Quick Bit: The Mavericks built a deeper team around Luka Doncic heading into the 2023-24 season, but could Doncic’s stats take a hit with a better supporting cast? We break down his MVP odds and best over/under season-long prop bets on SuperDraft.

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Everything’s bigger in Texas — except for the Mavericks’ expectations. The 2022-23 Mavs fell short of building on a promising campaign the season before, failing to make the playoffs. It was a year characterized by the over-reliance on Luka Doncic, the absence of a second star, and the painfully slow pace at which the team operated. 

Now the Mavs roll on to 2023-24, hoping their investment in Kyrie Irving doesn’t backfire as it has for just about every other team that once employed him. We’ll give the Mavs credit for one thing — they realized the lack of talent, depth, and defense couldn’t be present on a team eyeing success. Mark Cuban invested in his group, but much like those years on “Shark Tank,” not everyone will become a winner. Just like any company, it starts at the top. Doncic will have to return to form after falling off at the end of last season. He’ll have to find a way to coexist with Irving, navigating an offense that features two ball-dominant, isolation-heavy players. 

Often, figuring out how to bet a team in a given season can be tricky. Sometimes, you just don’t want to invest money in a market that won’t see results for a few months. We get it — having patience in a world built on instant gratification can be tough. So, let this serve as an outlook on the Dallas Mavericks in 2023-24. Thanks to SuperDraft, we have the chance to give you our take on Doncic’s season before it even begins on Wednesday, Oct. 25 in San Antonio. 

Spoiler: We think Dallas (and Doncic) could be in line for a good season, but it’s not for the reason you might think. Let’s look at Doncic’s MVP odds and get into the two best Doncic bets on SuperDraft’s season-long prop market.

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Luka Doncic NBA MVP odds 2023-24

Odds from BetMGM

Nikola Jokic
Giannis Antetokounmpo
Luka Doncic
Jayson Tatum
Joel Embiid
Kevin Durant
Stephen Curry
Shai Gilgeous-Alexander
Devin Booker
Damian Lillard

Is Luka Doncic a good MVP bet this season?

There’s a reason that Doncic has the third-best odds to win MVP this season — his team is set up perfectly for it. He’s the clear No. 1, and whether you like it or not, he’ll get all the credit (or blame) for his team’s successes and failures.

Just as in every other league, NBA MVP is partially a narrative award. Doncic has a few narratives going against him, including his tendency to argue every call that goes against him and his desire to play isolation-heavy basketball.

However, it’s also important to remember that the Mavs’ star has been named First-Team All-NBA four times. He’s one of the game’s brightest stars and best stat-stuffers, and perhaps playing more of a team game will help him more than simply setting career highs in points, rebounds, and assists (more on that below). On top of that, voter fatigue is a real thing that comes into play with past MVP winners Nikola Jokic, Giannis Antetokounmpo, and maybe even Joel Embiid, leaving Doncic as arguably the best player on the board without an MVP.

Dallas needs a top-four seed to give Doncic any chance of winning, which won’t be easy, but there are worse players to invest in. In a world where we sprinkle some cash on a few players to win MVP, it would be hard to leave Doncic off that list given his +600 odds.

Our pick: Bet on it

Best Luka Doncic prop bets 2023-24

Props available on SuperDraft

UNDER 30.6 average points per game

This might come across as an anti-Doncic take, but it’s hard to expect the Mavericks’ star to replicate his 2022-23 PPG production. It was the first time in his career that Doncic averaged more than 30 points, checking in at 32.4. In the four previous seasons, here’s how that compares (in order from rookie season): 21.2, 28.8, 27.7, 28.4. The difference last season was the Mavs’ lack of options, forcing Doncic to carry the team offensively for most of the year after the departures of Jalen Brunson and Kristaps Porzingis. Things changed around the trade deadline when Dallas acquired Kyrie Irving from the Nets. Suddenly Doncic had a co-star again, seeing his PPG average drop from 33.4 to 30.9 after Irving arrived. 

Fast forward to this season, where Irving remains and the team is improved, at least on paper. In theory, Doncic won’t have to do as much, and considering how he broke down at the end of last season, Dallas can’t afford for that to be the case either. The Mavericks are already limiting Doncic’s minutes in preseason due to a calf strain, and that will likely carry over to the early portion of the season. Inflation might be all everyone wants to talk about with the economy, but we believe it also leaked into NBA player props. This Doncic line is exhibit A. With some help on the roster once again and likely reduction in minutes, history repeats itself. Invest in the UNDER. 

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UNDER 8.4 average rebounds per game

Investing in size and defense was an obvious point of emphasis from the Mavs standpoint this offseason. Drafting Dereck Lively II and Olivier-Maxence Prosper in the first round along with trading for Richaun Holmes and Grant Williams should go a long way in solving that problem. All of those players bring some combination of size, athleticism, rebounding, defense, and attitude. It’s a big improvement over starting Dwight Powell at center and hoping for the best. With better depth and a more balanced rotation, Doncic won’t have to do it all this season. 

As a result, we don’t expect him to have to clean the glass as much in 2023-24 (outside of maybe landing a Windex sponsorship). With plenty of help to do the dirty work on the boards, Dallas should be able to push the pace a little more with guards leaking out in transition. For one of the slowest teams, ranked third worst in pace last season, it could be a huge boost to the Mavericks’ season outlook if they find their way to get some easy buckets instead of simply relying on their traditional half-court offense. As the Mavs are more judicious with Doncic’s minutes, look for him to post RPG numbers closer to 2020-21 (8.0) than last season (8.6).

Originally found on Sporting News Read More

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