Houston Rockets vs. Dallas Mavericks Odds, Picks and Preview - 10/26/2021

by Chuck Sommers

Time: 8:30 p.m. ET
Venue: American Airlines Center, Dallas, TX
Where to watch: AT&T SportsNet-SW, Bally Sports Dallas

Opening Odds at USA Sportsbooks


DraftKings: Mavericks -11; O/U 220.5; Mavs -675, Rockets +475
BetMGM: NL
Caesars: Mavs -11; O/U 220.5; Mavs -700, Rockets +475

Season record
Rockets: 1-2
Mavericks: 1-1

Sean Murphy cleaned up shop last week with a 5-0 start to the NBA season, and he’ll look to keep it going heading into a much more loaded slate of games. Catch Sean’s and other plays available right now at the Shop Picks page, where you can find all of the Best Bets from our champion sports handicappers. 

Rockets - Mavericks preview and analysis


Recent form
Rockets: lost 107-97 vs. Celtics on Sunday
Mavericks: won 103-95 at Raptors on Saturday

The Dallas Mavericks have chosen to be the weird team through the first week of the NBA season.

After falling behind 16-2 on Saturday against the Toronto Raptors on the road, the Mavericks rallied back to win by eight for the first win of the Jason Kidd era.

Now the Mavericks will come home for the first time this season to face the Houston Rockets on Tuesday in a contrasting battle between Southwest Division rivals going in different directions.

Dallas rallied after trailing by seven in the first quarter. After not hitting shots through their season opener at the Atlanta Hawks on Thursday, the Mavs hit only 41 percent of their shots Saturday but held the Raptors to just 40 percent.

Luka Doncic finished one rebound shy of a triple-double with 27 points, 12 assists and nine rebounds, but the key was Tim Hardaway Jr. scoring 25 points and hitting seven threes for a much-needed win for the Mavs’ championship aspirations.

"Our defense wasn't the best in the first half," Doncic said on Saturday. "In the second half we stayed together, we picked it up, not like the first game. I think that was the key."

The Dallas offense is still a work-in-progress with Rick Carlisle’s spread, no-play program still showing some rust. How that impacts Doncic’s way of the pick-and-roll is going to be something to watch going forward. Right now, the frontcourt of Kristaps Porzingis and Dwight Powell is a defensive liability, especially with Powell at center. There may be more of WIllie Cauley-Stein in their future.

But one way to get the Mavs into a groove in the Kidd system is to face those teams that are likely ending up at the bottom of the standings. And that’s what the Rockets are, despite a strong effort against the struggling Boston Celtics on Sunday, losing by 10. 

The Rockets have chosen to move on without John Wall, and the decision to go with the youth movement in the backcourt is paying dividends. Jalen Green scored a career-high 30 points on 11 of 18 shooting and 8 of 10 from 3, while Kevin Porter Jr. also chipped in with 15 points in the loss.

"I'm not trying to force anything," Green said. "Obviously, I want to win over anything, and if that's me going to get 30 or 9 or 15 or 20, I will do whatever it takes."

Seeing the Rockets at the bottom of the standings since last season has just been weird. Watching a Mavs-Rockets game without James Harden in it is also just wild. The matchup, at least for now, isn’t as enticing as it used to be.

Prediction


The playoffs were a stark reminder that American Airlines Center can be wild for Mavs games. After that slow start in the last game, Tuesday night should see the Mavs fired up for their home opener. Dallas gets an easy win with a very solid night from Doncic. Mavs by 20

Betting trends


The Rockets are 14-40 ATS in the last three seasons following games against non-conference opponents.

Houston is 6-16 ATS following a home loss by 10 points or more in its last 22 games.

Houston is 8-20 ATS after not scoring 100 points in the previous game.

The Mavericks are 64-37 straight up as a home favorite in the past three seasons.

Dallas, which won the Southwest Division last season, is 15-11 ATS against division opponents the past three seasons.

Projected starting lineup


Rockets:
PG: Kevin Porter Jr.
SG: Jalen Green
SF:
Jae’Sean Tate
PF:
Daniel Theis
C:
Christian Wood

Mavericks:
PG: Luka Doncic
SG: Tim Hardaway Jr.
SF:
Dorian Finney-Smith
PF:
Kristaps Porzingis
C:
Dwight Powell

Statistical leaders


Rockets:
Points: Christian Wood -- 22.3
Rebounds: Christian Wood -- 10.7
Assists: Kevin Porter -- 5.3
Blocks: Christian Wood -- 1.3
Steals: Alperen Sengun -- 2.3

Mavericks:
Points: Luka Doncic -- 22.5
Rebounds: Luka Doncic -- 10.0
Assists: Luka Doncic -- 9.5
Blocks: Kristaps Porzingis -- 3.0
Steals: Dorian Finney-Smith -- 1.5

Don't miss our champion handicappers' free picks and expert basketball picks today. And if you enjoyed this Houston Rockets - Dallas Mavericks prediction, be sure to drop by every day for our daily NBA projections and previews.

Chuck Sommers

About the Author:

Chuck Sommers has camped outside of sportsbooks since he can remember, learning the tricks and nuances of the trade. He still has nightmares of betting $5,000 on the Raiders in the Tuck Rule game but has since turned that to 25 years of veteran handicapping greatness. You can find him mostly in the shadows at the Red Rock or Aliante casinos wondering if the over is cashing on any given Sunday.

All photographic images used for editorial content have been licensed from the Associated Press.

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