Southwest Divisional rivals Houston Rockets and Dallas Mavericks are set to kick off the first round of their NBA playoffs this weekend. Join us as we preview what should be a competitive Western Conference Series and serve up our choice NBA picks.
Regular Season Preview:
Houston Rockets clinched the second seed in the Western Conference after finishing the season with a 56-26 SU record, which included solid home and road form. Overall, they went 48-34 ATS on the season.
At home, the Rockets accounted for a 30-11 SU record and went 26-15 ATS. On the road, they went 26-15 SU and 22-19 ATS. They finished the season behind a 7-3 record in their last ten games, which included a three-game winning streak.
The Dallas Mavericks, meanwhile, went 50-32 SU and 35-44-3 ATS overall. At home, they went 27-14SU and 15-23-3 ATS. On the road, they went 23-18 SU and 20-21 ATS. The closed the season with a modest 5-5 SU record, but more importantly winning four of their last five games.
Head-to-Head Record 2014-2015
The regular season series between this pair tips in favour of the Houston Rockets 3-1. The Rockets won the first meeting in November 95-92 as the 4-point home dogs. The extended the edge with a 99-94 win over Dallas as the 4-point home favourites in January. In February, the Mavericks finally got into the win column with a 111-100 win at home. However, the last game between this pair went the way of the Rockets, 108-101 (Rockets covered the NBA odds as the 2.5-point dogs).
Recent Playoff Trends:
The Rockets will be looking to improve on a back-to-back losing trend in the first round of the playoffs when they take on the Dallas Mavericks. Two seasons in a row they exited prematurely, behind a 2-4 loss to Oklahoma City Thunder (2012-2013) and a 2-4 loss to Portland Trail Blazers last season. This is their third straight playoffs.
The Dallas Mavericks have reached four playoffs in the last five seasons; winning the NBA Finals in2010-2011 over Miami Heat in six games. Their only absence was in 2012-2012.. Last year, they were dumped in the first round by San Antonio Spurs in game seven, their third first round exit in the last five years.
NBA Playoffs Odds: No.2 Houston vs. No.7 Dallas
Breaking Down The Series:
Houston Rockets: -280 To Win Series
Dallas Mavericks +230 To Win Series
NBA Betting Verdict:
Although the odds makers corner this series firmly with the Houston Rockets at -280 NBA odds, there are those basketball fans and experts alike that are marking this series for the potential upset. If the Mavericks do come through as the +230 NBA underdogs, it would be one of the biggest upsets of the first round of the NBA playoffs.
There's a lot to recommend both sides of the coin for your NBA picks. Although their head-to-head record tips the scale towards Houston, they only narrowly beat the Mavericks in those three wins. The Mavericks will fancy their chances, especially when the Rockets are dealing with some key injuries ahead of the playoffs: Patrick Beverley and Donatas Motiejunas are reportedly out. With a watered down line-up for the Rockets and the bad blood between these two teams, NBA bettors should have a heated series to sink their teeth into.
NBA Picks: Dallas Mavericks To Win Series in Seven Games