Nuggets vs. Mavericks NBA expert prediction and odds for Sunday, March 17 (Trust Denver?)

Betting odds, pick and prediction for the Denver Nuggets' matchup with the Dallas Mavericks on Sunday.

Denver Nuggets center Nikola Jokic (15) controls the ball.
Denver Nuggets center Nikola Jokic (15) controls the ball. / Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports

The Denver Nuggets are on the road – and favored – against a Western Conference playoff hopeful in the Dallas Mavericks on Sunday. 

Dallas lost star Luka Doncic to a hamstring injury on Wednesday, and he missed the team’s game against Oklahoma City (a seven-point loss) on Thursday. With two more days to rest up, Doncic is questionable for this matinee matchup with Denver. 

These teams have faced off twice this season with Denver winning both games by double digits. Yet, the team is favored by just 3.5 points on the road in this one. 

If Doncic ists, the Mavs may be in trouble, as they are just 3-6 without him in the 2023-24 campaign. 

Let’s dive into the odds and my best bet for this matchup: 

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Nuggets vs. Mavericks odds, spread and total

Nuggets vs. Mavericks how to watch

  • Date: Sunday, March 17
  • Time: 3:30 p.m. EST
  • Venue: American Airlines Center
  • How to watch (TV): ABC
  • Nuggets record: 47-20
  • Mavericks record: 38-29

Nuggets vs. Mavericks injury reports

Nuggets injury report

  • Vlatko Cancar – out
  • Braxton Key – out
  • Jalen Pickett – out
  • Hunter Tyson – out

Mavs injury report

  • Greg Brown III – out
  • Luka Doncic – questionable
  • Dante Exum – questionable
  • Alex Fudge – out
  • Josh Green – out
  • Brandon Williams – out

Nuggets vs. Mavericks key players to watch

Denver Nuggets

Nikola Jokic:
The two-time MVP has been on another level since the All-Star break, averaging 25.8 points, 13.1 rebounds and 9.8 assists per game over that stretch. While Dallas did add Daniel Gafford to bolster its inside defense at the deadline, Jokic could be in line for a big day against a team that is in the bottom 10 in the league in rebounding percentage. 

Dallas Mavericks

Kyrie Irving: If Doncic can’t play in this game, Irving is going to have to lead the Mavs offense, and he has succeeded in that this season. In six games that he’s played without Luka, Irving is averaging 31.5 points, 7.5 assists and 5.7 rebounds per game. 

Nuggets vs. Mavericks prediction and pick 

Denver has not been great as a road favorite (11-13-1 against the spread), but I think the team could be in line to win this game – and we have a favorable enough price on the moneyline to bet the Nuggets. 

FanDuel Sportsbook has Denver at just -152 on the moneyline – and implied probability of 60.47 percent – yet there’s a chance the team doesn’t have to face Doncic. 

Dallas has struggled as a home dog – going 5-7 against the spread – and the team has not been able to win games without Luka all season. Even if he does play, I wouldn't be shocked to see the Nuggets still favored, which is why I don’t mind taking the moneyline here. 

Denver has won nine of its last 10 and five straight heading into this matchup. I’ll ride with a healthy Nuggets team tonight. 

Game odds refresh periodically and are subject to change.

Find Peter Dewey's NBA betting record here (futures included). You can also follow my daily plays on BetStamp here.