Yahoo Sports' Zach Schwartz makes his bets for the August 25 slate of games.
ZACH SCHWARTZ: As these sweeps are happening, we're starting to whittle down the NBA playoff field. So here are my picks for today's slate of games. First and foremost, getting the Nuggets at a plus number seems somewhat insane to me. The series has gotten closer, that is true, and the Jazz have been playing very, very well down the stretch.
I do think the Nuggets are the better team, and I do think you'll start to see Nikola Jokic step up as he answers the call of people questioning some of his abilities in these last few games. And you'll see another big game from Jamal Murray. And I do think the Nuggets will begin to shift and skew their defense to try to slow down the point performance that's being put up by Donovan Mitchell.
So taking the Nuggets at plus 3, incredibly intriguing in my opinion, getting them at a plus number doesn't seem like something that was going to happen a ton as this series opened. But here we are. The second bet that I have circled is the Dallas Mavericks at plus 6 and 1/2. Nothing gave me more joy than that Luka step back the other day to seal the win for the Mavericks.
I really do believe the Mavericks are just a fearless team. And seeing what Luka can do at such a young age has been completely incredible. If the Mavs have Porzingis back, definitely be betting the Mavs moneyline. If Porzingis is unavailable, go ahead and take that plus 6 and 1/2 number.
If Porzingis is available and you're somewhat weary of the Mavericks, still, I think the 6 and 1/2 number is worth betting. But if they do have-- if they do have KP, go ahead and take the Mavs at plus 210. Without Kristaps Porzingis, I think it's a safer bet to take the plus 6 and 1/2.
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