Mavs’ Kyrie Irving/Luka Doncic experiment not yet working

The Phoenix Suns’ blockbuster trade for Kevin Durant eclipsed the other mega-deal before the trade deadline, when the Dallas Mavericks added Kyrie Irving.

The Mavericks were supposed to be at least dangerous with Irving playing alongside Luka Doncic. They were rather a disappointment.

The Mavericks have lost five of six. Dallas is also 1-5 ATS in that streak. They are currently the No. 7 seed, in danger of being in the play-in tournament. This is not the return they wanted.

The Mavericks are the 3.5-point favorites at BetMGM for Thursday’s game against the Philadelphia 76ers. The 76ers played in Miami on Wednesday night. It’s a good place for the Mavericks, and they need it.

There have been some tight losses for Dallas in this cold spell. Three losses have come by three runs or less. A bunch of close losses in a row is usually bad luck. But it’s also a Mavs team that doesn’t live up to expectations.

The Mavericks, unsurprisingly, have been very good on offense and poor on defense with Irving in the lineup. It will be part of their profile, just like the Brooklyn Nets with Irving.

It’s time for Dallas to get things done. Irving has only played seven games with his new team, and the Mavs have more than a month to figure things out before the playoffs start. But so far, it’s not working out the way Dallas hoped.

Kyrie Irving (2) and Luka Doncic (77) are on a losing streak for the Dallas Mavericks.  (Photo: Darren Yamashita-USA TODAY Sports)

Kyrie Irving (2) and Luka Doncic (77) are on a losing streak for the Dallas Mavericks. (Photo: Darren Yamashita-USA TODAY Sports)

Here’s a first look at the rest of the sports betting slate for Thursday:

A lightweight NBA slate

There are only four NBA games on Thursday night. The best, other than maybe the 76ers-Mavericks, is the Golden State Warriors versus the Los Angeles Clippers. The Clippers are 3.5-point road favorites against the Warriors, who are still uninjured Steph Curry.

A big place for Purdue

There are four games involving the top 25 college basketball teams, and the biggest is Purdue in Wisconsin. Purdue looked like a lock as the No. 1 seed but then lost four of six. The Boilermakers are still the No. 1 seed in most fictional brackets, but a loss at Wisconsin on Thursday could change that. Purdue is a 4.5 point favorite. Wisconsin is a bubble team this season and historically good at home, but it’s a hot spot for Purdue.

Big NHL night

There are 10 NHL games on Thursday. The best game of the night might be the Toronto Maple Leafs against the Calgary Flames. The Leafs are slight -115 favorites on the road.

What is the best bet?

Let’s move on to the Pac-12 for Arizona-USC. USC is a 2.5 point home favorite and I’ll take the Trojans for points. Arizona is very good but has suffered two bad losses to Stanford and Arizona State in their last four games and USC hasn’t lost at home since an odd game-long loss to Gulf Coast Florida. season opener on November 7. USC should be a solid house dog.

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