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The San Antonio Spurs and rookie No. 1 overall pick Victor Wembanyama open their NBA season by hosting the Dallas Mavericks at the Frost Bank Center on Thursday at 1:30 a.m. GMT (Wednesday, 9:30 p.m. ET). Wembanyama, one of the most hyped and highly graded draft picks in history, will take on star guards Luka Doncic and Kyrie Irving.
San Antonio Spurs vs Dallas Mavericks game predictions
- 1 San Antonio Spurs vs Dallas Mavericks game predictions
- 2 Spurs vs Mavericks preview – how will Wembanyama fare in debut?
- 3 Key game details
The Mavericks are 3.5-point favorites, and the game total is set at 229.5.
Prediction 1: Wembanyama over 24.5 pts, reb and ast @ -130 (1.77)
The first thing that stands out about this line is Bet365 listing the Frenchman’s total at 24.5 (-130). Just about every other book is listing his total at 26.5, so the line is extremely valuable. Caesars features him at -131 to hit the over 26.5 mark.
For context on how valuable the line is, both Bovada and BetOnline have Wembanyama at -193 (65.87% implied odds) to have at least 25 combined points, rebounds and assists.
During the preseason, Wembanyama averaged 25.5 points, rebounds and assists despite playing just 21 minutes per game. Gregg Popovich and the organization weren’t going to risk injuring the face of their franchise in meaningless games.
Now that it’s the regular season, Wembanyama should play around 30 minutes, especially in his home debut. Even if he were to play slightly under, he should still surpass the total.
ESPN’s analytical model is projecting the 19-year-old to play about 32.7 minutes per game this season and average 19.9 points, 9.5 rebounds and 2.5 assists, which equates to a total of 31.9 (7.4 more than Bet365’s total).
Numberfire’s model predicts Wembanyama will play about 32.8 minutes versus Dallas and record 27.7 combined points, rebounds and assists.
The most Wembanyama played in any of his four preseason games was 23 minutes against the Miami Heat (Oct. 13), and he tallied 23 points, 4 rebounds and 4 assists (31 combined total).
BettingPros is projecting him to have 22.6 points and assists, so just a couple of rebounds should easily put him over the total.
Prediction 2: Jeremy Sochan over 13.5 pts and ast @ -115 (1.87)
The 6-foot-8 power forward has been playing point guard for the Spurs during the preseason and is expected to once again do so against the Mavs. The experiment may or may not last long, but he will earn plenty of minutes, especially after being selected to the NBA All-Rookie Second Team after last campaign.
The Baylor product finished the 2022-2023 season strong, averaging 16.7 points in the month of March. Sochan scored 13 or more points in seven of his last eight regular-season appearances. He averaged 18.9 combined points and assists in March and 14.3 in February.
With the 20-year-old lining up at point guard rather than power forward, his 2.5 assists per game average will likely increase.
Numberfire’s model is predicting Sochan to play 30.2 minutes against Dallas and record around 11.8 points and 3.3 assists (15.3 pts+ast), which is 1.8 more than the 13.5 total provided by Bovada (-115) and Caesars (-133).
The line is an excellent price at -115 to hit the over, thanks to other books listing his total at 14.5.
These American and decimal odds were correct at the time of writing.
Spurs vs Mavericks preview – how will Wembanyama fare in debut?
Among the public, 57% of tickets are on the Spurs to cover the spread, and 64% of the money is on them to win outright.
San Antonio news, injuries, and predicted starting lineup
The Spurs finished 15th in the Western Conference with a 22-60 record in 2022-2023.
Spurs injury report
C Zach Collins (illness) is questionable.
San Antonio predicted starting lineup:
PG: Jeremy Sochan
SG: Devin Vassell
SF: Keldon Johnson
PF: Victor Wembanyama
C: Zach Collins
Dallas news, injuries, and predicted starting lineup
The Mavs finished 11th in the Western Conference with a 38-44 record in 2022-2023.
Mavericks injury report
PG Luka Doncic (calf) is day-to-day but expected to start.
Dallas predicted starting lineup:
PG: Luka Doncic
SG: Kyrie Irving
SF: Josh Green
PF: Grant Williams
C: Dereck Lively II
Spurs vs Mavericks head-to-head record
Dallas led the head-to-head series 3-1 last campaign.
Key game details
- Date & Time: Thursday Oct. 26th, 2023 at 1:30 a.m. GMT
- Venue: Frost Bank Center, San Antonio, TX
- Where to watch match in the UK: NBA TV, Sky Sports, BBC
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