This week for the TNT double-header, there will be a slate full of Western Conference teams looking to continue their pursuit of a strong playoff seed to best prepare them for the postseason. All four have realistic shots at the playoffs and all four should be looking for a win after each has had their fair share of trials and tribulations.

First, the Dallas Mavericks and the Golden State Warriors will clash in Dallas as both look to better their less-than-stellar records. Golden State is currently sitting at ninth in the Western Conference at 11-10. Similarly, Dallas is 9-10 which has them all the way outside of the play-in tournament at 11th in the Western Conference. Both teams have talent and desire to play their way into the playoffs and go on a deep run, but both need to work out the kinks before they can hope to beat the best of the best with the season on the line.

Following that matchup is another potential Western Conference playoff matchup between the upstart Portland Trail Blazers at home hosting the Los Angeles Clippers. Just as in the first game of the double-header, both of these teams have the talent and desire to be in the postseason as the season winds to a close, but they are fighting through issues on multiple fronts. Portland is 11-9 this season which is good for seventh in the Western Conference, but their statistical outlook is not promising. The Clippers are holding strong as the fifth seed in the Western Conference at 12-9, but they also have clear problems to solve before they can unlock the best version of themselves.

Let’s dive into both games.

Dallas Mavericks vs Golden State Warriors 

Tuesday, 10/25 at 5:30pm MST on TNT in Dallas

Both of these teams share one common issue; winning games on the road. The Warriors are 11-10 and of those 10 losses, nine have come away from Chase Center. The same can be said about the Mavericks, who are 9-10 on the year with seven of those losses coming away from Dallas against just one win.

Both teams also share one common trait that is encouraging; both have shown strong offensive potential even if the edges are still rough. The Warriors are ninth in offensive rating at 113.6 while the Mavericks are 12th in offensive rating at 112.8 which should mean that this game is on its way to being a shootout.

The Warriors defense has been inconsistent which has hurt their bottom line, but really this comes down to their inability to win on the road to begin the year. Golden State is shooting just 45.7% from the field and 34.2% from three-point range on the road this year and they also are far worse in assist totals, rebound totals, steal totals, and block totals. To add salt to the wound, the Warriors also turn the ball over more often on the road. There is not a statistical category in which the Warriors are thriving when on the road. All of those difficulties will be put to the test in Dallas.

The Mavericks are not faring much better. They are on a four-game losing streak and they just waived Facundo Campazzo to signed Kemba Walker with the hopes of adding better guard play to alleviate some pressure on Luka Doncic.

Still, the Mavericks have a strong statistical profile. They are 12th in both offensive rating (112.8) and defensive rating (110.9) which equates to ninth in net rating (+1.9) across the league. Additionally, nine of their 10 losses have come by single digits. Yes, there are clear issues fitting their core pieces together and not falling off a cliff on one end of the floor, but despite all of their problems, they are still close to being one of the better teams in the Western Conference.

DraftKings Odds

  • This game is already a toss up according to DraftKings Sportsbook. There is no line for the game and both teams are -110 on the money line to win. Be wary of this one. Toss up games like this rarely bring great value to bettors, but if someone is determined to choose a side, betting on Dallas to win at home is the safest bet.
  • That being said, the point total being at 225.5 according to DraftKings Sportsbook feels like a safe bet to take the over. Golden State is not stopping anyone; especially Luka Doncic. Inversely, the Mavericks will have little hope of slowing Curry. This should be a shootout of a game.

Portland Trail Blazers vs Los Angeles Clippers

Tuesday, 10/25 at 8pm MST on TNT in Portland

Both the Clippers (12-9, fifth in the Western Conference) and the Trail Blazers (11-9, seventh in the Western Conference) have found a way to secure wins, but their teams are far from complete and ready for the playoffs. Both have quite a bit of work to do.

The Trail Blazers, despite being on the verge of pushing themselves out of the play-in tournament and into the sixth seed, are not great on either end of the floor. Their 112.3 offensive rating is just 16th in the league and their defensive rating of 111.8 is just 18th. That drags their net rating of -0.6 down to 19th across the NBA. Statistically, they are not much more than another middling team. To make things worse, Damian Lillard is dealing with another injury and is likely to be out against the Clippers as well. Anfernee Simons has done well, but Portland needs Lillard to be healthy to win regularly. Gary Payton II has also remained out as well and is not likely to return against Los Angeles.

The Clippers, despite being fifth in the Western Conference at 12-9, have the second-worst offense in the league ahead of just the completely inept Charlotte Hornets. Despite their horrid offensive output, they have been a defensive stalwart of a team. Their defensive rating of 107.6 is second-best in the league and is helping keep the Clippers in the chase.

Both Paul George and Luke Lennard will be out until sometime in early December and Kawhi Leonard is still a game-time decision as well. Injuries have destroyed the Clippers ability to score regularly, but even without George and Leonard so often, their defense has remained strong.

DraftKings Odds

  • Maybe I am just missing something, but how is Simons +8000 according to DraftKings Sportsbook to win Most Improved Player? Despite the massive load he has been asked to shoulder, his efficiency nearly mirrors his career marks. He is scoring nearly six points more per game than last season and the rest of his numbers are all the best of his career in assists per game (4.3), rebounds per game (3.1), steals per game (1), and his turnovers are at virtually the same level they were at last season.