonight’s matchup versus the methodical and size advantaged Milwaukee Bucks figures to be another where Barea pushes pace again. Half court sets could be somewhat difficult for the smallish Dallas guard trio of Barea, Raymond Felton and Devin Harris who will be opposed by 6-6 Michael Carter-Williams, 6-7 Khris Middleton and 6-5 O.J. Mayo. The offensive fundamentals in the matchup seem to work for each side as the Mavs quick tempo and front court shooting of SF Chandler Parsons and PF Dirk Nowitzki are conducive to point production as are the height and size advantages all over the floor for Milwaukee. Interior scorers C Greg Monroe, PF Jabari Parker and SF Giannis Antetokounmpo all create problems for Dallas as do the previously mentioned guard matchups where smaller Dallas defenders may be taken down to the block. Last season’s results between these teams resulted in 107-105 and 125-102 finals which easily went over the 206 and 210 closers and the personnel on each side remains basically the same for this game. Feel like the push to 201.5 off of the opener of 198.5 is warranted in this case especially since these teams are on a day of rest. Bucks road games have gone 9-7 over the total this season while Mavs are only 4-9 but 1-0 with Barea as the starting point. Handicap points toward a game in the 205-210 range so expect this one to exceed the posted total.