NBA Betting - No Dirk, No Problem For Double-Digit-Dog Dallas

Dallas Mavericks player in action

Saturday, December 10, 2016 4:33 PM GMT

The Houston Rockets are double-digit favorites for Saturday's game against the (possibly tanking) Dallas Mavericks. Will all this chalk fit into your weekend NBA picks?

Record: 4-0 ATS

Here's a good rule of thumb when you're making NBA picks: If the spread is off by two points or more, you've got a profitable situation on your hands. It works for football, too. We might have one of those situations coming up this Saturday night (8:00 p.m. ET) when the Houston Rockets host the Dallas Mavericks. As we go to press, Houston are 14-point favorites on the NBA odds board, but the statheads at FiveThirtyEight have posted an Elo-based projection of Houston –12. Does this mean the Mavs are the right choice? Let's investigate.


There's been some talk that the Mavericks (5-17 SU, 9-13 ATS) might be tanking the season. Their latest one-year rebuild around PF Dirk Nowitzki (–5.6 BPM) has been rendered moot by Nowitzki's strained Achilles' tendon; he's out indefinitely, and the Mavs are also missing center Andrew Bogut (–0.3 BPM) and PG J.J. Barea (+0.1 BPM) to injury. Not good.

But even a blind dog finds a bone now and then. Dallas beat the visiting Indiana Pacers 111-103 Friday night as 3.5-point puppies, getting solid results from fill-in bigs Dorian-Finney Smith (–2.6 BPM) and Salah Mejri (–0.8 BPM). This team still has some quality to it, the organization is strong, and market expectations shouldn't be a burden anymore. Maybe this dog can see after all.

Dekker... Dekker...

Too bad Dallas can't play the Pacers every night. The Rockets (16-7 SU and ATS) have already paid out handsomely for us, and they were at it again Friday, sneaking by the Oklahoma City Thunder 102-99 as 1.5-point road faves. Houston has sneaky value with second-year SF Sam Dekker (+1.0 BPM), who saw just six minutes last year – one rebound, one steal – because of a bad back. And PG Patrick Beverley (+2.2 BPM) has just played his way back into the starting rotation.

We'll take the Mavericks anyway. This is a classic “buy low, sell high” moment, with Houston moving from –12.5 at the open, and the hoop nerds in our corner. You might even be able to bet Dallas at +13.5 or higher by tip-off.



Free NBA Pick: Mavericks +13.5

Best Line Offered: at Bookmaker

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