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NBA Best Bets for Dec. 27: How to bet Mavericks vs Blazers

Jalen Brunson

Jalen Brunson

Dennis Schneidler-USA TODAY Sports

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Mavericks (-1.5) at Blazers: 212.5

COVID is starting to impact spreads and totals at a rapid rate and this is one game where both teams feel the effects,

Luka Doncic has been out for Dallas (COVID), but he is far from the only one. For Portland, the same can be said for its roster that should have eight players available tonight pending Damian Lillard, who is questionable with personal issues.

Portland is also without Jusuf Nurkic, Cody Zeller, Robert Covington, Dennis Smith Jr. Ben McLemore and Tremont Waters -- all due to COVID protocols. CJ McCollum is out due to pneumothorax, so Lillard’s availability is crucial if you want to back the Blazers.

Dallas is down Doncic, Reggie Bullock, Tim Hardaway, Josh Green, Maxi Kleber and Willy Cauley-Stein because of league COVID protocols. The Mavericks still have the 1-2 punch of Jalen Brunson and Kristaps Porzingis.

Lillard is questionable tonight for a personal reason and if he is out, then Dallas is the play here. The Mavs are 4-1 ATS and 5-0 on the ML as road favorites this year, per NBC’s Edge Finder.

The Mavericks beat the Raptors, Pelicans, Thunder and Spurs twice.

Mavericks as road fav

Mavericks as road fav

Remember when Portland was so good at home? Well, regression hit hard because they lost six straight at home before beating the Hornets on the 17th.

Portland is 9-8-1 ATS at home this year, going 1-5 ATS in the past six.

POR at home

POR at home

The Blazers have not played since Dec. 21 having a meeting with the Nets cancelled due to COVID. This is a favorable rest spot for Portland since Dallas played Utah on Christmas.

However, in the past five games, Dallas is 1-4 SU losing to the Lakers in OT, Timberwolves, Bucks and Jazz -- all by six or fewer points. Without Doncic, they have carried their weight and I expect that to happen again if Lillard is out.

If Lillard is in, this is a no-bet for me, but without him, I like the chances Dallas reaches 6-0 on the ML as a road favorite.

Pick: Mavericks ML (1u)

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